Woodland Hills takes advantage of McKeesport miscues
By Keith Barnes
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012, 10:32 p.m.
Updated: Saturday, September 8, 2012
McKeesport fumbled eight times and lost senior starting quarterback Eddie Stockett for most of the second half as Woodland Hills overcame a three-point halftime deficit for a 29-12 victory over its former Quad East rival.
“We've still got to get better, but turnovers, big plays, that's what changes the game,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. “Our kids have to take advantage of it, and they did.”
Stockett, an Akron recruit who threw for more than 1,700 yards in 2011, came out several times during the game. He left the field for good with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter after injuring his right leg while covering a punt. The team's training staff worked on the leg extensively, but Stockett didn't return.
Stockett was first replaced by senior Joshua Reist, then later by junior David Quee.
After the game, Stockett was taken to the McKeesport locker room in a cart with his right calf heavily taped.
“We don't know yet because we're going to reassess when we get back to the stadium,” McKeesport coach Jim Ward said. “They're not sure if he's got a pull in there, or if it's a cramp; they had a tough time working out. He just couldn't come back.”
Woodland Hills quarterback Cody McClelland turned in his second consecutive solid start, completing 6 of 13 for 116 yards and two touchdowns. McClelland connected with Tom Greene for both scores. Greene finished with three receptions for 84 yards.
“Cody has really matured and has only played football for two years because he's a baseball player,” Novak said. “He threw well all summer at the camps we went to, and he utilizes all his receivers. And Greene is his favorite receiver, but the other guys are stepping up.”
Woodland Hills (1-1) was able to make McKeesport (0-2) pay for every mistake.
With the Tigers leading, 6-0, midway through the second quarter, Stockett fumbled in the end zone after taking a short shotgun snap. Though Shawn Robinson recovered, he was tackled in the end zone for a safety, helping the Wolverines shave the lead.
Later, McClelland hit Greene on a quick slant that went for a 31-yard touchdown.
Stockett scored his second rushing touchdown on a 1-yard sneak on the final play of the first half to give McKeesport a 12-9 lead, but the Tigers' mistakes in the third quarter proved to be too much to overcome.
“That safety really got us going,” Novak said. “It helped us to have good field position, and ... we got out of the hole, got good field position and we were able to capitalize on it.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161, Ext. 1977.
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