HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Berwick, Wilk Off To Flying Start
BERWICK — High school football season is, once again, off to a good start in Berwick.
The Bulldogs opened their new campaign Friday at Crispin Field where all-state junior Teagan Wilk and freshman Aiden Mason each added to their highlight reels, scoring two touchdowns apiece in a 42-0 rout of Abington Heights.
“You see the explosiveness is there on both sides of the ball and that’s very encouraging,” said third-year head coach Frank Sheptock, who improved to 3-0 in season-openers. “So I’m very pleased.”
Wilk stole the show in the first quarter with a 33-yard touchdown run in which he used two juke moves to dodge four total defenders downfield.
Wilk’s other offensive highlight came on a screen pass he caught at the line of scrimmage. He ran it 7 yards for a touchdown to give Berwick a 21-0 lead.
The 5-foot-10, 181-pound Wilk also made the defensive play of the game in the second half when he grabbed an interception at the goal line to keep Abington Heights scoreless. Wilk also had a 97-yard kick return called back due to a penalty.
“He’s very athletic, explosive,” Abington Heights head coach Joe Repshis said of Wilk. “Anytime he has the ball in his hands — in any aspect of the game — he has the ability to make a big play and take it the distance.”
Wilk did all his damage with just a handful of touches while running back Owen Shoemaker beat down the Comets defense with his hard-nosed approach.
Shoemaker trudged ahead for 133 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, running behind an offensive line that started Anthony Sisco, Sullivan Slabinski, Aaron Cashman, Noah Craig and Mike Zalutko.
Abington Heights, meanwhile, suffered a handful of sacks and gained only a half-yard per attempt on the ground.
“Our defense played outstanding,” Wilk said. “(Our) offensive line was pushing everybody, it was amazing. Owen Shoemaker really did open up our offense ... and we still got the passing game going on for a little bit with a bunch of big plays.”
Berwick quarterback Alex Force completed 7 of 10 passes for 99 yards including his touchdown pass to Wilk.
Coming out of halftime with a 21-0 advantage, Berwick immediately added to its lead with Mason’s 92-yard kick return for a touchdown. Berwick rounded out the scoring with another Mason score, as well as a quarterback keeper that Peyton Williams took to the end zone.
Early on, Abington Heights did a solid job of moving the ball and finished with 14 first downs.
Quarterback George Tinsley (17 of 28, 159 yards) and tight end Mike Malone (five catches, 63 yards) were each impressive for the Comets.
Malone, however, left the game at the end of the first half with a lower-body injury sustained during a hit. He did not return.
“To come down to Crispin Field, it was a great opportunity and challenge for our team,” Repshis said. “I thought there were things that we did very well; there’s a lot of positives to take from tonight’s game that we will build on starting next week.
“But credit to Berwick. Very good football team.”
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