Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RECAP: Big Plays Doom Bulldogs

The 7th-seeded Cumberland Valley Eagles came to West Lawn for a District 3 AAAA playoff matchup and they left Gurski Stadium with a victory. For the 2nd straight year. The Eagles beat the Bulldogs, 28-14, thanks in large part to two huge plays in the second quarter.

With the score tied 0-0, Wilson punted and pinned Cumberland Valley at their own 4 yard line. After a play they faced a 2nd & 9 from their own 5 when RB Kevin Snyder broke a 95-yard TD run along the Bulldogs sideline. This gave Cumberland Valley a lead they would never relinquish. On their next offensive series the Eagles scored on another big play with Snyder again, this time on a HB pass which went for a 59-yard score. Suddenly it was 14-0 in favor of the visiting team as the teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime.

There were missed opportunities aplenty for the Bulldogs. Multiple times they were inside the Eagles 30 yard line and never capitalized until the game was out of hand.  Cumberland Valley stretched their lead to 21-0 in the 3rd quarter and finally 28-0 in the 4th after a Zach Zweizig INT. Zweizig's final game as a Wilson Bulldog was a forgettable one. Despite a stat. line of 23 for 41 (56%) for 284 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT, Zweizig's play was inconsistent. He missed open receivers numerous times, occasionally bouncing balls to them. Zach's great Wilson career comes to a quiet end.

Wilson was able to score twice in the final few minutes of the 4th quarter on two passes from Zweizig, one to Julian Carabello and another to Connor Mathias. It was too little, too late.

Like much of the season the Bulldogs rode junior RB Rodney Gillin, who became Wilson's all-time single season rushing leader. Gillin accumulated another 125 yards on the ground for a season total of 1,829 yards in 12 games. He surpasses Pete Gilmore's old record of 1,810 yards set in 1999, in 13 games.  Gillin is the big star in Wilson's returning underclassmen for the 2011 season.

Congratulations go out to the Cumberland Valley Eagles, who played a solid game and look forward to a rematch with League rival Central Dauphin in the District 3 AAAA semifinals. That game's winner will play the other semifinal winner between Daniel Boone and Red Lion. Those four teams were seed 7th, 6th, 5th, and 8th, respectively. After a 1st round with no upsets, all the perceived underdogs won in round two.

Congratulations must be sent out to Wilson as well. The players and coaches did a phenomenal job again this season, going undefeated in League play as well as setting a record for most consecutive League wins. They came up short of a few team goals but their season was anything but a failure. I'm sure Coach Dahms and his staff are itching for offseason activities to begin. Here's to a great 2010 and the hope for an even better 2011! Thank you, Bulldogs!

I'll have an end of the season write-up, early 2011 preview, as well as District 3 AAAA playoff coverage over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wilson Bulldogs in NCAA Football TeamBuilder

The Wilson Bulldogs are in the game. Literally.  I created the Bulldogs as a Team Builder team for NCAA Football '10 and converted it for use in NCAA Football '11 recently. You can find the team here or by going to www.easports.com/teambuilder and searching for "Wilson Bulldogs". Two catches for you gamers and Wilson alumni out there. First, they're for use on Xbox 360 only. Sorry PS3 owners. Second, the rosters and jersey's reflect those of the fall 2002 squad (i.e. my senior year). Sorry, current Bulldog team.  I spent a lot of time editing the uniforms and I think I have them as close to the 2002 versions as possible, especially the home reds. The away whites do not have "BULLDOGS" written across the front, sadly.

So if you ever wanted to play as Henne, Hartman, Millard, Lehatto, Sands, or Broskey, check out the 2002 Wilson Bulldogs for Xbox 360 through EA Sports TeamBuilder.

