CANTON- The Canton Warriors improved to 3-0 after defeating Wyalusing 44-15 on Friday night.
After losing a fumble on the opening drive, Canton quarterback Uriah Bailie made up for the turnover with 55 yard touchdown run the next time he took a snap for the first score of the game.
After a Wyalusing three and out, Canton’s next possession also ended in a rushing touchdown. Carson Stiner carried the ball in from one yard away after Bailie connected with Nick May for a 36 yard pass to the goal line.
With a 13-0 lead, Canton’s defense was stout. The Warrior defenders forced two consecutive three and outs against Wyalusing’s offense giving the ball back to Bailie and company for another score with 8:53 left in the first half. To set up the eight yard rushing score by Bailie, Bailie connected with May again for a 53 yard streak up the Canton sideline.
Before the end of the first half, Canton’s defense would force two more three and outs and score two more times. Once on a breakaway 50 yard run by Carson Stiner and another on a 23 yard Ben Knapp field goal to bring the score to 31-0 at halftime.
Knapp was held in check on offense for most of the night due to Wyalusing’s gameplan, but he still was a force on defense and special teams. The 6’5” junior swatted passes, kicked field goals and even converted a two point conversion on a botched play from the kicker position.
“Their game plan was to take him away,” Canton head coach Tyler Sechrist said after the game. “They were pressing him with a guy over top, we just had to go to other things. That put another guy out of the box so we could run the ball a lot better. But that’s going to happen with a kid like him, teams are going to key on him and he’s not going to have the best day everyday, but he stepped up in all facets of the game.”
Wyalusing was able to find their footing in the second half against Canton’s second stringers. Quarterback Mitchell Burke was able to find Kashawn Cameron on a deep pass after evading multiple sacks from the Canton linemen for a 46 yard score.
After the score, Canton’s first stringers came back on the field and ended up turning the ball over on downs deep inside Wyalusing territory. The Canton defense, again, forced a three and out and gained great field position inside the Rams 15 after a poor punt.
Owen Wesneski then pounded in a six yard rushing touchdown to extend the Canton lead to 37-7 after the extra point.
Wesneski would end up scoring one more time in the game, two drives later on a nine yard run.
Before the final whistle, Wyalusing was able to find the end zone again on another long touchdown pass. This time Burke found sophomore Isiah Way for a 36 yard touchdown with 1:39 left in the game. Burke would also connect with Shane Fuhrey, who played wide receiver in the game after starting as the team’s quarterback last week, on a slant play for the two point conversion to make the final score 44-15 Canton.
“I’m happy with the performance,” Sechrist said after the game. “We started a little slow, but that’s the way we have been starting. “
“It was real good,” Sechrist continued to say about his defense’s performance against their NTL foe. “Other than getting beat here on a deep pass, and that last touchdown they had their starters in against our JV’s so I don’t really count that one, but other than that, they’re supposed to get the shutout- they’ve been playing really well.”