PINE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — In a critical 5A conference matchup, Pine-Richland defeated Woodland Hills by the score of 35-21. This came on a night when Pine Richland celebrated its school’s new Hall of Fame Class.
Pine-Richland (6-3, 2-1 conference) scored first on a one-yard touchdown run by Ethan Pillar. The Rams were gifted a short field with a low snap on an attempted punt and Jacob Mroz of Woodland Hills (4-4, 1-1 conference) had to fall on the ball.
After a Woodland Hills punt, Pine Richland scored again on their next drive with Pillar scoring his second one-yard touchdown of the game. The drive featured quarterback Ryan Palmieri using his legs and his arms to make plays.
Pine-Richland led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Woodland Hills got on the board when Brandon Jones scored on a 31-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 14-7.
On Pine-Richland’s next possession Woodland Hills defensive back DeVaughn McClinton intercepted a pass from Palmieri. The turnover set up a five-yard touchdown run by Cameron Walter to tie the game. The drive was aided by a pass interference penalty on Pine-Richland.
Woodland Hills took the lead right before the half when the Wolverines drove down the field methodically with two strong runs by Jones, and the drive was capped off by a one yard run by Frank Keyes to Putt Woodland Hills up 21-14, and that was the halftime score
In the third quarter, Pine-Richland tied up the score when Palmieri scored a one-yard touchdown run on a drive that featured Palmieri and Pillar running left and running right over and over again. The drive was aided by a taunting penalty by McClinton on a Bradford Gelly catch.
After a three-and-out by Woodland Hills, the Rams took back the lead when Palmieri scored on an 11-yard touchdown run. Pine-Richland did not run a single pass play on the drive.
The Rams put the game out of reach when Pillar scored his third rushing touchdown of the game on an 18-yard run to Put Pine Richland up 35-21 with 3:30 left to play.
With the win Pine-Richland, controls its own destiny going into the final week of the season
Woodland Hills finishes off its regular season next Friday when they face Penn Hills, while Pine Richland will host North Hills next Friday in their final regular season game.