Woodland Hills outlasts Gateway
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Woodland Hills coach George Novak thought Gateway provided his team the toughest test it had faced all season.
Consider the Wolverines having passed their exam.
Woodland Hills (9-2) controlled the line of scrimmage, holding the vaunted Gateway offensive attack to minus-39 yards rushing, and made the No. 2 Gators one-dimensional as the seventh-seeded Wolverines held on for a 17-14 victory Friday in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals at Norwin Knights Stadium.
“It was one of those games that came down to the last play,” Novak said. “You can't say enough about (that) team. They have some of the best players in the WPIAL and have a lot of speed. I give a lot of credit to our coaching staff to put together a game plan that worked.”
It almost wasn't enough.
Gateway got the ball for one last crack from its own 8-yard line with 12.6 seconds remaining. Quarterback Thomas Woodson, an Arizona recruit, nearly got the big play he needed when the Gators ran a hook-and-lateral play, but the receiver attempted to lateral the ball before he caught it, and it fell incomplete with 8.4 seconds left.
On the final play Woodson, who completed 21 of 49 for 286 yards and two first-half touchdown, heaved the ball down the field in desperation but Tom Greene came up with the interception as time expired.
“I almost cried. With all the hype they got, it felt so good,” Greene said.
Woodland Hills will play Upper St. Clair in the semifinals. The Wolverines lost to the Panthers in the season opener.
“We're really banged up so we'll see who we've got left,” Novak said.
Woodland Hills lost freshman running back Miles Sanders early in the second half to an undisclosed injury. Before leaving, Sanders carried 14 times for 93 yards and scored twice.
Senior kicker Jordan Potter accounted for the margin of victory when he hit a 38-yard field goal with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter to give the Wolverines a 10-7 lead. Woodland Hills never trailed in the game thanks to a defensive scheme that brought pressure on almost every play.
It didn't help Gateway that receivers dropped several balls. But the Gators could not block the Wolverines up front, as they were tackled 10 times for losses.
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.