In it’s second season as the Windber offense, the old-school single wing has produced a single-A District 5 football championship.

The Ramblers offense opened up a 20-point lead and the defense did the rest as the Ramblers beat Tussey Mountain 42-7 on Friday night at Bedford High School.

For the Ramblers, it was a revenge of sorts after getting bounced in a first-round playoff game last year.

“After last year’s lack of success, we were committed to ourselves to come out here and win a district championship,” said veteran Windber coach Phil DeMarco, whose Ramblers won the program’s fourth district title. “I have to give all the credit to the seniors and the coaching staff. They have hung in there all year and I think we have taken a step in the right direction as far as the single wing is concerned.”

Aaron Peterson and Matt Andrascik each scored twice for the Ramblers, while Matt Wilson added a touchdown catch and Patrick Ferrante ran in another.

“It feels good that we were running on all cylinders tonight,” said Wilson, who returned last week after suffering a collarbone injury earlier in the season.

“The offensive line was blocking real well and had a good push up front.”

Defensively, Wilson picked off another pass, adding to the two interceptions he had against Meyersdale on Nov. 11. Josh Kotula added another pick, and the Ramblers also recovered a pair of fumbles.

And unlike last week, when the top-seeded Ramblers coughed up the ball five times, Windber protected the football against the sixth-seeded Titans (5-7), only allowing one turnover, an interception by Chris Neuder.

“We’re 10-1 and I know what we have to deal with next week, the No. 1 team in the state,” DeMarco said. “Whoever wins (today) between Duquesne and Rochester definitely will be the No. 1 team in the state. But hey, we might as well start at the top and see what we can do.”

Windber quarterback Brad Dale wasted no time getting the Ramblers on the board early, connecting with Wilson on just the fourth play of the game, a 34-yard strike. Coupled with the first of Dominic Balash’s three extra-points, the Ramblers led 7-0 just over 2 minutes in.

Peterson’s first touchdown came from a yard out later in the first quarter, but the Titans’ Josh Eichelberger was able to block the point-after attempt.

Andrascik scored nearly 5 minutes into the second quarter, taking a direct snap three yards off the right side of the line.

“Our offensive line, they were committed tonight that we were going to run the football and they did a great job up front,” DeMarco said.

Neuder scored the lone Tussey Mountain touchdown with 1:50 left in the first half and Waylon Corbin added an extra point, bringing the Titans within 20-7 at halftime.

Andrascik and Peterson each added 1-yard touchdown runs in the third quarter, and Ferrante took a hand-off from Kotula nine-yards early in the fourth.

“It’s been a while since we have gotten to compete for (the district title),” Dale said. “It’s just great to win it and move on to the next round

“It’s the second year that we’ve run (the single wing) and it’s starting to come together. It’s firing on all cylinders right now.”



Matt Jordan can be reached at 532-5080 or mjordan@tribdem.com.

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