Before the season, Syracuse commit Austin Wilson said he liked the make-up of this year's team better than last year's squad. Part of the reason was playing from start to finish and the mentality to come back from early deficits. That proved to come in handy as East Pennsboro came from behind to pull out their second win in league play.
"It was an exciting game," Wilson recalled. "We started off down 14-0 in the first quarter. They came out firing and we started out a little slow. We ended up coming back. With about four minutes left in the second quarter, we had a nice drive. We went down and I ended up having a rushing touchdown. Then our defense was back out on the field and stripped the ball. We got the ball at about the 30-yard line. We scored right before half and it was 14-14 at half.
"We scored again in the third quarter. I had a 45-yard rushing touchdown. That made it 21-14 and then our defense stepped up. We closed it out."
Normally, East Pennsboro depends on their explosive passing game to put up points and lead them to victory. However, because of how they were defended, they relied on their running game in this one.
"I only threw like six times this game," Wilson explained. "Their defense came in ready to play how they thought we were going to play, just like the week before against Boiling Springs. We keyed on the running game a lot more.
"They dropped their linebackers and it opened a big running lane for me up the middle. I had over 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns."
Because of the extra reliance on the running game, East Pennsboro's starting running back gained over 200 yards. Chase Shulda had his most productive game of the season. Wilson says it shows the versatility of their offense.
"I think they came into the game worrying so much about our pass that they dropped a lot of people out of the box," he described. "Our lane stepped up and gave him some pretty big holes to run through. He ran hard and had about 35 carries.
"He's not used to getting the ball that many times. It showed he's a really good back. He had around 215 or 220 yards."
Moving to 2-0 in league play is big, but Wilson knows there is still a lot of football to be played. Still, he's happy with how the team has played so far.
"We feel really good," Allen said. "We feel really confident. Like I told my team Friday after the game, we have a totally different aspect than we did last year with this team. The young guys on this team are playing hard start to finish. Last year if we got hit early like we did we probably would have laid down and not finished strong. This team we played all the way through the fourth quarter.
"But we haven't accomplished anything yet. We're still only five weeks into the season, and two games into league play. We're just going to look to finish out strong."
This week, East Pennsboro faces Trinity. Wilson says this is their big rivalry game. It will be a home game, and should be an intense battle.
With Syracuse on a bye week, Wilson has some advice for them. He believes, if he were there, he could rally the troops to get ready for conference play and bounce back from the poor start.
"If I was at Syracuse right now and I was going into this bye week after a tough loss last week to Minnesota, I would definitely just be rallying the team together," Wilson declared. "Just sit down and work on the little things. Just try to get better and work on mistakes from the week before."