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Wolverines Jump Ahead Early, Hold Off Bearcats in Opener

Written by: on Saturday, August 27th, 2022. Follow Sean McBryan on Twitter.


Elijah Nesby scored the first three touchdowns of the game for the WPIAL’s Woodland Hills in the second game of the Saturday slate at Chambersburg’s Peach Bowl.

It ended up being much more difficult to close out William Penn and West Virginia commit Jaheim White.

The Wolverines eventually did hold off the Bearcats 28-24 in a nailbiter that came down to a goal-line stand.

Nesby broke away for a 69-yard score just 1:37 into the first quarter after the Wolverines held the Bearcats to a three-and-out. The Bearcats misplayed the ensuing kickoff, which Angello Reddix recovered for the Wolverines at the William Penn 20-yard-line. Nesby finished off that drive with a nine-yard plunge that made it 14-0 with 7:58 left in the first.

Nesby completed a 13-play, 71-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown 44 seconds into the second quarter. That gave Woodland Hills a 21-0 lead before halftime and it seemed like the Wolverines (1-0) would run away with it.

“My lineman did a good job blocking,” Nesby said. “Every time I got the ball the safeties started coming down and I had to shake ‘em up. I got some good blockers on my team and I have to score for them.”

William Penn quarterback Sam Stoner hit David Warde for a 52-yard TD to make a comeback manageable at 21-8 with 9:35 left in the second quarter.

But Woodland Hills quarterback Austin Wells pushed it back to a three-possession lead at 28-8 when he darted for a 49-yard touchdown about a minute later. The Wolverines had it in the bag.

Not so fast. The Bearcats recovered a Nesby fumble at the beginning of the third quarter. White ran 41 yards for a score on the next drive. A converted two-point conversion made it 28-16.

Precious Jinyemiema then intercepted Wells which led to a 14-play, 63-yard scoring drive for the Bearcats (0-1). Stoner capped off the drive with a 2-yard rushing touchdown and all of a sudden it was 28-24 with 7:05 left in the game.

Woodland Hills then committed another turnover, a fumble that was recovered by Carmelo McKenzie at the Wolverines’ 40. Passes of 17 and 22 yards from Stoner to White set the Bearcats up in scoring position as time dwindled down in the fourth.

The Wolverines stopped four straight runs, the last from White with 6.9 seconds left in the game resulting in a turnover on downs.

“We had to keep our defensive metal up,” Nesby said. “We didn’t quit during the game. That’s all. We have to stick to the process.”

Nesby finished with 126 rushing yards and Wells passed for 84 yards and rushed for 62 yards and a score for Woodland Hills. Steven Jenkins had an interception.

For William Penn, White rushed for 124 yards and had 67 receiving yards, David Warde had 128 receiving yards, and Stoner passed for 222 yards.

Next up on Friday: William Penn travels to Hempfield and Woodland Hills to Gateway.

Scoring Summary

Woodland Hills (1-0) 14 14 0 0 – 28

William Penn (0-1) 0 8 8 8 – 24

1st Quarter

WH- Nesby 69 run (Mroz kick) – 10:23

WH-Nesby 9 run (Mroz kick)-7:58

2nd Quarter

WH-Nesby 7 run (Mroz kick) – 11:16

WP-Warde 52 pass from Stoner (White run) – 9:35

WH-Well 49 run (Mroz kick) – 8:34

3rd Quarter

WP-White 41 run (White run) – 7:02

4th Quarter

WP-Stoner 2 run (Warde pass from Stoner) – 7:05

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