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Williamsport dominates Hancock

September 09, 2006|by JACK HILL III/Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Wildcats opened their season on Friday night by doing nearly everything right in a 34-0 victory over the Hancock Panthers.

Williamsport gained 223 rushing yards on 49 carries, and its defense forced the Panthers into seven turnovers and held them to minus-40 yards of total offense.

"Our defense is playing extremely well," Williamsport coach Adrian Custer said. "The defense is the strength of our football team. They rose to the occasion.

"We came out and played hard. The effort was there the entire game."

Senior quarterback and defensive back Andrew Minella made two interceptions for Williamsport, and also contributed on offense by scoring the first touchdown on a 1-yard run.

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"It was great blocking up front by the big guys," Minella said. "I just found a hole and punched it in. That boosted our morale. That set the tone of the game."

The Wildcats made it 14-0 in the first quarter when Kyle Cunningham recovered a fumble in the end zone - one of his two fumble recoveries in the game.

"We capitalized on their mistakes in the first quarter," Custer said. "Our offense punched it in when they needed to. ... We had a great crowd. Our players responded to the crowd's enthusiasm. It fueled our team."

"We played great team defense and our team tackling was good," Minella said. "Our linebackers got good pressure on the quarterback."

Jason Green rushed for 71 yards on seven carries, including a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter for Williamsport. Scott Bailey added a 2-yard TD run in the third quarter and a 32-yard scoring run in the fourth.

Only penalties - 18 of them totaling 170 yards - marred the Wildcats' night.

"We ran into a tough team," Hancock coach John Blake said. "Williamsport is a big and strong team up front. Good luck to whoever is playing them the rest of the year. Williamsport dominated the line of scrimmage. They capitalized on our mistakes."

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