By: Ed Weaver / October 21, 2023 / Photo: Dr. Robert Bair
For 40 minutes and 21 seconds Wellsboro and Cowanesque Valley were scoreless. That was until Dave Hess scored from two yards out to break the tie and propel the Indians to a 12-0 shutout victory over the visiting Hornets during CV's Homecoming on Friday, October 20.
Offensive yards were hard to come by early on as both teams battled poor field conditions and dense fog. The entire first half took just 38 minutes of real time.
Wellsboro's biggest play of half came on their first play from scrimmage. Junior Will Gastrock broke free from a crowd at the line of scrimmage, bounced it outside, and carried the ball all the way down to the 25. However, the drive stalled and CV took back over, but would punt three plays later. Wellsboro's ensuing drive got all the way down to the CV 13, but a holding call pushed the Hornets back and killed the drive.
Cowanesque chewed up the remaining time in the half as they put together a 15-play drive that made it all the way to the Hornet 8-yard line. On the 8, the Wellsboro defense dropped Fletcher Good for no gain on 4th down.
Both teams traded drives to start out the second half, with each team committing one turnover. Following Wellsboro's third drive of the half the Indians took over at their own 10-yard line and proceeded to march down the field. In the first half the Indians didn't attempt a pass. This drive, the completed two as Graham Hess completed back-to-back passes to Good and Kegan Lane. They turned back to the ground game with Good and Co. doing the heavy lifting. Eventually the 12-play drive culminated in the game's first touchdown, with 7:39 left to play, on Dave Hess' two-yard run. The two-point run attempt failed, giving CV a 6-0 lead.
Following the score sophomore Jonathan Carl gave Wellsboro excellent starting field position after a 22-yard kick return. On the Hornets' first play of the drive, Gastrock connected with Carl on a double pass, which Carl picked up 35 yards down to the CV 20. A block in the back penalty again hampered Wellsboro's scoring opportunity, and a big 8-yard loss on 4th down gave the Indians back the ball. Two plays later, Good broke through the middle of the Hornet defense and scampered 61 yards for the game's final score with 4:12 remaining.
Graham Hess completed 3-of-4 passes for 45 yards and Good rushed 16 times for 141 yards and a score. Dave Hess added 83 yards and a score on 16 carries while Graham Hess and Kegan Lane finished with 17 and 16 yards, respectively.
Gastrock's 35-yard pass led Wellsboro's air attack while sophomore Marek Mascho led the ground game with 39 yards on 9 carries. Carl led the Hornet receiving corps with 2 receptions for 35 yards. Freshman Max Mascho also caught 3 passes for 16 yards.
Cowanesque Valley improves to 5-4 overall (5-4 NTL Small School Division). They host Coudersport next Friday.
Wellsboro has dropped their 5th straight game, falling to 2-7 overall and 2-6 in the NTL Large School Division. The Hornets travel to Island Park to take on rival North Penn-Mansfield next Friday. The Morton F. Jones Memorial Trophy is also on the line.