Wooster defense dominates in 21-0 win over New Philadelphia
WOOSTER – After giving up 49 points last week at Wadsworth, Wooster could have been angry. They could have dwelt on the loss, using it as fuel for Week 3.
Instead, the generals put it in the past. They knew they weren’t that team. They knew losing 49 points would not happen again.
Whatever they did, it worked.
Wooster roughly hosted New Philadelphia in the Ohio Cardinal Conference with a 21-0 win, earning its first shutout since Week 2 of the 2020 season.
“I’ll tell you what I’m proud of – the response from our kids this week,” Wooster coach Austin Holter said. “We had our best week of training, without a doubt. It’s a credit to coach (Keaton) Leppla and our team. We spend time on Sunday planning games and part of our conversation this week was: “How can we train more effectively for our children and put them in a position to have a lot of energy and put in a lot of effort in training.
“I thought they had a great plan. Obviously defensively you look at the strategy (Leppla) put in place this week…to keep this team at zero points. I’m so proud of these guys- the.”
The Generals’ defense completely pinned down the Quakers, limiting big plays and regularly forcing them into tight spots. New Philadelphia, playing its first conference game as a member of the OCC, played behind the chains for much of the first half due to penalties and negative plays. Wooster’s speed and strength forced the Quakers to make mistakes, whether it was a waiting penalty or a turnover. It was a complete difference from last week, when Wadsworth had short fields to work with due to five Wooster turnovers.
“We left that behind,” Howman-Williams said of the Wadsworth loss. “We couldn’t translate that into this game. We keep all that in the past.”
One of the Generals’ captains and the leader in the middle of the defense at inside linebacker, Howman-Williams was all over the place against the Quakers. Tasked with keeping tabs on New Philadelphia QB Keaton Fausel, Howman-Williams blasted several plays near or behind the line of scrimmage and helped ensure the Quakers didn’t reel off many plays.
“His maturation has been phenomenal,” Holter said. “His work ethic this offseason and through the season has been extremely impressive. Michael is silent time. He’s not one of those leaders who is extremely vocal. He’s not going to be the rah-rah guy. He’s showing the ‘example.”
Howman-Williams was quick to deflect credit, showing his commitment to Wooster’s team approach.
“My defensive line is really great overall,” Howman-Williams said. “Our defensive backs did really well today. We were just putting the little pieces together in practice and we’re just building on that.”
Wooster’s defensive performance was definitely a team effort, from Jaymin Walker’s first sack setting the tone, to Tyler Boreman blasting plays down the line and Hayden Meese intercepting two passes, including one at the end of the first half that thwarted New Philadelphia’s best score. chance.
Wooster’s offense got off to a good start to help the offense as well, scoring on its first two possessions – both capped off by Seth Chamberlin’s touchdowns. The senior running back scored from two yards out to give Wooster a 7-0 lead at 5:46 of the first quarter before running through several defenders on an 11-yard run to give the Generals a 14-0 lead with 8 : 31 to go in the second quarter.
Chamberlin finished with 84 yards on 25 carries. Howman-Williams also handled the ball well, going for 60 yards on just five carries. Luke Snowbarger took most of the snaps at QB, going 11-for-19 for 116 yards, including 72 for Bronson Morgan, who earned a few jumps against the Quakers defense.
Meese scored the Generals’ final touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run.
New Philadelphia passed for 137 total yards, averaging 2.5 yards per play as its offense struggled to find its footing for three weeks. The Quakers have scored just one touchdown all season.
Sophomore QB Fausel showed glimpses of doing good things as a rusher and Trevor Bean led the Quakers with 45 rushing yards on 16 carries.