SECTION IV FOOTBALL: WAVERLY TOPS ONEONTA, 28-14 (22 PHOTOS)
(2019-10-11)Valley Sports Report
ONEONTA — Waverly’s defense kept the game even until the offense could find its rhythm, and it did just that in the second half of a 28-14 win over Oneonta here Friday night in Section IV, Division II football action.
“Offensively, we weren’t very good in the first half, but defensively we played pretty well,” said Waverly coach Jason Miller.
“Overall, we weren’t good in the first half, and we were pretty good in the second half,” added Miller. “It was a tale of two halves.”
Senior Jalen McCarty put the Wolverines on the board first, scrambling 17 yards for a TD with 2:13 left in the first quarter. Junior Alex Gadow’s PAT kick made it 7-0.
Oneonta’s standout QB Graham Wooden scored on a 5-yard keeper early in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7, which is where it stood at the half.
“(Oneonta) controlled the ball a little bit in the first half,” said Miller. “We had a couple of opportunities in their territory, and we didn’t score.”
Miller said the Wolverines made some “subtle adjustments” at the half.
“(Oneonta) matched up man-to-man, and I’d say in several positions they were a little bit more athletic than us,” noted Miller. “We had some trouble getting open downfield in the first half, so we really committed to the short passes in the second half. It was much more accurate, and it kept us on-schedule. We were able to complete some balls and keep them off balance a little bit.
“We also ran the ball much better in the second half, started wearing them down … we were able to finish drives,” added Miller “And, we created some turnovers, and that gave us momentum.”
Junior Caden Wheeler had a pair of interceptions in the win, and senior Ethan Stotler added one.
The Wolverines took the lead for good on their first possession of the second half, which culminated with a 6-yard TD pass from Tomasso to junior tailback David Hallett with 7:40 remaining in the third quarter.
Hallett scored again on a 3-yard run with 8:05 remaining in the contest to make it 21-7.
The Wolverines capped their scoring with a 19-yard TD pass from Tomasso to Stotler with 3:31 left in the game. Gadow’s fourth PAT kick in four tries made it 28-7.
“We had sustained drives in the second half, and were able to make plays,” said Miller. “The offense was very balanced.”
Oneonta’s Carter Neer scored on an 18-yard TD run against Waverly’s second defensive unit with 52 ticks left on the clock to provide the final margin.
Tomasso completed 14 of his 24 pass attempts for 193 yards and two TDs, while being picked off once. Junior Aidan Westbrook had four receptions for 98 yards, while Stotler had four catches for 51 yards and one TD, senior Jalen McCarty had three grabs for 27 yards, and Hallett had three catches for 17 yards and one TD.
Hallett led the Waverly ground game with 93 yards and one TD on 14 carries, while Wheeler added 69 yards on nine carries, and junior Austin Kimble had 40 yards on eight carries. The Wolverines rushed for 228 yards on 37 carries.
Wooden completed 10 of his 27 pass attempts for 112 yards, and was intercepted three times. He also ran for 102 yards and one TD on 16 carries.
“We did a pretty good job containing their quarterback (Graham Wooden), who is an outstanding athlete,” said Miller. “I thought our defensive front played pretty well.”
Waverly, now 3-3, hosts Norwich next Saturday for Homecoming.
IN PHOTO 1: Waverly’s Aidan Westbrook. …. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SHANNON McCARTY.
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