Battle Tested Archbishop Wood Advances
By Brian Ptashinski @BPtashinski on Twitter.
SLATiNGTON- Archbishop Wood coach Steve Devlin heard all week about his team not matching up to the offensive line of District 2 5A champion Wyoming Valley West. He challenged his kids all week in techniques and being fundamentally sound.
His team seemed to take that strategy to heart. They executed it perfectly Saturday afternoon at Northern Lehigh Bulldog Stadium in a convincing 41-14 victory, to advance to 5A stare semifinal against Unionville next weekend at a site and time TBD.
The Spartans received the opening kickoff and took possession on their 26. Three plays resulted in a punt to the Wood 25. On the first play, Jack Colyer’s pass was picked off at the Spartan 45 by Darrien Tyson. The Vikings managed to return the favor as Valley West’s Rob Dwyer intercepted a pass at the Wood 37.
Five plays later Nasir Peoples took it in from 16 yards out with 6:43 left in the quarter.
Valley West was able to start at their 49 yard line on their next possession and drove to the Wood 21, however, a 39 yard field goal attempt was blocked and Wood took over at their 20. On the first play of the second quarter Adrian Lambert took it in from 20 yards out to make the score 14-0.
Wood made it 21-0 with 22 seconds left before half after recovering a fumble at midfield. Colyer connected with Kyle Pitts from 37 yards. Wood had 198 yards of total offense in first half. Peoples had 119 yards. Wood also had 43 yards in penalties compared to the Spartans 83 yards, 3 first downs, and 50 penalty yards.
Peoples pushed the lead to 28-0 with a 49-yard dash with about ten minutes to play in the third quarter. Lambert put the game into mercy rule at 6:43 mark on a 30-yard run.
With Wood resting their starters, backup quarterback Tom Cattolico sneaked a one-yard run in with 11:06 left in the contest.
Valley West avoided the shutout by adding two late scores. Rob Dwyer had a 22-yard run with 5:16 left. Jake Blaski was on the receiving end of a 47-yard pass with 46 seconds left.
“We practiced hard all week. We knew they had the size advantage. We came up with a scheme to neutralize that advantage. Our kids did a great job today,” Coach Devlin stated.
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