WELLS – Tim Roche, the football coach at Wells High, knows how hard it is to beat your rival once, let alone twice. In back-to-back weeks.

So maybe that’s why he was so thrilled with the top-ranked Warriors’ 42-7 victory over rival York on Friday night in the Western Class B quarterfinals.

“I just didn’t want to not have practice next week,” he said. “Honestly, it’s a huge monkey off our backs. York has been a thorn in our side for many years.”

On this night, the young Wildcats stayed close for a half, trailing 14-7 — and that on a 63-yard scoring pass from Paul McDonough to Zack Deshaies on a play in which York’s defender slipped on the muddy turf.

But the Warriors, who beat York 26-21 a week ago, came out and dominated the second half. Defensively, they held York to just 45 total yards and two first downs. Offensively, they unleashed a powerful three-player running attack. Louis DiTomasso, Doug McLean and Drew Shelley combined in the second half for 234 of Wells’ 374 rushing yards.

“We took care of things,” said DiTomasso, who ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns. “We played our brand of football.”

Wells (9-0) will face fifth-seeded Westbrook in the regional semifinals Friday at 7 p.m. Wells beat Westbrook 27-14 on Sept. 9.

York (3-6) played a great first half, controlling the ball with the running of sophomore Sean Kelly (60 yards) and senior Jared Petruzzella (43). But Wells’ Joey Spinelli intercepted two passes in the first half to stop York.

“It’s been our story all year, we just couldn’t finish,” said York Coach Randy Small. “We couldn’t get a break when we needed it to turn the tide.”

Wells scored on its first possession of the third quarter, a 17-yard run by DiTomasso in which he pinballed off several defenders. McLean (106 rushing yards) gained 41 on the drive.

After forcing a punt, Wells went in again, with McLean scoring on a 26-yard sweep right. DiTomasso had the big play in that drive, gaining 20 yards on second-and-14 from midfield.

Justin Lareau then intercepted another York pass and Shelley (93 rushing yards) scored from 6 yards out to make it 35-7 (after the 2-point rush) with 10:15 left.

“It’s one of those things, we knew what we had to do,” said Roche, of the Warriors’ first half. “We were making our the blocks, and then Louis finally hit it. Doug McLean had a good game, (and) Drew Shelley. There were a lot of kids having great games.

“I think our line was doing a great job, it doesn’t matter who the back is. They’re good. Our line is good. I don’t think the line ever gets enough credit.”

McDonough also made an impact. He missed last week’s win over York with an injury. On Friday, he gave the Warriors another offensive option the Wildcats had to prepare for. While he only completed two passes, one was the TD pass and the other kept a scoring drive alive. 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH