COLLINWOOD—Following back-to-back playoff appearances, Wickliffe opened the 2018 season at Collinwood with high expectations. The Blue Devils got all they could handle from the Railroaders but pulled out a 21-6 win at The Rail Yard.
“Collinwood has some really tough athletic kids,” said Wickliffe coach Marce Porcello. “Both teams played hard all night until the end. I’m proud of our effort tonight.”
Senior Jaylen Bowers opened the scoring with a 57-yard run and senior Brad Dieterich added the extra point to give the Blue Devils an early 7-0 lead.
Wickliffe added to its lead when senior Isaac Pettway scored from two yards out with 5:50 left in the opening quarter that pushed the lead to 14-0.
Pettway entered the game needing just 24 yards to become Wickliffe’s all-time leading rusher. He carried the ball 16 times for 67 yards.
Collinwood senior Jayshon Bester connected with sophomore Velonte Paul on a 42-yard touchdown strike that cut Wickliffe’s lead to 14-6 with 3:30 left in the first half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter but Wickliffe used a 30-yard touchdown pass from Dieterich to sophomore Chase Fortkamp to seal their win.
Wickliffe amassed just 170 total yards of offense in the win.
“They packed the box and blitzed a lot,” Porcello said. “At times it hurt us, but our kids stayed patient and played hard all night.”
Pettway led the Blue Devils on the ground and Fortkamp hauled in a team-high 47 receiving yards. Dieterich completed 6-of-12 passes for 68 yards.
Collinwood wasn’t much more successful against a Wickliffe defense that allowed just six points and 184 yards of offense.
“Our game plan was to stop their QB, No. 4, and our kids executed the game plan very well,” Porcello said. “It was a battle all night. Both teams played extremely hard.”
Senior DeNarre McRae recorded an interception for the Blue Devils.
Wickliffe returns to action next Friday when the Fairview Warriors visit Memorial Stadium.