PREVIEW: 2010 Playoffs, Game 2


Where: John Gurski Stadium, West Lawn, PA
When: 7:00 PM, Friday, November 19th, 2010

  • Going 10-0 during the regular season helps. Then defeating Lancaster-Lebanon (Section 1) rival Manheim Township, 48-21, in round 1 sealed it. It was the Bulldogs 11th victory of the season, the 11th time in program history the team has won at least 11 games. It is also the 3rd straight year the team has reached that win milestone, as well as for the 4th time in the last five seasons.  During the Bulldogs first round victory, senior WR/DB Connor Mathias and junior RB/DB Rodney Gillin stole the show. Mathias had 2 TD receptions and a pick six while Gillin rushed for a measly 172 yards and 3 TDs while adding an INT of his own. Wilson went into the half up 42-0, dominating a Blue Streaks team that played them tough in their League match just 3 weeks prior. When this Wilson team is clicking they're tough to beat, and rank up there with the great Bulldog teams of the past (1978-1981, 1989-1990, 1999, 2002, 2008). As has been mentioned on this blog numerous times, Gillin needs just 106 yards rushing Friday evening against the Eagles to become the teams all-time single season leading rusher. He would surpass Pete Gilmore's school record set during the phenomenal 1999 campaign.
  • The 7th-ranked Eagles of Cumberland Valley are 9-2 on the season, having defeated Spring Grove, 35-21, in the 1st round. They were 5-1 in the Mid-Penn Conference (Commonwealth Division), falling to Harrisburg (4th seed in District 3 playoffs) during their regular season. They also lost to AAA powerhouse Bishop McDevitt, who felled Harrisburg too. They beat 6th-seeded Central Dauphin, 30-17, as well as District 3 #8 seed Red Lion, 45-6. The Eagles score about 36 points per game while allowing about 16 per contest. They are run-oriented, much like Wilson. Cumberland Valley averages close to 280 yards rushing per game while only throwing for an average of 75 yards per game.  They utilize multiple backs in their attack. Their big play threat is #22 Jeremy Dipetro, who has accumulated 1,023 yards on just 85 carries with 12 TDs. Dan Flynn & Kevin Snyder combined for 230 carries for 1,506 yards with 22 TDs. They have just 6 TDs through the air, compared with their 34 on the ground.
  • This will be the 12th meeting between the two most prestigious programs in District 3 AAAA. The Eagles hold a 7-4 lead in the series. They also won the most recent match up, 28-21, on November 27th, 2009. They defeated the Bulldogs in West Lawn to advance to the District 3 AAAA championship game. You don't have to look too far in the past to find Wilson's latest victory over Cumberland Valley. It occurred on November 29th, 2008, in the District 3 AAAA final in Hershey, PA. The Bulldogs dismantled the Eagles, 35-7. Based on the history between the two squads this should prove to be an entertaining match.

Helmet images courtesy PA Helmet Project.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

RECAP: Bulldogs Run Over Blue Streaks, Advance to Round 2

Wilson junior RB Rodney Gillin busts through the Manheim Township defense during their PIAA District 3 AAAA first round playoff game on Friday, November 12th, 2010, in John Gurski Stadium, West Lawn, PA.  (Jeremy Drey, Reading Eagle)

Coaches generally hate playing a foe twice in one year and Wilson Head Coach Doug Dahms is no exception. League rivals generally give each other a hard time the second time around as they are more familiar with the team, its play style, and the various strengths and weaknesses. This did nothing to slow down the Bulldogs Friday evening. All they managed to do was score 42 points before half, ending the playoff hopes of Manheim Township in a 48-21 rout.

The game was never in doubt, thanks mostly to the play of junior RB/DB Rodney Gillin and senior WR/DB Connor Mathias. The two scored three TDs a piece, all in the first half. Gillin only carried the ball 10 times but racked up 172 yards and three rushing scores. He also set up a score with a magnificent INT.  Mathias hauled in two TD passes from senior QB Zach Zweizig, and returned an INT for an additional TD.  Gillin's performance, as noted in the instant recap posted on Friday, leaves him a mere 106 rushing yards away from breaking Pete Gilmore's school record for rushing yards in a single season, set in 1999 over the course of 13 games. The upcoming second round game versus Cumberland Valley will be Gillin's 12th of the year.

