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It was more of the same for the Wilmington High football team Friday night.

Another game, another easy win.

With one exception.

Greyhounds coach Brandon Phillian strayed from his two sure-footed kickers, Ethan Winters and Daniel Hartwell, to pass for a trio of two-point conversions to open an eventual 65-0 District 10, nonregion road victory over Iroquois at John Post Stadium.

It was a battle of two teams headed in opposite directions. Wilmington, which clinched a Region 4, Class 2A playoff berth last week with a 45-0 rout of Greenville, is now 7-0. Iroquois slipped to 0-7.

The Greyhounds opened with a 5-yard pass from quarterback Caelan Bender to Junior McConahy, followed by a 17-yard run by Luke Edwards and a 57-yard pass from Bender to Mason Reed. 

Sandwiched in between were three conversion passes from Bender — to Shane Cox, Reed and again to Cox.

By the time it was over, Wilmington held a 24-0 lead before the dust barely had settled from the opening kickoff.

“We felt that going up there, we wanted to work on some game situations that we had not tried yet this season,” Greyhounds coach Brandon Phillian said. “One thing we hadn’t really done was go for two, so we wanted to get some work in with that.”

After that, Winters and Hartwell took turns splitting the uprights on five remaining kicks and then added a pair of field goals in the fourth — Winters’ was for 29 yards and Hartwell’s for 27.

Hartwell joined the football team after starring for the Wilmington soccer team last season.

“Daniel was going to do both soccer and football and as the summer progressed, he decided to stick with football and we couldn’t be happier,” Philian said. “What a great problem to have — two outstanding kickers. And they work so well with each other and kind of coach each other. We are very fortunate to have both.”

Bender was 6 of 9 through the air for 148 yards. He also rushed 8 yards for Wilmington’s fourth touchdown. Darren Miller returned a fumble 15 yards to stake the ‘Hounds to a 38-0 lead after the first quarter.

The final three TDs all came in the second period courtesy of Edwards (35 yards), Miller (3 yards) and Gage DeCaprio (28 yards).

“I couldn’t be happier with the way that Caelan is orchestrating the offense,” Phillian said. “It is so important for the quarterback and the play-caller (Phillian) to work well together and he’s definitely become an extension of me.”

Phillian did get some good news Friday about star junior running back Ethan Susen. Susen, who has been sidelined the last two weeks, was confirmed to have a slight tear of the medial cruciate ligament.

“He’s going to be out a few more weeks and we need to give it time to heal, but he will probably be back for the playoffs,” Phillian said. “That is definitely a positive for us.”

Wilmington hosts Sharpsville on Friday night.


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