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Penn Hills Beats Woodland Hills to Win Conference Title



Pitt quarterback Julian Dugger.
Photos by Jared Todhunter

PENN HILLS, Pa. — The Penn Hills Indians (8-2, 5-0 5A Northeast) used a halftime rally to defeat the Woodland Hills Wolverines (6-4, 3-2 5A Northeast) in the regular season finale, 26-21.

The Wolverines needed timely offensive explosions and a complete game from its defense to have any hope without their starting quarterback and that is just what they received in the first half. On the first drive of the game, Penn Hills was driving the ball down the field until Ronald Porter forced a fumble of Indians’ quarterback Julian Dugger.

While the Wolverines did not immediately capitalize, this was the start that their defense needed to build confidence. On the Indians’ remaining three offensive drives of the first half, the Wolverines forced punts on each one.

The Wolverines jumped ahead in the middle of the second quarter after Brandon Jones found Scoop Smith for a 44-yard gain that helped set up a 33-yard touchdown scramble by Smith a few plays later.

The Indians completely turned it around in the second half as they forced a quick three-and-out and then blocked the punt. Starting in Wolverine territory, Julian Dugger scrambled in from 14 yards out to cut into the Wolverines’ lead. The extra point was kicked into the line which allowed the Wolverines to keep the lead momentarily.

While the Wolverines tacked on another touchdown to extend their lead, Dugger brought the Indians back to even with a 57-yard touchdown scamper along with a reception on a successful two-point conversion.

On the very next offensive possession, the Indians jumped ahead for its first lead all night after Dugger found Jaymere Ellis in the corner of the endzone.

Before the Indians could celebrate, Smith returned the kickoff to the Indians’ 20-yard line which gave the Wolverines great field position. The Wolverines went on to score and reclaim the lead once again.

The Indians and Dugger matched that score again after the Pitt commit found Cameron Thomas for a 26-yard touchdown reception that helped the Indians take the lead that they needed to close the game out.

Woodland Hills had the chance to win the game and some believe they should have after Smith tossed a 15-yard touchdown that was called back due to ineligable men downfield. After that, the Indians locked down the second fourth-down attempt and sealed the conference title.

With the win, the Indians are firmly in the playoffs and will await the reveal of the first-round opponent. As for the Wolverines, the loss ended their season earlier than they expected.

RELATED: Week 10 WPIAL Friday Night High School Football Scoreboard


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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