CLEAR SPRING — Seldom did Williamsport have its offense in Clear Spring territory on Friday night. For the three minutes the Wildcats did, they took advantage.
Williamsport scored two touchdowns in a span of three minutes late in the third quarter and managed a 13-6 victory over the Blazers.
As a reward for their efforts, the Wildcats (5-5) get to sit on the edge of their chairs and wait for the final word from the MPSSAA. The Wildcats were tied for fourth in the Class 2A West region with Winters Mill, an easy 38-8 winner over Francis Scott Key.
“I have no answer for our first half,” said Williamsport coach Randy Longnecker. “The community has been excited and maybe we were playing not to lose.”
If the Wildcats get the call for the playoffs, it will be their first in program history.
“At the half, we talked about going out and earning our spot,” said Longnecker.
Still, things did not look in Williamsport’s favor after a lethargic first half that netted 62 total yards while Clear Spring (4-6) was picking up 197, but the Blazers still only held a 6-0 lead.
The first possession of the game resulted in a quick 4-play, 50-yard drive by Clear Spring after Jesse Gentry returned the opening kickoff to midfield.
On the first play, quarterback Adam Mellott ran 36 yards, and three plays later he scored from the 6-yard line on a rollout.
The Blazers — who remain winless in eight games against Williamsport — moved the ball, but couldn’t add to their lead in the first half.
In the third quarter, Clear Spring faced fourth-and-1 from its own 28 and went for a first down, but Williamsport’s Alex Fridley stuffed Mellott for a loss.
“We were trying to get them offside on a hard count, but hindsight is ...,” said Clear Spring coach Craig Bathgate.
Fridley ran 21 yards, then the final 7 for a score with 3:43 left in the third. Kyle Marshall’s wobbly kick made it through the uprights for a 7-6 lead.
On its first play from their 35, the Blazers tried some razzle-dazzle with Mellott handing off to Ryan Aaron on a pass play, but Aaron’s pass was underthrown and picked off by Tyler Wise, and the Wildcats took over at the Blazers 43.
“That play turned the game,” said Bathgate.
Fridley ran 42 yards to the 1, and after three Clear Spring stops and a Williamsport penalty, Wise caught a 6-yard pass from T.J. Boyer for a 13-6 lead with 52 seconds left in the third.
The Blazers again marched downfield to open the fourth quarter, reaching the Williamsport 9 before stalling on downs at the 10:08 mark.
With 2:56 remaining, Clear Spring again ran out of downs when Mellott was sacked on fourth-and-8 by Brandon Jackson.
“We didn’t pack it in after their first score,” said Longnecker.
Mellott completed 12 of 24 passes for 136 yards, giving him 2,007 for the season to become the first quarterback in Washington County history to surpass 2,000 yards. He did it on a 15-yard completion to Lendon Paul, his final completion of the game on the Blazers’ final drive. Mellott also rushed for 94 yards and Stephen Smith ran for 78.
Fridley picked up 141 yards on 19 carries — all but 33 yards coming in the second half.
Williamsport 13, Clear Spring 6
Williamsport 0 0 13 0 — 13
Clear Spring 6 0 0 0 — 6
CS—Adam Mellott 6 run (kick failed)
W—Alex Fridley 7 run (Kyle Marshall kick)
W—Tyler Wise 6 pass from J.T. Boyer (kick failed)
First downs 10 11
RUshes-yards 39-197 26-172
Passing yards 22 136
Com-Att-Int 5-10-0 12-25-1
Total offense 49-219 51-308
Punts-avg. 6-33.7 3-26.3
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 4-25 6-45
RUSHING—Williamsport, Fridley 19-141, Palmer 6-42, Boyer 7-18, Murphy 3-3, J. Zeger 1-3, Wise 2-(minus 3), Team 1-(minus 7); Clear Spring, Mellott 12-94, Smith 14-78.
PASSING—Williamsport, Boyer 5-10-0-22; Clear Spring, Mellott 12-24-136-0, Aaron 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING—Williamsport, Wise 4-20, Palmer 1-2; Clear Spring, Habel 4-40, Aaron 2-27, Elwood 3-24, Paul 1-15, Sensenbaugh 2-30.