Central Catholic and Woodland Hills may be different, but both win
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Central Catholic senior Luigi Lista-Brinza, despite missing the final four games of the regular season, will be there.
Same for Woodland Hills sophomore Miles Sanders, who sat out the first two playoff rounds.
But outside of a pair of 1,000-yard tailbacks who've returned from ankle injuries, Central Catholic and Woodland Hills — who square off for the WPIAL Class AAAA title at 2 p.m. Saturday — don't have much in common.
Well, besides winning.
“It's going to be interesting,” Central Catholic quarterback J.J. Cosentino said. “We play two different styles of ball.”
Central Catholic (12-0) would rather possess it, with Cosentino feeding Lista-Brinza and Riley Redman, both 1,000-yard rushers.
Fullback Devin Faloon is as big a high school fullback (5-11, 230) as you'll see, and Cosentino, at 6-5, 220 pounds, typifies a pro-style quarterback.
“They're not flashy,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. “They're a ball-control offense.”
Or, put another way, the opposite of the score-fast Wolverines.
Quarterback Harry Randall has scored 26 touchdowns, and rarely do they come at the end of a methodical, 10-play drive. Sanders, Art Thompkins and Trevon Mathis all have enough speed to make sure that no lead is safe.
“We're definitely going to have to keep those people bottled up for us to have a chance,” Vikings coach Terry Totten said.
Central Catholic's defense has allowed just 68 points, 41 of them coming during blowout, playoff wins and a 27-21 victory over Gateway in the quarterfinals.
Woodland Hills (10-2) faces a tough assignment in stopping Lista-Brinza and Redman, and the Wolverines can't stack the box for fear that Cosentino goes deep to Shafer Swann or Cam Sutherland.
“They don't have any weaknesses,” Novak said. “We have to try and possess the ball more than them and figure out a way to move the ball against their defense.”
That starts with Sanders, who has 1,076 yards and 13 touchdowns. If Woodland Hills can, as Novak said, mimic Central Catholic, that may be the Wolverines' best shot at avoiding a second consecutive title game loss and a third in the past four years.
“Last year we went down there and lost, but we've kept practicing hard and working as a team,” Woodland Hills linebacker Daechaud Ausbrooks said. “We feel like we can win it. It's going to be a good game.”
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.