Fill-in QB lifts Burrell past Ford City
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Just minutes after his first varsity start at quarterback, Burrell junior Cody Wolfe stood at the doorway of the locker room shivering.
Neither nerves nor the cool temperatures caused Wolfe to shake a bit during the Bucs' 17-10 win over host Ford City (2-5, 1-5 Allegheny Conference). No, the junior's spasms stemmed from the ice teammates continued to shove down the back of his shirt as he answered interview questions.
The teammate torture was a small price to pay for Wolfe, who stepped up in a big way as the replacement for senior James Liput, who missed the game with concussion symptoms. Burrell (6-1, 5-1) barely lost a step on offense with Wolfe, who finished 5 of 8 for 89 yards and one touchdown passing. He also had 31 yards rushing.
“The game speed, I got used to it,” said Wolfe, who started at quarterback for the junior varsity last season and worked in at running back earlier this season. “It just came to me.”
Wolfe needed almost no time to ease into the role. His first throw fell right through the hands of running back Cole Bush, who was wide open along the left sideline and looked ready to score a 45-yard touchdown.
The junior went right back to Bush on his second throw, a 28-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter.
“I knew we'd get it back,” Wolfe said.
The yardage from Bush's one catch in the first half nearly matched the senior's rushing total at halftime. But Bush, who had nine carries for 36 yards, looked more like the guy who gained 1,178 yards in six games during the second half. He finished with 29 carries for 151 yards and one touchdown, which came on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
The win ended Ford City's seven-game win streak over the Bucs.
“(Ford City coach) John (Bartolovic) and his crew put a great game plan together,” Burrell coach Kevin Horwatt said. “These kids, they just did not show an ounce of quit.”
Fourth downs became big-play opportunities for Ford City in the first half.
The Sabers recovered two muffed Burrell punt returns in the first quarter. The latter recovery, made by Chantz Schrecengost at the Bucs' 3-yard line, set up a 22-yard field goal by Tyler Blaniar that put Ford City ahead, 3-0.
Midway through the second quarter, Ford City went for it on fourth-and-2 at Burrell's 34 and picked up 19 yards on a quick pass from Dave Lattanzio to Justin Retzer.
Another 19-yard reception by Retzer during the drive converted a third-and-15 and moved the Sabers to the Burrell 1. Two plays later, Lattanzio scored on a short sneak to put Ford City ahead, 10-7.
The Sabers came close to scoring with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Lattanzio completed an 11-yard pass to Retzer, who flipped the ball to Devan Willyard, who gained 43 yards down the left sideline.
From the Burrell 27, Ford City gained just 8 yards. One pass was dropped in the end zone.
Lattanzio finished with 101 yards, all of which went to Retzer, who had nine catches.
“We played a lot better defense than we have all year,” Bartolovic said. “We just didn't come up with the big play. … We need playmakers.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-543-1303.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- Former longtime Steelers publicist Kiely dies
- Penn State football team savors cultural experience
- Facebook fans fancy ‘I’m So Greensburg’
- Ukraine conflict, disappointing earnings reports weigh on stocks
- FSU star QB Winston working to improve on, off field
- Parents sue Penn Hills School District, allege assault by teacher
- Trio holds up Penn couple at gunpoint in home
- Pirates’ Cole growing in 1st full season
- Not to be left behind, speedy Steelers are on the fast track in NFL
- Judge reaffirms Texas’ ‘Robin Hood’ system of school funding unconstitutional