Defense and depth power Heidelberg past?Wilmington
The way Heidelberg linebacker Will Lance sees it, it doesn’t matter who is on the field for his team’s defense.
In the No. 13 Student Princes 66-12 win over Wilmington Saturday, HU kept bringing in different guys, and those different guys kept getting the same result.
“We’re everywhere,” said Lance, a Shelby graduate who had a career game with a team-high 10 tackles and two sacks. “We’re four, five deep.”
It sure seemed that way. Thirty-two players took the field for Heidelberg’s defense, but the Quakers’ scoring consisted of two plays – touchdown passes from Wilmington quarterback Brandon Arehart to Jeremy Duncan for 46 and 52 yards, respectively. Other than that, the small village of Heidelberg defenders held firm.
Led by Lance.
“He was everywhere today, wasn’t he?” Heidelberg coach Mike Hallett said. “He was making plays all over the place, and he’s a guy who keeps getting better.”
Arehart threw for 409 yards Saturday, but he was sacked five times. Along with Lance, Ryan Malloy had two sacks and Gage Falcone had one.
The Student Princes (3-0, 2-0 Ohio Athletic Conference) also picked off Arehart three times. Wilmington started the game with the ball, and the Quakers came out in the hurry-up. Arehart completed his first three passes, moving the Quakers to the Heidelberg 33.
But Arehart’s next pass was intercepted by Heidelberg corner Larry Massey. Heidelberg went on to score five straight touchdowns.
“My momentum was all the way down, because they kept attacking me,” Massey said of Wilmington’s first drive. “As soon as I got the pick, it changed the whole aspect of the game, really.”
Chase Bauer also intercepted Arehart, and then, in the fourth quarter, reserve defensive back Scott Gwisdalla intercepted and returned the ball 85 yards for a touchdown.
“He hasn’t played a ton of varsity; he’s more of a JV guy,” Hallett said of Gwisdalla. “But he got an opportunity today and made a great play and had an outstanding effort, cutting back twice and getting in the end zone.”
As for the offense, it was a another big day. Quarterback Michael Mees threw for three touchdowns and 231 yards, and he didn’t even play the whole first half. Woodmore product Jon Sandwisch replaced him, running for a touchdown and throwing for two more.
“That was the plan from the get-go; Jon had a good week of practice,” Hallett said. “I wanted to get him reps. We’ve got to get him ready to play.”
HU fullback Aaron Kapelka, a Hopewell-Loudon graduate who caught a touchdown pass early, said the offense has confidence in Sandwisch.
“He could be our starter too,” Kapelka said. “He’s a heck of a player. When he comes in off the bench he does a heck of a job.”
Donteea Dye put up big numbers for the second week in a row, with six catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
Both touchdowns were impressive. On his first one, he caught a low pass from Mees and outran defenders for a 30-yard score. His second came in the second quarter, when he leaped in the left corner of the end zone, brought the ball down, and made sure to keep his feet in bounds.
Also scoring touchdowns for HU were tight end Derek Hug (26-yard completion), Cartel Brooks (2-yard run), Ryan Fischer (40-yard completion) and Zach Hogya (35-yard pass).
To top things off, reserve kicker A.J. Morrison drilled a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
The 66 points were the most points the Student Princes have scored in a game since 1950. In truth, they could have had more. Fischer had a punt return for a TD called back by penalty just before halftime, and Heidelberg had the ball inside the Wilmington 5 in the final minutes, but opted to run one rush and go to the victory formation.
Duncan finished with big numbers for the Quakers (0-3, 0-2). He finished with 11 catches for 204 yards.