Woodland Hills knocks off Seneca Valley
Just call Harry Randall “Superman.”
The Woodland Hills senior did it all Friday night in a 28-14 WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal win over Seneca Valley at North Allegheny's Newman Stadium.
He ran, he threw and even leaped over defenders in a single bound.
Woodland Hills moves on to a semifinal matchup against top-seeded Upper St. Clair at a site and time to be determined.
The Panthers beat the Wolverines, 16-10, on Aug. 30.
After the Raiders took a 7-6 lead late in the third quarter, Randall gave the lead back to Woodland Hills in the fourth.
He scored on a 2-yard run then leaped over a pair of Seneca Valley defenders to sneak the outstretched ball just inside the left pylon for the 2-point conversion.
“We started a little slow, but once we picked up, we kept progressing and kept fighting,” Randall said.
He finished with 161 yards on the ground.
He didn't throw much, but he did hit Travon Mathis for a 23-yard gain in the fourth quarter.
“We put the ball in the guy's hands that can make plays for us, and that's Harry,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said.
The Wolverines' defense did the rest. Donte Broadus (55 yards) and Jihad Brown (100) returned T.J. Holl interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth.
It was a bend-but-don't-break effort from the Wolverines. The Raiders had no trouble driving into Woodland Hills' red zone, but they kept getting turned away.
“You got to give them some credit for making those stops,” Seneca Valley coach Don Holl said.
“The bummer is we ran what we ran in practice. We didn't do a very good job, and that starts with me.”
Randall broke a scoreless tie with a 54-yard scoring run in the second quarter.
He rushed for 97 yards in the first half. His only first-half pass attempt was an ill-advised toss-up while under pressure that resulted in an easy pick for Seneca's Michael Denny.
Seneca Valley drove inside the Woodland Hills 20-yard line three times in the first half but was unable to capitalize.
Field goals of 29 and 28 yards were missed by Chad Izenas. Then, with time winding down in the second quarter, the Wolverines forced a turnover on downs to secure the first-half shutout.
That series featured key plays by Mathis. The defensive back broke up a pass inside the 10-yard line and, two plays later on third and short, tackled Holl for a 7-yard loss to force a fourth-and-long.
It was the first time this season the Raiders' quick-strike offense did not score in the first half.
Ed Phillips is a freelance writer.