TURTLE CREEK, Pa. — Woodland Hills defeated rival Gateway, 27-0, thanks to a strong defensive performance to get their first win of the 2023 season at the Wolvarena Friday night.
The Wolverines (1-1) defeat the Gators (0-2) for the first time since 2016, ending a four game losing streak in the rivalry that started in 2017. With the loss to Mt. Lebanon on the road last week, this is also the first time that the Gators started the season 0-2 since 2014, when they finished with a poor 4-7 record.
Sophomore wide receiver Scoop Smith scored all the touchdowns in the first half for Woodland Hills. He opened the scoring late in the first quarter, taking a pass from sophomore quarterback Cam Walter 28-yards and cutting through the Gateway defense for the touchdown.
Smith caught another pass from Walter on the next drive in the second quarter for a 35-yard score to put the Wolverines up 13-0.
Woodland Hills then attempted a trick play to catch out the Gateway defense on the next drive. The play started in wild cat and then switched hands twice, before junior wide receiver Amere Brown threw it to Smith on the right side of the field. The play worked as Smith ran it back 49-yards for the score, putting Woodland Hills up 20-o.
Gateway struggled throughout the game and had many problems getting anything to go offensively. Junior quarterback Elsidro Bryant came in for regular starter, senior Bradley Birch, but didn’t have much success at all. He didn’t get much rhythm offensively with his wide receivers and had issues dealing with Woodland Hills defenders coming at him all game.
The Wolverines scored one more touchdown in the third quarter. Junior running back Elijah Nesby initially got stuck on his carry, but found space and used his speed to go 85 yards all the way into the end zone, putting the Wolverines up 27-0.
The Gators had chances in the second half to score, but the Wolverines forced three turnovers on downs to keep the match scoreless and hold on for the win.
Woodland Hills looks to build off this win, as they take on Penn-Trafford next Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. again at the Wolvarena. Gateway will try to win their first game of the season, as they face off against North Hills in their home opener next Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.