NTL FOOTBALL: WYALUSING SEES BIG IMPROVEMENT IN 2023
(2023-11-16)Northern Tier Sports Report
Few expected much from Wyalusing football this season. They hadn’t had a winning season since 2010, and outside their district title in 2017, had little to point to in terms of success. However, under new head coach Rich Rogers, the Rams turned things around in 2023, going 6-4 in the regular season, culminating in a thrilling win over Towanda to take back the Bronze Helmet.
“I am so proud of this year's squad and how far they progressed in one season,” said Rogers. “This program has not experienced a winning season since 2010. Most of the seniors on this team had at least three different coaching staffs and three different playbooks to learn throughout their career. This group grew week by week in belief in themselves and what they were capable of. They finished the season with six victories, qualified for the playoffs, and brought the Bronze Helmet trophy "back down the river" to Wyalusing.”
The Rams opened with a tough loss to Nativity (28-14) but bounced back with back to back wins over Sayre (45-0) and Athens (14-12), the difference in the win over the Wildcats coming on the leg of first year kicker Olivia Haley.
They fell to 2-2 with a loss at Troy (41-7), but routed Montgomery (47-6) to improve to 3-2.
They would lose at Canton (47-14), but returned to beat Wellsboro (21-6) for a homecoming win.
After a loss to Loyalsock (41-7) they guaranteed their winning season with wins over NP-Mansfield (37-16) and Towanda (15-14).
They ended the year battling with state ranked Mt. Carmel in the first round of districts, falling 43-21.
A run first team they were led by Ayden Hunsinger on the ground behind 1,176 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on 212 carries.
Casey God added 557 yards and three scores on 109 touches, while Dylan Johns ran the ball 83 times for 504 yards and seven scores. Johns also led the team in receiving, with 11 catches for 185 yards and a score.
Three different players manned the quarterback spot: Cade McMicken, Parker Petlock, and Jonathan Earle.
McMicken started, but was injured against Nativity, finishing the year 6-for-11 for 34-yards and a pick.
Petlock came on in spurts, going 9-for-34 for 144 yards with two scores and seven interceptions.
The sophomore Earle got the most action, going 17-for-42 for 262 yards with a touchdown and six picks.
Looking forward they say good-bye to key skills players God, McMicken, Petlock, and Joey Gonsauls, along with lineman Dante Hatton, and Tylor Gardner.
Hunsinger returns, though, along with Johns, and Earle, to form their core skill guys for next year.
They also bring back three of their five linemen, and have plenty waiting in the wings, allowing them to build for next year.
As for now, though, they’re enjoying the spoils from this year.
“They prayed for wisdom every Friday night and experienced God's favor on all their efforts,” said Rogers. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know this group of student athletes and I wish my 9 seniors all the best as they move on. They brought Ram Football back and have much to be proud of.”
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