WELLSVILLE - Most defenses facing a talented running back and a mobile quaterback may be seeing double.
For defenses playing Wellsville, they're likely seeing quadruple.
Senior quarterback Jordan Sloan led a quartet of Tiger rushers that amassed over 300 yards, as Wellsville (3-0) handled the Blue Devils with ease, 37-0, on Friday at Nicholson Stadium.
Sloan had a big day with his arm and his legs - but mostly his legs - finishing with 13 carries for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed three of eight passes for forty yards and an interception.
"We have a great backfield," Wellsville coach Rich Wright said. "It starts up front. Our line did a nice job tonight."
Wellsville attacked the Blue Devils (1-2) with an array of running backs, all who picked up impressive chunks of yardage. Junior Zack Mellott finished with 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine carries. Seniors Brendon Carr and Marcus Moxley had 64 and 31 yards, respectively. The Tigers ran for 335 yards overall
"They come at you with four or five different running backs," Lisbon coach Jim Tsilimos said. "They're all athletes. They're well coached and disciplined."
Battling cold temperatures and occasional rain, neither team dared to put the ball in the air often. When either quarterback attempted a pass, the results weren't pretty - the two teams combined for 87 passing yards and two interceptions with no touchdowns.
Sloan, however, managed to make up for it on the ground.
"It's a weapon," Sloan said of his running ability. "I like being a dual quarterback. It helps out the team and it helps me out. I think it's hard to plan for us, because we have so many weapons. You take one away, another shows up."
Wellsville's defense was impressive as well, pitching its second straight shutout and holding Lisbon to 154 offensive yards while forcing three turnovers. Jordan Allen also returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown, his second for the year.
"Jordan's doing a great job returning kicks," Wright said. "We have athletes, and they're making plays when we need 'em too. We didn't get it done through the air, but we made plays on other things."
Lisbon kept Wellsville in check for much of the first quarter, trailing only 7-0 on a 7-yard rushing touchdown by Sloan. Another Sloan touchdown - a 1-yard dash - and a 23 yard field goal by Cavan LeMasters gave the Blue Devils a big, but manageable, 17-0 deficit.
"We had some early opportunities and we didn't convert," Tsilimos said. "They started rolling and we couldn't stop 'em."
Less than two minutes after the break, Allen had his big punt return, and Wellsville was firmly in control.
Lisbon struggled to find any rhythm offensively. Senior runing back Brandon Barnes was held to just 53 yards on 15 rushes. Coming into the game, Barnes had rushed for 236 yards over his first two games. Sophomore quarterback Josh Liberati contributed 47 yards on 14 carries for the Blue Devils.
"We settled down after the first quarter," Wright said. "We had another good defensive performance against a great running back. That was big for us."
The loss is the second straight for Lisbon after starting the season with a comeback victory over Leetonia. With seven regular season games remaining, Tsilimos believes there is considerable time for improvement from his team.
"We have to try to get better," Tsilimos said. "We're young. We need to get better. That's all we can do. There are many facets that we have to get better at. We just couldn't get anything going. They were a little bit better than us tonight."
Wellsville improves its already impressive record to a perfect 3-0, but Inter Tri-County League play begins when the Tigers host Leetonia (2-1) next week. Wright believes his team's season is just getting started.
"3-0 is great," Wright said. "But now we're starting league play. Everyone is 0-0. We know how well coached Leetonia is. They're close to being 3-0 like us. It'll be a great test next week. We're looking forward to it."
W - Jordan Sloan 7 run
W - Jordan Sloan 65 run
W - Cavan LeMasters 23 field goal
W - Jordan Allen 76 punt return
W - Zack Mellott 4 run
W - Zack Mellott 23 run
First downs 716
Total Yards 164412
RUSHING-Lisbon, Brandon Barnes 15-53, Josh Liberati 14-47, Colin Sweeney 5-7 ; Wellsville, Jordan Sloan 13-155, Zack Mellott 9-78, Brendon Carr 6-64, Marcus Moxley 5-31, Vinnie Giordano 1-5, Branzen Grodhaus 2-2
PASSING-Lisbon, Josh Liberati 3-10-45-1; Wellsville, Jordan Sloan 3-5-47-1, Alik Bradford 0-1-0-0
RECEIVING-Lisbon, Josh Craig 2-19, Jagr Groubert 1-26 ; Wellsville, Brendon Carr 1-29, Seth Bradford 1-12, Camden Douglas1-6
INTERCEPTIONS- Lisbon, Brandon Barnes ; Wellsville, Marcus Moxley
FUMBLE RECOVERIES-Lisbon, Spencer Crosser; Wellsville, Seth Bradford, Marvin Brinkley