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Brad Birch, Defense Lead Gateway Past Woodland Hills, 21-0



MONROEVILLE, Pa. — In a defensive slugfest filled with turnovers, hard hits, and penalties Gateway defeated Woodland Hills by the score of 21-0 in a WPIAL Class 5A conference matchup on Friday night.

The Gators received the Kickoff and preceded to strike first on their first with Bradley Birch 5-yard quarterback keeper to cap off a 14-play, 75-yard drive that featured a 25-yard catch and run by Jaquan Reynolds, and a 15-yard completion to Malachi Moore.

That were the only points scored in the first quarter as Gateway led Woodland Hills 7-0 after the first quarter.

The second quarter started with both teams making defensive stands forcing a turnover on downs on each side. The first half was filled with dropped passes, penalties, and missed opportunities on both teams, and we had a scoreless second quarter. Gateway had an opportunity to score at the end of the first half, but the Wolverines made a goal-line stand to keep it a one-score game.

The score remained 7-0 in favor of the Gators going into halftime. In the first half, Burch went 13 for 20 for 122 yards passing.

Freshman Austin Wells took over for Cameron Walter to begin the second half as the third quarter was consistent with strong defense and playing the field position game. Gateway’s Dallas Harper intercepted a pass from Wells, then Matthew Johnson intercepted a pass from Birch on the second play of Gateway’s next possession as there was no score in the third quarter.

Birch put the game out of reach with his second touchdown run of the night an 8-yard touchdown keeper.
On Woodland Hills’ ensuing possession Chris Livsey intercepted a pass that went 49-yards for the touchdown to conclude the scoring for the evening.

Woodland Hills will travel to Penn-Trafford next Friday night, while Gateway will travel to North Hills next Friday night.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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