All 21 points surrendered by the Bulldogs came after the game was well in hand, with numerous back ups and underclassmen seeing some well earned playing time.  Wilson surrendered a meager six first downs and three rushing yards to the Blue Streaks, who never found a rhythm against the Bulldog starters.  This was a statement game for Wilson, as many felt the team played well below par against Township just three weeks prior in a 27-14 Bulldog victory. This time around things went closer to script.

Up next for the 11-0 Bulldogs are the 9-2 Cumberland Valley Eagles, the 7th seed in the D3-AAAA playoffs. This is the third consecutive season that the Bulldogs and Eagles are meeting in the District playoffs. In 2008, the Bulldogs dismantled an over-matched CV team in the District Championship, 42-7, in Hershey, PA. Last season, however, the Eagles got revenge on the Bulldogs home turf. The game went down to the wire as the Eagles upset Wilson, 28-21, and they then went on to defeat Bishop McDevitt (who has since dropped to AAA) in double OT to claim the 2009 District 3 AAAA title. So, yes, there is quite a rivalry here. Should be a great one. Game starts at 7pm from Gurski Stadium, Friday, November 19th.

First Downs: 16
Rushing Attempts / Yards / TDs: 30 / 305 / 4
Passing Attempts / Yards / TDs: 19 / 123 / 2
Total Yards: 428
Penalties / Yards: 5 / 35

First Downs Allowed: 6
Rushing Attempts / Yards / TDs Allowed: 16 / 3 / 1
Passing Attempts / Yards / TDs Allowed: 31 / 160 / 2
Total Yards Allowed: 163

Passing: Zweizig - 9 of 14, 108 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Rushing: Gillin - 10 carries, 172 yards, 3 TDs, 0 fumbles
Receiving: Mathias - 2 catches, 51 yards, 2 TDs

Tackles: Simcox & Mathias - 3
Interceptions: Mathias & Gillin - 1

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wilson Defeats Blue Streaks, 48-21, in District 3 AAAA Playoff Opener

The Wilson Bulldogs methodically beat down the Blue Streaks in the 2nd meeting of the two squads this season. The PIAA AAAA District 3 opener for both teams ended the way their meeting 4 weeks ago did, with a Bulldogs victory. Wilson marched to a 42-0 halftime lead behind the brilliant running of junior RB/DB Rodney Gillin. He and senior WR/DB Connor Mathias were the sparks Wilson needed. Both contributed offensively and defensively. This was Wilson's 27th all-time victory against the Blue Streaks. Manheim Township mustered almost nothing on both sides of the ball against Wilson's starters. All 21 Township points came in the 2nd half against Wilson's 2nd & 3rd teams. With the victory Wilson improves to 11-0 on the season and will host the 7th-seeded Cumberland Valley Eagles at Gurski Stadium next Friday. CV beat Spring Grove by a score of 35-21 in their opener tonight.  This will be the 3rd straight season in which Wilson & Cumberland Valley face-off in the District 3 playoffs. Should be an entertaining game.

A longer recap filled with stats. will be posted tomorrow eventually. Gillin is very close to breaking the Wilson single season rushing record...

UPDATE: Gillin finished with 172 yards rushing, all in the first half.  He's now 106 yards shy of breaking the school single-season rushing record (Pete Gilmore, 1999 - 1,810 yards).


REMINDER: Wilson vs. Manheim Township tonight @ 7pm

Get there early. Support the team. Bring home a win. GO BULLDOGS.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

PREVIEW: 2010 Playoffs, Game 1

2010 PIAA District 3 AAAA Playoffs

Where: John Gurski Stadium, West Lawn, PA
When: 7:00 PM, Friday, November 12th, 2010

