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Greyhounds have Lions’ number again

NEW WILMINGTON — Wilmington ran past Chestnut Ridge for the third year in a row.

The Greyhounds racked up 617 yards on the ground Friday as they topped the Lions, 56-29, in a PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal at Wilmington High School’s Greyhound Stadium.

Wilmington defeated Chestnut Ridge in the PIAA first round the past two seasons (40-33 in 2018 and 35-20 last year). This year’s contest seemed destined to be a close one, too. However, the Greyhounds pulled away late in the second quarter and stifled Chestnut Ridge’s offense in the second half to secure the victory and a fifth straight PIAA semifinal appearance.

Play of the game: Chestnut Ridge drove to the Wilmington 6 on its opening drive, but Wilmington’s Luke Edwards returned a fumble 94 yards for a touchdown to give the Greyhounds an early 7-0 edge.

Player of the game: Wilmington running back Ethan Susen finished with a program single-game record 316 yards rushing on 30 carries. He scored five touchdowns. He caught two passes for 30 yards as well.

Unsung heroes: Wilmington’s offensive linemen (Jake Chimiak, Morgan Whiting, Brayden Penwell, Weston Phanco and Connor Vass-Gal) and tight end (Jordan Hess) paved the way for a running game that collected 617 yards.

Most vital statistic: After piling up 253 yards of offense in the first half, the Lions were limited to 79 in the final two quarters.

Wilmington coach Brandon Phillian: “It was a great performance by the big boys up front. It was really special what we were able to do, possessing the football and moving the football. We made some great adjustments on defense.”

Chestnut Ridge coach Max Shoemaker: “I thought we had them on their heels a couple different times, but good teams find a way to turn the corner and they did. Once they did, they got the upper hand on us. Over the years, our kids have learned to battle and we like to compete. That’s something we take pride in. Defensively, we are at a loss on how to stop all their weapons.”

Chestnut Ridge receiver Matt Whysong: “Their line, first of all, is really huge and that’s tough to stop. They are a well-coached, disciplined team. I am very proud of the year and fighting through the pandemic. I couldn’t ask for a better team to be with.”

Notable: It was Wilmington’s third home postseason game in a row. The team beat Farrell, 19-14, for the District 10 title two weeks ago and topped Karns City, 42-14, last week. Wilmington has a 25-game home winning streak. Chestnut Ridge is 0-9 all-time in PIAA tournament play. Matt Whysong caught six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. He added an acrobatic catch from Logan Pfister on a broken PAT play. Whysong had a 46-yard TD run on an end around as well.

Records: Wilmington (9-0), Chestnut Ridge (7-3)

Next week: Wilmington will play Saturday’s Beaver Falls vs. Sto-Rox winner in the PIAA Class 2A semifinals. Chestnut Ridge’s season is finished.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Chestnut Ridge 15 7 7 0 — 29

Wilmington 14 21 14 7 — 56

First Quarter

W–Edwards 94 fumble return (Hartwell kick), 9:24

C–Whysong 29 pass from Pfister (Whysong pass from Pfister), 5:05

W–Susen 10 run (Hartwell kick), 2:16

C–Whysong 46 run (Moyer kick) 1:18

Second Quarter

W–Susen 26 run (Hartwell kick) 10:43

C–Pfister 11 run (Moyer kick) 7:02

W– Susen 45 run (Hartwell kick) 4:38

W–Susen 2 run (Hartwell kick) :58.7

Third Quarter

W–Susen 4 run (Susen run), 9:51

W–Susen 35 run (kick failed) 5:31

C–Weyandt 9 pass from Pfister (Moyer kick) 2:21

Fourth Quarter

W–Miller 28 run (Hartwell kick) 11:51

TEAM STATISTICS CR W

First downs 15 28

Total yards 332 647

Rushes-yards 28-126 55-617

Yards passing 206 30

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 13-26-1 2-4-0

Punts-avg. 2-33 0-0

Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 2-10 12-115

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING­–Chestnut Ridge, Presnell 17-41, Whysong 1-46, Pfister 9-32, Dunlap 1-7. Wilmington, Susen 30-316, Miller 20-235, Bender 5-66.

PASSING–Chestnut Ridge, Pfister 13-26-1-206. Wilmington, Bender 2-4-0-30.

RECEIVING–Chestnut Ridge, M. Whysong 6-79, Gardner 2-85, Weyandt 3-36, N. Whysong 1-4, Mock 1-2. Wilmington, Susen 2-30.

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