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Wayne Hills Football Loses to Wayne Valley for the Third Season in a Row


In a defensive showdown of crosstown rivals, Wayne Hills narrowly went down to Wayne Valley (14-6) on Friday, September 22.

The game started off with a nice moment as the entire town came together to honor former Wayne Valley football player, Rocco Sivolella, who tragically passed away from cancer. His family was welcomed onto the field as fans and players all around the stadium were clapping. There was also a moment of silence to honor Rocco and others who have passed away from cancer.

Before the game kicked off, Wayne Hills students were really excited to be at the game and had high expectations for the Patriots football team. Junior Omar Yousif said, “I’m feeling really excited. Wayne Hills is coming off of a W last week and Wayne Valley’s 0-4. Just imagine coming off of a second win, against Wayne Valley. I’m hyped. We need to win this. Let’s go Wayne Hills! Every sport has its year and this is their year to beat Valley.”

The game did not start off the way the Wayne Hills would’ve liked. When receiving the opening kickoff, the Patriots dropped the ball which was nearly recovered by Wayne Valley.

However, a turnover did come in the first quarter. After two punts by each team, Wayne Hills fumbled the ball and it was picked up by Wayne Valley. After a few plays, the Indians were able to get a 36-yard passing touchdown to open the scoring.

On the very next drive, Wayne Hills ended the first quarter with good field position after a couple of clutch third-down conversions including a long passing play to Junior Jack Monisera to bring the Patriots to the Wayne Valley 22-yard line.

After the first quarter, Wayne Hills fans were pleased that the Patriots were putting together a good drive. Sophomore Dean Bazoqa said, “I honestly think that we have the spirit [to score a touchdown]. We have the student section. We have everyone that we need. We just need to cheer on our team. Hopefully, we can give them enough morale to win this game.”

The student section was filled to the brim, so much so that students were being turned away. Bazoqa said, “I was in the student section myself and I had to ask multiple parents to let me through and get down. It’s ridiculous. Even we have more space at Hills for the visitors.”

To begin the second quarter, Wayne Hills converted a fourth down to bring the ball to the six-yard line and Sophomore Andrew Pearce was able to run it in for the touchdown. After a missed kick, the score was 6-7 Wayne Valley. This would be the score going into the halftime break.

At halftime, spirits remained high from the Wayne Hills supporters. Everyone was optimistic that Wayne Hills would finally beat Wayne Valley for the first time in three years. Senior Peter Lynch said, “I think that Wayne Hills has had an excellent game so far. Our defense is looking spectacular. I think in the second half we could really get after it and use our offense the right way. I think our passing game is unreal right now and I think we need to build off of that. Decrease the run game and increase the passing game because our quarterback is doing phenomenal right now. My final score prediction is 14-13 Wayne Hills with the W.”

Mr. Hittinger added, “It’s what I expected. I said it’d be a one-possession game at the half, although I didn’t think it would be because of a missed extra point. That may be a big factor coming down the stretch. Who is going to be able to take care of the ball and not make costly penalties? When you’re down one at halftime, or up one at halftime, it doesn’t matter, when it’s that close of a game, ball security is key and discipline. I think [Wayne Hills is] going to do a lot more of the same, but I’d like to see them take a shot downfield. Maybe go one-on-one a little bit. It’s going to come down to the ground game in the fourth quarter, how they manage the clock, and if they are able to get into a place where they are able to kick a field goal because I really do think it’s been hard to get in the endzone for either of these teams. I think it’s going to come down to who is going to be able to kick a late field goal. I guess my final prediction is 16-14 Wayne Hills.”

Former Wayne Hills student and football player Nick Trbovich said, “First off, it was really exciting seeing the boys back out there again. Overall, I think we need to be more physical though. I would say there are mistakes that need to be adjusted, but overall not bad. There are obviously a lot of small mistakes. If you look at, let’s say the offensive line, jumping offsides, missing certain blocks, small things like that that can easily be fixed. Maybe just more general things such as physicality and knowing all of the plays. I think the final score is going to be 13-7 Hills.

In the second half, an early touchdown for Wayne Valley meant that the hill to climb for the Patriots had grown significantly. Things remained promising, however, as Sophomore Quarterback, Mike Fitzsimmons, completed a deep pass that helped Wayne Hills get to the red zone. The drive did not yield any points though, which many will see as a squandered opportunity. After that drive, Wayne Valley was forced to punt and gave the Patriots poor field positioning. The result of the remaining three Wayne Hills drives were interceptions to cap off a poor offensive night for Wayne Hills.

Senior Adnan Bachkhaz stated, “It was a good game overall, but we need to throw the ball more. I thought it was going to be a slightly higher-scoring game, but I knew it was going to be close.”

The Patriots move to just 1-4 on the season with a few games left. Their chances of making the playoffs again this year are hanging in the balance and they may need some great heroics to have a chance of getting to the postseason.

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    Paula PierceSep 27, 2023 at 1:00 PM

    Excellent article