Wolverines fall to talented AML South foe Elk County Catholic

It wasn’t the opening that the Sheffield Wolverines were hoping for to start the 2016 season.

Elk County Catholic jumped out to an early lead on Saturday on Wolverine Mountain and never let up, shutting out Sheffield 48-0.

“I expected a little bit better out of us,” said Sheffield head coach Dave Fitch.

The Wolverines first drive consisted of a 10-yard penalty and a fumble by running back Kevin Evan to give the Crusaders the ball at the Sheffield 5-yard line. On the first play after the recovery, Elk County quarterback Nate DaCanal slipped by defenders for a quick six points.

Following a Sheffield punt, DaCanal was at it again, connecting with fellow senior, Brad Dippold for a 22-yard score.

“We had a costly fumble right out of the gate,” said Fitch. “Then we had that 30-yard waggle pass called back because our linemen was downfield. The first two series got stopped mainly because of our mistakes.”

Elk County reached paydirt two more times before the half to take a 28-0 lead.

Both the Wolverines defense and offense continued to struggle after halftime, giving up a 9-play, 65 yard drive that ended with sophomore running back Tyler Dilley getting into the endzone on a 17-yard carry. Elk County got the ball back almost immediately after picking off Sheffield’s Cale Albaugh on second-and-10 deep in Sheffield territory. Jared Braun capitalized on the turnover,with a 3-yard score to give the Crusaders a 42-0 lead.

Braun finished the game with two scores and 24 yards on five carries. Senior Dan Stauffer led the Crusaders 263 total rushing yards with 94 of his own. Elk County out-rushed Sheffield by 202 yards on virtually the same amount of carries and more than quadrupled the Wolverines in total yards 360 to 81.

Despite the loss, Fitch had optimism for the remainder of the season.

“The big key for us is always getting through these first four weeks,” Fitch said. “Keeping kids out. Keeping kids spirits up. Keeping kids motivated. That’s going to be our test. When we won the AML North three years ago, we went 0-4, but that team kept the course. They understood the grind.”

The Wolverines will travel to Brockway this Friday. The Rovers dominated Otto-Eldred 57-6 in their opener.

By Quarters

Sheffield 0 0 0 0-0

Elk County 20 8 14 6-48

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

E- Nate DaCanal 10 run, (Tyler Dilley kick), 11:19.

E- Brad Dippold 22 pass from DaCanal, (Dilley kick), 8:00.

E- Jared Braun 10 run, (kick failed), 2:26.

Second Quarter

E- Bryce Gabler,13 run, (Dan Stauffer run), 8:44.

Third Quarter

E- Dilley 17 run, (Dilley kick), 8:29.

E- Jared Braun 3 run, (Dilley kick), 5:48.

Fourth Quarter

E- Hunter Cashman 17 run, (kick failed), 5:04.

Team Stats

S E

Offensive plays 42 46

First downs 4 19

Total Net Yards 81 360

Rushes-yards 33-61 37-263

Passing 20 92

Comp-Att-Int 4-14-2 ?5-9-0

Fumbles-Lost 3-2 1-1

Penalties-Yards 6-36 6-55

Individual stats

RUSHING-Sheffield, Darrnell Manson 15-76, Cale Albaugh 5-3, Matt Dunham 2-2, Frank Wagner 1-(-)6, Kevin Evan 1-(-)14; Elk County, Stauffer 12-94, Cashman 2-48-TD, Dilley 8-35-TD, Gabler 3-31-TD, Jared Braun 5-24-2TD, DaCanal 3-16-TD, Dillon Braun 1-7, Alec Bittler 1-4, Jacob Raffeinner 1-4.

PASSING-Sheffield, Albaugh 4-14-20-2INT; Elk County, DaCanal 5-9-92-TD.

RECEIVING-Sheffield, Dunham 3-18, Evan 1-2; Elk County, Brad Dippold 2-47-TD, Ryan Heary 1-21, Jared Braun 1-16, Brennen Klawuhn 1-8.