Every playoff run must end somewhere. For the Pittsville football team, the end came at Dorais Field.
Glenwood City beat Pittsville 48-26 to derail the Panthers’ bid to reach the state championship game for the first time in school history in a WIAA Division 7 state semifinal.
Both teams featured running backs with breakaway speed.
Glenwood City’s Isaac Tuttle and Jeff Kopacz both topped 100 yards, but Kobacz did so much sooner than his teammate. The senior cracked 100 before the half and finished with 173, while Tuttle took until the fourth quarter and finished with 113.
“It’s hard to stop that team,” Pittsville coach Dan Hahn said. “They send a pile of people at you on every play. We could score on them, but we couldn’t stop them in the second half. They’re a good team, with a nice group of athletic kids.”
For Pittsville, Nathan Dupee and Alec Kolar were the main threats.
Pittsville’s big plays helped keep them on pace with Glenwood City’s methodical double wingback offense.
After the Hilltoppers scored on their opening drive, the Panthers answered with a 39-yard run by Dupee, who scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving.
All of the Panthers’ scoring plays were for more than 20 yards, with the shortest being the 23-yard touchdown reception by Dupee, which was a bounce of good luck.
Waiting for Brad Wesely’s pass was Glenwood City defensive back Marcus Kadinger, who tipped the ball behind him into the waiting hands of Dupee, who walked into the end zone to pull the Panthers even with the Hilltoppers at 26-26 with 9 minutes, 4 seconds left in the third quarter.
“Our big-play ability was working great in the first half,” Wesely said. “We had Nathan bouncing outside, and our line stepped up huge in the first half. In the second half they must have changed something because they were able to stop us.”
The Panthers punted only once, but turned the ball over on downs twice in the second half.
Glenwood City scored once in the third quarter and put the game out of reach with a two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Pittsville, which was 1-3 after four weeks of the season, won eight straight games to get this far in the playoffs.
“We had a great year,” Hahn said. “We had a nice group of kids who worked hard and didn’t quit after they were 1-3. Instead of packing it in, they worked to get better and had a great ride.”
GC: Jeff Kopacz 16 run (Isaac Tuttle run)
P: Nathan Dupee 39 run (Run failed)
GS: Nate Mrdutt 1 run (Run failed)
P: Kyle Kolar 58 pass from Brad Wesely (Run failed)
GC: Kopacz 36 run (Run failed)
GC: Nick Mrdutt 1 run (Run failed)
P: Dupee 57 run (Jake Allind pass from Paul Downs)
P: Dupee 23 pass from Wesely (Kick failed)
GC: Tuttle 22 run (Tuttle run)
GC: Ni.Mrdutt 1 run (Kopacz pass from Ni.Mrdutt)
GC: Tuttle 3 run (Run failed)
Rushing: GC, Kopacz 21-173, Tuttle 22-113, Ni.Mrdutt 9-25; P, Dupee 11-85, Alec Kolar 7-28.
Passing: GC, Ni.Mrdutt 7-4-47-1-0; P, Wesely 12-7-159-0-1
Receiving: GC, Kopacz 2-19, Todd Petersen 1-15, Jacob Hierlmeier 1-13; P, Allind 2-14, K.Kolar 4-122, Dupee 1-23.
Records: Glenwood City 12-1; Pittsville 9-4.