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WPIAL

Woodland Hills Forces 3 Turnovers, Beats Penn Hills in Defensive Struggle

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TURTLE CREEK, Pa. —  On Senior night at the Wolvarena, Woodland Hills forced three turnovers from Penn Hills quarterback Julian Duggar as the Wolverines qualified for the WPIAL playoffs with a 7-3 win over Penn Hills.

In the first quarter, Justin Purdue intercepted a pass from Julian Duggar deep in Penn Hills territory. After the turnover, Frank Keyes scored a touchdown on a 4th and goal to put Woodland Hills up 7-0 early in the second quarter.

On the ensuing drive in the second quarter, Penn Hills drove 94 yards with Duggar using his arm and legs to get the ball to the 1-yard line. But on 2nd and goal Duggar fumbled and was recovered by Woodland Hills.

Penn Hills committed its third turnover of the half when Duggar was carrying the ball too loosely and fumbled the ball for the second time, which was recovered by Zykir Moore.

In the third quarter, Woodland Hills was driving the ball down to the nine-yard line after a 40-yard pass from Cameron Walter to William “Scoop” Smith, however, Penn Hills forced its first turnover of the game when Jaymere Ellis made an incredible play when he tipped the ball and intercepted a Walter pass in stride and ran it back to the 40-yard line of Woodland Hills.

Penn Hills capitalized on the drive by connecting on an Owen Williams 24-yard field goal to cut Woodland Hills’ lead to 7-3, and that was the score at the end of the third quarter.

On Penn Hills’ final drive of the game, Duggar threw a pass  to Raion Strader which appeared to be a touchdown, but he was called out of bounds by the referee. Replays appeared to be inbounds on replay. Penn Hills head coach Charles Morris was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing the call and the Indians turned the ball over on downs to end their hopes.

Pine-Richland beat North Hills to win the WPIAL Class-5A Northeast Conference. Woodland Hills, Penn Hills and North Hills all finished tied for second at 3-2. The Wolverines clinched the second seed and a playoff spot thanks to the head-to-head sweep of those two teams. North Hills holds the tiebreaker over Penn Hills for third place and the final shot at a playoff spot.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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