WELLSVILLE - This year's version of Wellsville football is based on quality over quantity.
Playing short-handed due to injuries and suspensions with only 24 players suited up, the Tigers still had more than enough to get the job done as they routed their Route 7 rivals Toronto, 42-13, on Friday night at Nicholson Stadium.
"It seemed like in the second quarter our guys were kind of feeling like they were tired," Wellsville coach Dave Skinner said. "We took a timeout and I just told them there's no way that's going to happen. They fought through it and it showed."
Wellsville's Marcus Moxley finds the edge on Friday against Toronto. (Photo by Patti Schaeffer)
The win is the fourth straight for in the series for Wellsville, however this game had a different feel. While the last three games had been won by a total of just 10 points, the Tigers won in dominating fashion this time around.
While the game was close at the half, 14-7, Wellsville completely controlled the line of scrimmage in the second half en route to a season-opening victory.
"We made a few minor adjustments at the break," Skinner said. "In the second half, we were determined to come out and run between the tackles. Our offensive line dominated in the second half. They were key in what we were able to gain on the ground out there."
Wellsville attempted just four passes in the game, all in the first half.
The Tigers ground game, however, was impressive to say the least.
A talented trio of juniors in quarterback Jordan Sloan and running backs Marcus Moxley and Brendon Carr kept the Red Knights off balance the entire game. Throw in sophomore Zack Mellott, and the Tigers appear to be the real deal.
"All four of those guys can go," Skinner said. "It's a nice luxury to have. Our offensive line deserves some of that credit as well, but we've got four guys there that can break one at any minute. They all run hard and they don't need a big window of space to get out the pack."
The Tigers opened the scoring just one and a half minutes into the game with an 11-yard touchdown run by Sloan, who was starting his first varsity game at quarterback.
Mellott would be next in line to score after breaking a 32-yard run with 1:30 left in the opening frame to take the score to 14-0.
The Red Knights only score with both teams starters in the game came on a 10-yard pass from Blaze Glenn to Joey Chadwick with 7:48 to play int he half.
Carr got his touchdown early in the second half on a 7-yard scamper.
"He played like quite the hammer out there," Skinner said of Carr. "Both running and blocking. That's probably the best I've seen him play. I hope it continues."
Carr's second score came with 2:01 left in the third quarter on a 49-yard run to make the score, 28-7.
Sloan's second touchdown was on an 8-yard run with 9:47 left in the game, giving Wellsville a 35-7 lead.
Moxley got into the act with Wellsville's final score of the game on a one-yard run with 4:11 left to play.
Glenn would score for Toronto with just 21 second left to play after Wellsville had already emptied their bench.
NOTES: Mellott carried six times for 105 yards and one touchdown. ... Moxley carried 13 times for 116 yards and one touchdown. ... Carr carried seven times for 91 yards. ... Sloan carried 11 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns. ... Wellsville junior kicker Cavan Lemasters connected on all six of his point after tries. The game lasted just over three hours due to a multitude of penalties and injury timeouts, most due to cramping. ... The Tigers will travel across the river this coming Friday to take on Oak Glen in what will be the first game in its new stadium.