Iola has trouble slowing down Wellsville in loss

The Mustangs had a difficult time stopping one the most dangerous offenses in the Pioneer League when they fell to Wellsville at home Friday.



September 8, 2023 - 10:50 PM

Iola's Tre Wilson avoids a Wellsville defender. Photo by Quinn Burkitt

Iola kept close to Wellsville in the first half, but a swing of momentum around halftime ultimately sunk the Mustangs for their first loss of the season at home Friday night. 

The home team allowed Wellsville to score three touchdowns in the first half and two more in the second half before scoring a touchdown of their own late in the fourth quarter. Iola fell 35-6.

The Mustangs (1-1) managed to keep a dangerous Wellsville offense at bay in the opening minutes of the game, but the Eagles struck 10 minutes in. Pete Dorsey hit Dezmond Winton for a three-yard touchdown pass and the 7-0 lead.

The Iola Mustangs take the field pregame. REGISTER/QUINN BURKITT

Iola stepped it up big time defensively in the second quarter. The Mustangs held the Eagles on fourth down and got the ball back at the seven-yard line after Wellsville was driving within the 10-yard line. 

“The defense played decently. We still didn’t make plays or execute every time, but for the most part the defense was pretty good,” said Iola head coach David Daugharthy. “They came up with some big fourth down stops too.”

The defense stayed on the field most of the first half for Iola as the offense came up short, tiring out many Mustang defenders.

“When your offense is stalling, the defense is on the field so much of the time. It’s tough,” said Daugharthy.

The Eagles went ahead by two scores near the end of the first half when Winton found Brody Lee open for a five-yard touchdown pass and the 13-0 lead. 

Iola’s Ben Kerr dodges a Wellsville Eagle. REGISTER/QUINN BURKITT

A second was then left on the clock in the first half with Wellsville in possession of the ball at the 49-yard line. Dorsey proceeded to fling a 49-yard touchdown pass down the middle for the 21-0 halftime deficit for Iola.

Dorsey then found Matt Newhouse for a 16-yard touchdown connection across the middle of the field and the 29-0 advantage. 

Wellsville scored one more time in the third quarter when Dorsey found Brody Lee open downfield for a 36-yard touchdown pass and the 35-0 lead. 

The lone score for Iola came in the fourth quarter when Tre Wilson ripped off a 44 yard touchdown run to bring the Mustangs back within a 35-7 deficit.

“That was an explosive play, and that’s what he’s capable of,” said Daugharthy. “Tre can take any ball to the house. He’s pretty effective at what he does, and I think he showed it tonight.”

Iola’s Tre Wilson, right, and a teammate celebrate after a touchdown. REGISTER/QUINN BURKITT

Wilson went for a team-high 57 yards and one touchdown while Cortland Carson accumulated 27 rushing yards. Landon Weide found Korbin Cloud for a 36-yard connection, Iola’s longest pass play of the day. 

Defensively, Drayden Reiter had a team-high six tackles while Ben Kerr had five tackles. Mac Leonard and Jordan Kaufman each had one sack.