No. 6 Mt. Lebanon edges No. 5 Woodland Hills in overtime
By Keith Barnes
Published: Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, 11:16 p.m.
No. 5 Woodland Hills got away with one fumble in overtime against No. 6 Mt. Lebanon, but there was no way the Wolverines were going to get away with two.
Mt. Lebanon kicker Dimitri Orfanopoulos' 27-yard field goal held up when Woodland Hills fumbled at the 5-yard line in a dramatic 39-36 overtime win for the Blue Devils at the Wolvarena in Quad Central action.
Mt. Lebanon's Tyler Roth had a career night, as he completed 20 of 37 for 354 yards and five touchdowns. But he was at his best at the end of regulation, driving the Blue Devils 55 yards in 39 seconds, capped with a 13-yard strike to receiver Troy Apke to tie the score at 36-all. Apke, a senior wideout, finished with 11 catches for 273 yards and three scores.
“It's a two-minute situation and it's something that you work on all year long and we've been passing the ball well and we looked at what coverage they were giving us,” Mt. Lebanon coach Mike Melnyk said. “Tyler made couple of great throws and the guys made a couple of great catches.”
Alex Beasley had given Woodland Hills (3-2, 2-2) a 36-29 lead on a 15-yard touchdown run with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter. Mt. Lebanon (4-1, 4-0) then turned it over on downs at the Wolverines 48 with 2:32 left.
Faced with a fourth-and-3 at the Mt. Lebanon 45, however, Woodland Hills decided to go for it. The Wolverines had lost their punter, Harry Randall, at the end of the first half after he carried 10 times for 159 yards and scored three touchdowns.
“Our first punter was out injured and we didn't want to risk a block,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. “We had a few high snaps and we didn't want to risk anything and we thought we could make it.”
For a while it appeared Mt. Lebanon would run away with it. The Blue Devils jumped out to a 21-7 lead, as Roth opened the game 6 of 9 for 182 yards and three touchdown. Apke was his favorite target with five receptions for 160 yards and two scores.
All of a sudden, though, Roth went cold. He missed on consecutive passes for the first time in the game as part of an 0 for 6 run and, after a punt, Woodland Hills found some life. The Wolverines drove 77 yards in eight plays, keyed by a 46-yard scamper by Randall on a fake punt and capped when quarterback Cody McClelland found him on a 5-yard scoring pass to close the gap to 21-14 with 4:43 remaining in the first half.
Mt. Lebanon then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Randall made the Blue Devils pay. On the first play he ran 31 yards for his third touchdown of the half and second in nine seconds to cut the deficit to 21-20.
Only a missed extra-point attempt kept Woodland Hills from taking a tie into the intermission.
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.
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