Wolverines snap 16-game streak with convincing AML North win
“Now that you felt victory, you’re gonna want it even more.”
That coming from Sheffield head coach Dave Fitch Saturday after defeating Port Allegany 33-14. The Homecoming victory was the first win for the Wolverines since October 2014, breaking a 16-game losing streak.
“Who’s counting,” said a relieved Fitch when asked about the streak.
The one thing that was being counted were the yards that Sheffield running back Kevin Evans racked up, in what was easily his biggest game of the year. Evans reached the end zone on three separate occasions, finishing with 162 yards rushing, averaging seven yards per carry, along with 125 yards receiving.
“At the end of the day, his (Evans) making people miss and going crazy like on that last touchdown, I don’t know how many people he ended up having miss on him,” said Fitch. “You could just tell on that play he was getting in the end zone. Everybody in the stadium knows five is getting the ball on a lot of these plays. We’re still manning up on the line and still running hard.”
After several back and forths between the two struggling AML North teams, the Wolverines finally kicked it into gear at the end of the first quarter. Starting at their own 21, Evans busted out of the backfield for a 20 yard pickup. On the next play, however, Sheffield quarterback Cale Albaugh was chased down in the backfield for a huge 16 yard loss. It didn’t take Albaugh long to recover, connecting with Evans for a 41 yard gain that would put the Wolverines into Gator territory. After an 8-yard carry, Evans took the next one to the house for a 25-yard touchdown, giving Sheffield the early 6-0 lead.
The Wolverines added to their lead in the second with two passing touchdowns from Albaugh. The first a 10-yard strike to a wide open Frank Wagner in the end zone, and the second coming with a combination of Albaugh’s precision and Evans’ elusiveness that resulted in the 24-yard score and a halftime lead of 20-8.
Albaugh added another two touchdowns to his total in the second half, including a broken pass play that resulted in a 58-yard scrambling score.
“I didn’t know he could run that fast,” Fitch said of Albaugh. “My brother (Todd Fitch) coaches quarterbacks, and he’s been telling him a long time when you feel that pocket coming up your outside, to step up in there.”
Added to Albaugh’s four touchdowns, were 141 yards passing and 36 on the ground.
Aware of the difficult first half of the schedule and encouraged by two very close losses in the past two weeks, Fitch insisted that the Wolverines fighting through it would pay off. Now the head coach has a different challenge for his players.
“We’re gonna go over to Smethport now and try and keep the train moving. It’s gonna be interesting to see how this team reacts to a little bit of success. My challenge is gonna be, alright do you think you’re unstoppable now,” said Fitch. “Because that would be the wrong thing to think.”
Sheffield 6 14 6 7 33
Port Allegany 0 8 6 0 14
S-Kevin Evans 25 run, (kick failed), 1:39.
S-Frank Wagner 10 pass from Cale Albaugh, (conversion failed), 5:12.
P-Trey Stiles 81 kick return, (Josh Rees run), 4:59.
S-Evans 24 pass from Albaugh, (Evan run), :43.
P-Devin Gustin 36 run, (conversion failed), 8:31.
S-Allbaugh 58 run, (conversion failed), 8:24.
S-Evans 24 pass from Albaugh, (Matt Dunham kick), 9:49.
Offensive plays 52 46
First downs 14 8
Total Net Yards 393 101
Rushes-yards 36-252 27-59
Passing 141 42
Comp-Att-Int 8-16-1 5-19-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 4-1
Penalties-Yards 11-90 5-50
RUSHING-Sheffield, Evans 23-162-TD, Albaugh 4-36-TD, Darnell Manson 6-36, Damani Ray 2-14, Dunham 1-4; Port Allegany, Gustin 3-40-TD, Rees 7-15, Stiles 4-9, Jake Kalllenborn 12-(-5).
PASSING-Sheffield, Albaugh 8-16-141-3TD-INT; Port Allegany, Kallenborn 5-9-42-INT.
RECEIVING-Sheffield, Evans 6-125-2TD, Wagner 1-10-TD, Dunham 1-6; Port Allegany, Gustin 2-18, Rees 1-17, Stiles 1-8, Issac Smoker 1-(-1).