Wayland-Cohocton football powers to first victory

Mead, Teed, Hanggi and Knudsen scored touchdowns in the win for the Golden Eagles

By Frank Williams
The Express

PENN YAN — On a spring-like Wednesday evening, the Wayland-Cohocton varsity football team hit the road and came home happy after playing spoiler to Marcus Whitman/Bloomfield's Senior Night in a game played in Penn Yan.

Golden Eagles coach Darren Knapp came into the contest with an inspiring attitude which obviously was infectious to his team.

"It was a great night for football, beautiful weather over in Penn Yan. Coming into the game I felt we had a great week of practice and prepped the boys well for Whitman," said Knapp. "It's always tough playing a team on their senior night. Our boys played very well and our offense was able to open up the playbook and move the ball well both on the ground and in the air." 

When the dust had settled and it was all over, Way-Co was a convincing 28-7 winner, marking its first victory of the abbreviated season.

Way-Co's defense stood tall initially after MW/B took the ball downfield into Eagles territory where their drive stalled at the W-C 40 yard line. The defense's performance fired up the offense as the maroon & gold went airborne where Tom Mead connected with Brady Knudsen on a clutch third down catch at the home team's 35. Quarterback Tom Mead called his own number and picked up a big-gainer to the Wildcats' 7 yard line. Moments later running back Caleb Hanggi rammed it into the end zone marking Wayland-Cohocton's first score of the season. Brogan Cotter came on and added an exclamation point with the conversion making the Golden Eagles 7-0 leaders. 

The Golden Eagles defense set up another score in the second quarter when linebacker Jack Mulford both forced and recovered a MW/B fumble deep in their own territory at the 20 yard line. Way-Co got into the end zone again as Tom Mead went up top for a TD pass to Brogan Cotter for the score. Cotter then added the PAT giving the visitors a hard-earned 14-0 lead at the half.

The Bombers came out with renewed vigor in the second half and opened the third period with a score of their own cutting Way-Co's lead in half at 14-7. Both teams exhibited some tough defense in the third. Opening the fourth period Wayland-Cohocton put together a big drive that was highlighted by a Tom Mead 30 yard run. MW/B dug in and had Way-Co 3rd & long, but Mead found Brady Knudsen in the end zone for a 25 yard scoring strike. Brogan Cotter tacked on the extra point giving the Golden Eagles a 21-7 lead. 

The Eagles would flap their wings once more late in the contest when fullback Ben Teed rumbled across the goal line for a touchdown. Cotter's conversion would cap a Way-Co 28-7 win on the road in Week 4. The victory moved Wayland-Cohocton's record to 1-2 as the Eagles had a game with Mynderse in Week 2 cancelled due to COVID concerns in the Blue Devils camp.

Mead went 9 for 18 for 113 yards passing with two touchdowns, plus five carries for 61 yards rushing. Ben Teed had six carries for 25 yards with a TD, while Caleb Hanggi had seven carries for 17 yards and a TD. Brady Knudsen had an impressive seven receptions for 74 yards and a TD. Brogan Cotter added two receptions for 29 yards and a TD, plus a perfect 4-for-4 on PATs. 

Defensively, Jack Mulford had 13 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a sack. Brogan Cotter added four tackles and an INT. Charley Drew had tackles with a sack, while Ryan Belanger had tackles and a sack. Collin Mehlenbacher added tackles. 

The Golden Eagles will close out the season with a pair of home games at the Elsie Tripp Sports Complex in Cohocton. Tuesday (April 13) the Eagles entertain East Rochester/Gananda at 7 p.m., and then close out the regular season Monday, April 19 with a home clash with Let-Saw.