Wolverines race past Red Raiders
Playing on a rain soaked Wolverine Mountain, in temperatures just above freezing, it wasn’t ideal weather Saturday when Sheffield hosted the Cameron County Red Raiders. But that didn’t stop the Wolverines from playing one of their best games all season, winning 26-6.
Sheffield head coach Dave Fitch was impressed by his team’s ability to rebound on Senior Day from the tough loss last week in Smethport.
“It was a turn of events,” said Fitch. “We told the kids all week long that we played our worst game last week bar none. We coached our worst game. We played our worst game. We really put a lot of emphasis this week on the seniors. On what the last time playing on the field means. And that forever means forever.”
The start of Saturday’s face-off with Cameron County was looking to take the same route as the previous week. After a three and out to start the game, the Raiders first offensive drive was short and successful. Quarterback Adam Streich hit Derek Beldin for a 32-yard touchdown and the early lead.
Sheffield followed up the Raider touchdown with what looked like a solid response, when Kevin Evans made a beautiful catch and run for 49 yards. Two plays later, however, a Wolverine fumble gave up momentum.
Late in the second quarter, after several sputtering drivers by both teams, Sheffield’s Frank Wagner picked off a Streich pass in Wolverine territory. Sheffield wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnover, but luck would be on their side when a booming Cameron Retterer punt was fumbled by Cameron County and recovered by Evans at the 32.
“Our kicking game today was probably the best it’s been in year,” said Fitch. “Cam got us out of the hole numerous times on punts.”
Evans and Wagner showed up again on offense when Cale Albaugh was able to hit Evans for a 16-yard gain to get the Wolverines to the 10-yard line. Two plays later, a tipped Albaugh pass was hauled in by Wagner for the first Wolverine points of the day.
“We came back to him,” said Fitch of Frank Wagner’s missed opportunities earlier in the game. “Then he almost made that hard catch. Then we came back to him a third time and then he made a hard catch. He had a special visitor here today watching him, and that I think that meant a lot. I thought Frank played really good today because of that.”
All tied up just a couple minutes into the third, Cale Albaugh scrambled for 13 yards down the Raiders’ sideline to give the Wolverines a12-6 lead. Albaugh finished Saturday’s game with 103 total yards and two touchdowns.
Ahead by a score, the fourth quarter quickly was taken over by Sheffield’s Darnell Manson. The running back, who hadn’t touched the ball the entire game, took his second carry 13 yards for a touchdown. Manson wasn’t finished. He later added a run of 26 yards and another 13-yard score to solidify the Wolverines lead. Manson totaled 77 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns, all in the fourth quarter.
“I’m not gonna lie to you, it wasn’t a strategy,” said Fitch of Manson’s fourth quarter success. “Darnell kept getting in my ear on the sideline, saying ‘coach I need to run the ball today’. The first three or four times he touched the ball he ran as hard as he’s ran all year. When he scored and got that two point conversion, that was huge for us.”
Sheffield 0 6 6 14-26
Cameron Co 6 0 0 0-6
C-Derek Beldin 32 pass from Adam Streich, (kick failed), 8:54.
S-Frank Wagner 10 pass from Cale Albaugh, (kick failed), 3:01.
S-Albaugh 13 run, (conversion failed), 10:03.
S-Darnell Manson 13 run, (Manson run), 9:12.
S-Manson 13 run, (conversion failed), 1:55.
Offensive plays 51 55
First downs 10 15
Total Net Yards 208 278
Rushes-yards 37-118 31-144
Passing 90 134
Comp-Att-Int 5-14-0 7-24-4
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-2
Penalties-Yards 6-53 6-49
RUSHING-Sheffield, Manson 10-77-2TD, Kevin Evans 17-20, Albaugh 5-13-TD, Matt Dunham 5-8; Cameron County, Jared Whiting 11-64, Streich 6-38, Tristan Reed 12-28, Devon Palumbo 1-8, Beldin 1-6.
PASSING-Sheffield, Albaugh 5-14-90-TD; Cameron County, Streich 7-24-138-TD.
RECEIVING-Evans 2-65, Wagner 1-10-TD, Walker Kyler 1-9, Dunham 1-6; Cameron County, Derek Rieder 3-35, Beldin 1-32-TD, Nick Peters 1-32, Eric Morton 1-31, Reed 1-8.