Senior running back makes his mark for Mustangs

Midd-West’s Hunter Wolfley tries to break a tackle during a game at Danville earlier this season. Wolfley rushed for 454 yards last week.

MIDDLEBURG — Hunter Wolfley had area sports reporters digging into the past last Friday, trying to determine if anyone had matched the 454 yards he covered on the ground against Mifflinburg.

There was a short list of potential candidates, none of whom could lay claim to a better single-game rushing total.

Southern Columbia’s Henry Hynoski ran for 409 yards in a state playoff game against Pius X in his sophomore season. South Williamsport’s Dominick Bragalone topped 400 yards in back-to-back state playoff games in his senior season, breaking Hynoski’s record with 439 yards against Old Forge. Mount Carmel, the state’s winningest football program, saw its record change hands in 2015 when Kyle Karycki gained 398 yards against Central Columbia.

Wolfley outrushed them all, setting a District 4 record in the process. Some further research yielded just nine games better in state history, but that list notes only one 400-yard game for Bragalone.

Needless to say, what Wolfley and his offensive teammates — as the senior running back quickly pointed out Thursday afternoon, “If all 11 guys don’t play well on offense, this doesn’t happen” — accomplished last Friday night won’t soon be topped. Wolfley said he’s never even topped 400 yards on the Madden video game’s easy setting.

“Hunter can make people miss in a phone booth, but our offensive line and (fullback) Trey Lauver played real well,” Midd-West coach Brad Hatter said. “We saw in scouting Mifflinburg that there was a play that we thought we could be successful with, and the guys blocked it real well.”

Wolfley said nothing seemed out of the ordinary a week ago, not during school or before the game. However, when he ripped off early touchdown runs of 67 and 80 yards, Midd-West’s statistician let him know he was on his way to a big night.

“They told me after the two long touchdown runs that I had 150 yards already,” Wolfley said. “I looked up, and we were still in the first quarter, ‘I thought, I’m going to have a good game.’

“But I certainly didn’t think that could happen.”

The Mustangs made some adjustments to their offense in the offseason, putting Wolfley behind the quarterback, who is already in the shotgun formation. That gives the senior a bit more time to pick and choose his hole to run. In another change, Lauver moved back to fullback from tight end. Watching film of Wolfley’s game on social media, one of the things that stands out is Lauver’s lead-blocking.

“It give me a lot more time to react, and some extra time to see how the defense will react to the play,” Wolfley said. “Trey is a great lead-blocker. He’s not afraid to put his body in front of somebody, and those blocks allow me to bounce it (outside).”

In addition to the career-high in yardage, Wolfley also had a career-high in carries with 28.

“I had some people joking around, asking me how sore I was,” Wolfley said. “Honestly, I didn’t hurt all that much. I felt pretty good. I’ve been much more sore after other games.”

Wolfley’s been making the rounds this week, doing interviews and taking advantage of his big game — which is not something he enjoys.

“I’m the quiet, lead-by-example captain,” he joked. “Trey’s the loud one.”

However, he understands it’s an opportunity to get his name out to college coaches. Wolfley’s still looking for the right situation to continue his football career.

“A lot of people from around the state followed me (on social media), and a lot of people watched the highlight video,” Wolfley said.

Hatter’s also tried to take advantage of the record night for his player, as well.

“We’ve been trying to get both he and Trey recruited. I sent the video to a bunch of them on Twitter,” Hatter said. “You have to take advantage of these opportunities, and I think it will get him noticed at the next level.”

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