  • The Bulldogs went perfect through the Lancaster-Lebanon League (Section 1) once again, compiling a 7-0 league schedule (10-0 overall). This 2010 season was their 10th undefeated regular season in program history, dating back to 1945. With their week 10 defeat of Warwick, Wilson extended their league unbeaten streak to a L-L record of 22 games. Their last league loss? Manheim Township, in Manheim, on October 26th, 2007. Over the 10 games this season Wilson has accumulated 400 points scored while only surrendering 89. Average game score? 40-9. The biggest reason for the Bulldogs success this season has not been senior QB Zach Zweizig, but junior RB Rodney Gillin, who has amassed 1,532 rushing yards on 148 attempts, good for an average of over 10 yards per rush. The 25 TDs he's scored isn't too shabby either. His rushing total places him 5th on the Wilson season rushing record list. He'd need a shade under 300 yards during the playoffs to break the school record, set by Pete Gilmore in 1999 (1,810 yards).
  • The Blue Streaks were streaky during the 2010 season, finishing with a 5-5 record (4-3 in league). They won their final game vs Hempfield to secure their place in the field of 16. Township averaged ~30 points per game but surrendered ~28. Township last won the Lancaster-Lebanon (Section 1) title in 2007, running through the league undefeated. Their most dangerous player is #6 Quint Miller, a hybrid RB/WR/Returner. He touched the ball on offense 85 times during the regular season, amassing 850 yards and 7 TDs combined on the ground and through the air. Township is a bit more balanced this year than in years past, though still leans on the running game more so than the pass.
  • Wilson leads the all-time series 26-9-1, including their victory over the Blue Streaks a month ago in Gurski Stadium (27-14). As previously mentioned, the Streaks' last win versus the Bulldogs came in 2007.

Helmet images courtesy PA Helmet Project.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

2010 Playoff Bracket - Games Nov. 12/13

An updated 2010 PIAA AAAA Playoff Bracket is available at EasternPaFootball.com. You can see all of the matchups for this coming week.

As stated earlier, Wilson will host Manheim Township, a Lancaster-Lebanon (Section 1) rival that the Bulldogs already toppled once this year. Should the Bulldogs defeat the Blue Streaks again, Wilson would face the winner of the (10) Spring Grove/(7) Cumberland Valley game. Potential District 3 semifinal opponent? Governor Mifflin.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rematch in Round 1: Bulldogs Host Streaks to Start D-3 Playoffs

According to Rod Frisco, the D-3 (AAAA) playoffs are all but set, with only today's Harrisburg-McDevitt game preventing finalization of the field. Frisco has the seeds looking like this, with scenarios based on a Harrisburg win and loss. McDevitt is now AAA and does not compete with Wilson anymore.
Most of the Class AAAA spots are set, but the result of the Bishop McDevitt at Harrisburg game will have a bearing on some of the matchups.

Here are the AAAA pairings with a Harrisburg win:

No. 16 Conestoga Valley at No. 1 Dallastown
No. 9 McCaskey at No. 8 Red Lion
No. 12 Cedar Cliff at No. 5 Daniel Boone
No. 13 William Penn at No. 4 Governor Mifflin
No. 14 Penn Manor at No. 3 Harrisburg
No. 11 Warwick at No. 6 Central Dauphin
No. 10 Spring Grove at No. 7 Cumberland Valley
No. 15 Manheim Twp. at No. 2 Wilson

Here are the AAAA pairings with a McDevitt win:

No. 16 Conestoga Valley at No. 1 Dallastown
No. 9 McCaskey at No. 8 Red Lion
No. 12 Cedar Cliff at No. 5 Daniel Boone
No. 13 Penn Manor at No. 4 Harrisburg
No. 14 William Penn at No. 3 Governor Mifflin
No. 11 Warwick at No. 6 Central Dauphin
No. 10 Spring Grove at No. 7 Cumberland Valley
No. 15 Manheim Twp. at No. 2 Wilson

So, the result of the Harrisburg-McDevitt game does not affect Wilson's round 1 matchup.

The Bulldogs toppled the Blue Streaks three weeks ago in Gurski Stadium, 27-14. The rematch in the first round of the District 3 playoffs will be this Friday, November 12th, at 7pm in West Lawn.

If Wilson would beat Township for the second time in a month, and all top seeds win, Wilson would face Cumberland Valley (7th seed) in Gurski Stadium the following Friday night. This would be the third consecutive year the teams met in the D-3 playoffs.