Rams Dealt a Stinging Defeat
Forty-five minutes into Friday’s game with Wellsboro, it appeared that Wyalusing Valley was poised to claim its second victory of the season.
The Rams, clinging to an 8-0 lead thanks to an 82-yard touchdown run by Dan Frankenfield in the third quarter, had the visiting Hornets pinned back on their own 19 with 3:03 left in regulation.
With a long field to traverse, Wellsboro, which up to that point had not demonstrated a quick-strike ability, embarked on a 10-play scoring march, forcing the game into overtime where the Hornets emerged with a stunning 14-8 victory.
Wellsboro quarterback Ben Shaw accounted for 76 yards on the scoring march, including a four-yard touchdown run with 40 seconds left, to pull his team within two points. Shaw had three completions for 39 yards and a 26-yard scamper on the drive.
Forced to go for the two-point conversion, Wellsboro turned to Thomas Johnson, who blasted up the middle to knot the score.
Following a kickoff return by Chad Johnson to midfield, the Rams were held on downs with seven seconds left in regulation.
Aaron Johnson, who finished the night with four interceptions, tying the Wyalusing single-game record, picked off Shaw’s desperation pass on the last play of regulation.
Going to overtime, Wellsboro chose to play defense first and held the Rams scoreless, stopping Frankenfield on three runs and forcing Johnson out of bounds three yards from paydirt on fourth down.
On its possession, Wellsboro reached the Ram 3 on three carries, two by Johnson and one by Shaw.
Wellsboro opted to attempt a game-winning field goal on fourth down, but Wyalusing was hit for its eighth penalty of the night before the snap.
With the ball on the 1, Wellsboro changed its mind and gave the ball to Johnson, who smashed in for the game-winning touchdown.
Johnson, who had 114 yards on 31 carries, and Shaw, who finished with 168 total yards, led a relentless Wellsboro offense that amassed 348 yards on 70 offensive snaps.
Wyalusing, meanwhile, continued to struggle offensively. The Rams only ran 42 plays for 224 yards, 82 of which came on Frankenfield’s touchdown run.
After the Wyalusing defense had turned back a Wellsboro drive that had reached the Ram 2 before a pair of penalties stymied the march, Wyalusing took over on downs at its 8.
Two plays later, Frankenfield found a seam around right end for his touchdown run with 4:26 to play in the third quarter. Frankenfield finished with 129 yards on 13 carries.
On the extra-point attempt, Kye Novak executed a perfect fake kick, hitting Joey Champluvier in the end zone for two points.
Both teams squandered scoring opportunities in the first half.
Wyalusing took the opening kickoff and drove to the Hornet 18 where it was stopped on downs.
Wellsboro answered with a 15-play drive to Wyalusing’s seven before it stalled out.
Champluvier batted down a pass in the end zone on third down to deny Wellsboro a score.
Tracey LaFrance, Kye Novak and Tyler Thompson were Wyalusing’s co-captains. …Fans enjoyed perfect football weather. …The Rams won the turnover battle, 4-0, thanks to Johnson’s four interceptions, which tied him with Fred Frisbie (1988) and Vern Woodruff (1971) on the Rams all-time list. Johnson, Thompson and LaFrance also recovered Wyalusing fumbles, preventing costly turnovers. …Ram freshman Dylan Otis was limited to kickoff duties after an accident while setting up a tree stand left him with several stitches in his side. …Wyalusing hosts Montgomery at Peterson Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, for Homecoming. The Red Raiders, now 1-5, lost to Bucktail, 30-8, last week.