Woodland Hills edges Penn Hills for 7th straight win
Woodland Hills' regular season ended much better than it started.
The Class AAAA No. 4 Wolverines downed 10th-ranked Penn Hills, 19-7, Friday night in a Quad Central battle at Penn Hills.
“When we play as one, that's Woodland Hills football,” said defensive back Chris David, who made one of the biggest plays in the fourth quarter. “That's what we did tonight.”
The Wolverines (7-2, 7-1) jumped to a 12-0 lead midway through the first quarter behind a pair of short touchdown runs by junior Art Thompkins.
Through a series of fortunate events, the Indians (5-4, 4-4) made it 12-7. After a short punt bounced off a Woodland Hills player the kicking team recovered.
A few plays later, Isaiah Jones broke free down the left sideline but was stripped of the ball during a tackle. However, teammate Kameron Richardson scooped the loose ball for a 3-yard score.
With 30 seconds remaining before halftime, Wolverines quarterback Harry Randall scampered for a score from 15 yards out in what would be the final score.
That, however, did not signal an end to the action.
The fourth quarter saw a charging Penn Hills squad trying desperately to score against a determined defense.
The Indians' best scoring chance came when Mike Anthony slipped behind the defense in the back of the end zone. However, David recovered just in time to get a fingertip on the ball and barely knock it away.
The Indians also had a touchdown run by Jones called back on a holding penalty.
“Our kids fought hard,” Penn Hills coach John Peterman said. “They weren't quitting, and we found out we can play with Woodland Hills, and we can play with anybody come the playoffs.”
Wolverines running back Miles Sanders went down with a sprained ankle in the second quarter and did not return. Randall led the team with 102 yards on the ground and passed for another 34 yards. Thompkins had 45 yards on 13 carries.
Penn Hills quarterback Billy Kisner, who entered the game with 1,107 yards on the ground, was held in check. Instead, it was Jones who led the ground attack with 125 yards on 16 carries.
The Wolverines began the season with losses against Upper St. Clair and McKeesport but since rallied to win seven straight to close out the regular season.
“We faced a couple tough teams in Upper St. Clair and McKeesport,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said of his team's losses. “Now that we're in the playoffs, everyone's going to be tough, and we have to be ready.”
Ed Phillips is a freelance writer.