Woodland Hills outlasts Gateway
By Keith Barnes
Published: Friday, November 9, 2012, 11:14 p.m.
Updated: Saturday, November 10, 2012
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 email@example.com or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.
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Thanks for all your commentary this year Hater Dan. I can only hope that someone from the trib is reading your posts and offers you your very own column because it is so OBVIOUS that you have your finger on the pulse of not only Gateway football but that of the WPIAL in general. It has been a pleasure to read the opinion of someone so in the know as you. I hope that Terry does keep his job because I won't know what to do next season if I can't read the great thoughts and opinions of the Great Hater Dan. Have a amazing off season and please find a way to keep Hate alive.
Submitted by: Dan on Saturday, November 10, 2012
Terry Smiths Gators come up short. I really thought this was his year. wen they recruited Swift from Steel Valley and Rogers from Key Stone Oaks, I really thougHt the Gators had the final pieces for a championship team. The Gators certainly had the most talented players, they definitely were overhyped as usual thanks to the tireless efforts of their self-promoting coach. Unfortunately for the Gators, playoff games are won by TEAMS with great leadership. Although the Gators are once again the champion of Westmoreland County. They took care of business against Norwin, Connellsville, Hempfields, Penn Trafford and Latrobe. I have faith that Terry will recruit even harder this offseason and that 2014 will definitely be the year of the Gators. I am sure Gateways assistants will be at couples stadium tomorrow afternoon scouting the midget football championship game for the city league