Wahconah football opens season with rout of Pittsfield
DALTON — New year, same Wahconah Warriors football team. In front of a packed house that included the inaugural class of the Dalton CRA Hall of Fame, the Warriors made an opening-night statement with a 42-12 win over Pittsfield High School on Friday night.
"We have a lot of kids that are young and inexperienced," Wahconah coach Gary Campbell Jr. said, "but when when they come out and execute you can see them gaining a little confidence."
The Warriors lacked opening-night nerves as they marched down the field with a seven-minute opening drive that ended with a three-yard Shea McIlquham touchdown run. The senior added his second touchdown of the night with 32 seconds remaining in the half as quarterback Quinn Gallagher pump-faked a pass underneath before connecting with McIlquham deep for a 39-yard touchdown.
"We've been working hard [preparing for opening night]," Gallagher said. "It was a total team effort. Pittsfield is our rival so we came out excited, it was a big game."
Gallagher had an impressive debut under center for the Warriors, as he finished with 249 yards, three touchdowns and just one interception while connecting on 11 of 13 attempts. His favorite target of the night, Luke Hescock finished with 98 yards on four receptions while Jonah Smith and captain Tom O'Connor brought down touchdown receptions.
Pittsfield captured some of the momentum late in the first half as quarterback Patrick Rindfuss connected with Sincere Moorer for a 10-yard touchdown and entered the half trailing by just eight.
Pittsfield's Emmanual Nda struggled to get anything going in the first half, however, the ground-and-pound game by the Generals helped open up plenty of holes with the help of misdirection in the second half. Nda broke out a 61-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-7 and had 91 of his 133 yards in the second half.
Pittsfield started the second half with the ball and a strong General crowd making noise, but a suffocating defense led by Hescock and Zach Archambault helped silence the roars on and off the field.
"Pittsfield got us pretty good and had a little momentum going into halftime," Campbell said. "To see us come out and regain that [momentum] was really gratifying. I think the kids coming out in the second half did a heck of a job."
The win capped a picture-perfect opening day at Wahconah High School for Campbell and the Warriors.
"I love this place," the 17-year head coach said. "I think what is happening and how we are doing things — there seems like there is a really good vibe in town. We got the Hall Of Fame going with the CRA so people like Jeff Reardon, Dan Duquette, Turk Wendell, just to name a few and all the teams. What a beautiful day for our community —and it is only getting better."
The Dalton CRA will open its Athletic Hall of Fame to the public on Monday. The induction ceremony is Sunday at Wahconah Country Club.
The Warriors hit the road next week as they face Taconic (0-1) at BCC with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday night. The Generals host Northampton with a 7 p.m. start on Saturday night.
Pittsfield 0 6 6 0 — 12
Wahconah 14 0 22 6
W — Shea McIlquham 3 run (pass failed), 4:38
W — Jonah Smith 36 pass from Quinn Gallagher (Zach Archambault run), 0:33.
P — Sincere Moorer 10 pass from Patrick Rindfuss (run failed), 0:18.
W — Archambault 4 run ( Clyas Emerson pass from Gallagher), 7:55.
W — Tom O'Connor 20 pass from Gallagher (Scott Duma kick), 3:58.
P — Emmanual Nda 61 run (pass fail), 2:26.
W — McIlquham 39 pass from Gallagher (Duma kick), 0:32.
W — Jonah Smith 1 run (pass failed), 3:19.
First Downs 7 13
Rushes-yards 32-173 31-141
Com-Att-Int 10-15-0 11-13-1
Passing yards 87 249
Total yards 260 390
Turnovers 0 1
Penalties-yds 7-45 2-20
RUSHING — P: Nda 18-133, Moorer 6-62, Taylor 3 - (-14), Rindfuss 5- (-8). W: Gallagher 5-13, McIlquham 4-14, Ian Graham 10-35, Jon Render 4-46, Archambault 4-22, Ben Noyes 1-3, Smith 3-8.
PASSING — P: Rindfuss 8-12-62, Bryson Jezewski 1-2-27, Nda 1- (-2). W: Gallagher 11-13-249
RECEIVING — P: Nda 1-26, Moorer 3-23, Rindfuss 1 -(-2), Taylor 1-10, Devin Goewey 1-27. W: Hescock 4-98, Render 2-18, Jonah Smith 1-46, Ian Graham 1 - (-2), McIlquham 2-69, O'Connor 1-20.
Jake Mendel can be reached at email@example.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-496-6252.
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