D-10 Game of the Week: Wilmington at Farrell

As part of our annual high school football coverage, the Times Observer has provided weekly previews for all the Warren County teams.

We’re expanding on that a bit this year. We’ll still offer in-depth weekly preview stories for Eisenhower, Sheffield and Warren, but we’re also going to take a look around Districts 9 and 10 to highlight other important games.

Last week’s D-10 Game of the Week saw Mercyhurst Prep take down Meadville 33-18, despite the fact that the Bulldogs outgained the Lakers. The 1-2 punch of Zack Helsley and Khalil Barnes provided some explosive plays for Mercyhurst, including a kickoff return for touchdown by Barnes that gave the Lakers the lead for good.

This week’s matchup features two of the top teams in the state as Wilmington, the No. 2 ranked team in Class 2A per PennLive, travels to Farrell to take on the Steelers, who are the top ranked team in Class A.

Both teams had no problem in Week 1, as Wilmington beat a very good Sharon team, 42-12, while Farrell easily handled University Prep out of the Pittsburgh City League, 40-16.

Farrell had a very balanced attack in Week 1, rushing for 252 yards and throwing for 173 thanks to the three-headed monster of quarterback Kyi Wright, running back Christian Lewis and receiver Jourdan Townsend, who accounted for 346 of those yards between them.

Wilmington stuck mostly on the ground in the win over Sharon, as Cameron Marett and Tage Kelliher rushed for 286 yards between them (143 each) in the first game for head coach Brandon Phillian, who took over for the legendary Terry Verelli.

The Greyhounds’ offensive line of Colton Richards, Alex Ramirez, Weston Phanco, Jordan Gray and James Reed simply overwhelmed the Tigers.

They will be charged with stopping a talented Farrell front, led by Kobe Hilton, who had 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks against University Prep.

Defensively, Wilmington forced highly touted Sharon quarterback Lane Voytik into three interceptions.

The key for Farrell’s defense, which is led by Wright, who is committed to Pitt as a linebacker, will be to slow down the Greyhounds’ rushing attack enough to force them into obvious passing situations.

Conversely, Wilmington is likely to find success if they can make the Steelers one-dimensional on offense.

The two teams last met in 2015, a 37-6 win for Farrell, but 26 of Wilmington’s 28 wins the last two seasons have come by double figures.

I don’t think that’s the case here, although I do like the Greyhounds very close in what should be a classic.

PREDICTION: WILMINGTON 24, FARRELL 21

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