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Wilson Hall needed a boost after starting its football season with a 0-3 record. The Barons got just the boost they needed by hosting Pinewood Prep in a SCISA 3A game on Friday at Spencer Field.
After a back-and-forth first half, the Barons took control after the break and never let go in a 30-14 victory.
"We needed something, we needed some success," said WH head coach Adam Jarecki. "It's been kind of a struggle here lately, but they did what they had to do. We turned the ball over a little bit and didn't play as well as we wanted to, but we found a way to finish it out, and I'm proud of them."
The Barons found that success early, getting off to a near perfect start. After forcing a Pinewood Prep punt, Wilson Hall was quick to get on the board. The early spark came from Emory Moore, as he ripped off a 33-yard run to put the Barons in the red zone. Tate Sistare then kept the ball on an option for an 8-yard score. Wilson Hall was without its placekicker, so it had to go for the 2-point conversion all night. Graham VanPatten was able to convert for the Barons as they took an 8-0 lead.
Pinewood Prep quickly responded, chipping away at Wilson Hall until Jaalam Scott punched in a 2-yard score. The Panthers converted for two as well, and the game was locked in an 8-8 tie with four minutes left in the first quarter.
Wilson Hall came back with a strong drive of its own. VanPatten and Moore were back at it, as each had long runs before Moore got the call at the goal line to put Wilson Hall on the board again. VanPatten again converted for two as Wilson Hall went up 16-8 just before the end of the first. The back-and-forth score continued to open the second. Pinewood Prep found a gap in the Wilson Hall secondary early in the quarter, as Addison Venittelli caught a pass from Myron Wigfall, slipped away from a Baron defender and went 37 yards for the score. Pinewood Prep failed to convert for two and would be held off the board for the rest of the game.
The defenses took over for the remainder of the half as there were turnovers left and right. After a big catch by Moore put the Barons in prime scoring position, Wilson Hall coughed it up and Pinewood Prep took over. The Panthers then returned the favor a few plays later as Wilson Hall took over at the 38. The Barons took advantage of the short field as Doc Walker punched in a short score to put Wilson Hall up 22-14 at the half.
The turnovers didn't stop after the break as Wilson Hall fumbled on its first drive after halftime. The Barons then appeared to force a three-downs-and-out series but were called for roughing the kicker on the punt. The Wilson Hall defense bent, but it didn't break as Pinewood Prep turned the ball over on downs at the Wilson Hall 10.
The Barons then had to punt after running a few minutes off the clock, but the Panthers muffed the punt and Campbell deHoll jumped on the ball for Wilson Hall at the 31. VanPatten then did the rest. He ran 29 yards to get the Barons down to the 2 before punching in a score on the following play. Moore then converted for 2, leaping a defender in the process to extend the Wilson Hall lead to 30-14 just before the end of the third.
The final big play of the game again came from Moore, as he pulled in an interception for the Barons early in the fourth quarrter. VanPatten nearly followed the pick with a 70-yard run down to the 10-yard line, but the play was called back for a hold. Moore followed with a 44-yard run of his own, but the Baron offense stalled out.
VanPatten has been the heart of the Wilson Hall offense this season, but the Barons finally had someone else step up against Pinewood Prep, as Moore made big play after big play all night long. Paired with some strong play by Sistare and a few strong runs from Walker, Wilson Hall was able to move the ball well."We established drives on offense and moved it pretty good all night, really," said Jarecki. "I'm proud of my quarterback (Sistare). He made some nice decisions on the option game. He did a nice job. We gotta have everybody going for us to have any success. Graham's special, but we've gotta have other people step up because he's just one guy. We can't do it all with one."
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