off back-to-back playoff appearances got all they could handle against the Railroaders but came away with the opening night victory 21-6 win at Collinwood Field, AKA “The Rail Yard”.
The Blue Devils got on the board quickly in the first quarter with 10:30 left on the clock when Senior Jaylen Bowers took the pigskin 57 yards to pay dirt for Wickliffe’s first touchdown of the season. Senior Brad Dieterich converted the extra point which gave Wickliffe the 7-0 lead.
Wickliffe added their second touchdown of the night on their next drive when Senior and D-1 recruit Isaac Pettway crossed the goal line from two yards out with 5:50 left in the first quarter and give Wickliffe a 14-0 lead after Dieterich converted the point after attempt.
On the night Pettway became the all-time leading rusher in Wickliffe football history. Pettway entered the game needing only 24 yards to achieve the feat and totaled 67 yards on 16 carries to enter the Wickliffe history books.
The Railroaders got on the board with 3:30 left in the second quarter when Senior Jayshon Bester hit Sophomore Velonte Paul with a 42-yard touchdown strike to cut the Blue Devils lead to eight at 14-6. Bester failed on a two-point conversion run.
Neither team would score again until the Blue Devils got the final points of the game with 7:50 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. The score came when Dieterich hit sophomore Chase Fortkamp with a 30-yard touchdown pass. Dieterich them converted the point after and Wickliffe led by what ended up being the final score 21-6.
Blue Devils Head Coach Marce Porcello commented after the game on the team’s effort, “Collinwood has some really tough athletic kids. Both teams played hard all night until the end.” He continued, “I’m proud of our effort tonight.”
Wickliffe only had 170 total yards offensively on the night and Porcello praised Collinwood’s defense, “They packed the box and blitzed a lot. At times it hurt us, but our kids stayed patient and played hard all night.”
The Wickliffe defense out together a nice effort as they allowed only 184 yards on the ground and six points. Porcello said of his team’s defensive effort, “Our game plan was to stop their QB #4 and our kids executed the game plan very well. It was a battle all night. Both teams played extremely hard.”
Pettway led the Blue Devils in rushing and Fortkamp led Wickliffe in receiving yards with 47 yards. Dieterich completed six passes on twelve attempts for 68 yards. Bester complete five of his eight passes for 59 yards and threw an interception. Wickliffe Senior DeNarre McRae in supernatural type fashion leaped high in the air to pick off the Bester pass to kill the Railroader drive.
The Blue Devils will be in action at home next Friday (August 31) at Wickliffe Memorial Stadium against the Fairview High School Warriors at 7:00 p.m.