By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD — The Wildwood High School football team ran out of gas.
The Warriors battled Gloucester tough for most of the first half of Thursday’s contest, trailing just 10-6 late in the second quarter, but gave up a touchdown with less than 1:30 to go in the period and faded in the second half en route to a 37-6 loss to the Lions.
Wildwood scored its touchdown with a little more than two minutes to go in the second quarter as Ernie Troiano connected with Greg Mitchell for a 51-yard scoring pass on a fourth-and-8 play. Troiano threw the ball about 10 yards downfield to Mitchell, who ran past the defense to the end zone after making the catch.
But Gloucester’s Steven Burkhardt scored only a couple of plays later on a 53-yard run to give the Lions a 17-6 lead at the break.
Gloucester (2-0), which dressed 41 players to Wildwood’s 17, simply wore down the Warriors in the second half.
Still, Wildwood showed some good things. The Warriors completed multiple passes throughout, with Mitchell, Dom Troiano, Junior Hans and Johnny Nolan each making multiple catches in the game.
Before scoring its first-half touchdown, Wildwood twice moved the ball inside the Gloucester 40-yard line before the drives sputtered.
The Warriors are next in action next Friday, Oct. 16, at home against Lindenwold. In other news, Wildwood’s suspended game from last week will officially be counted as a 20-12 Pitman victory as per National Federation of High Schools rules on suspended games, Wildwood athletic director Sean Olson told CoastSportsToday.com.