Don’t look for Woodland Hills (4-1, 1-0) and Central Catholic (3-2, 0-1) to “friend” each other on Facebook anytime soon.
These two powerhouse teams faced off at the Wolverena Friday night, Oct. 2, and it was time for Syracuse recruit Dom Timbers to make a statement.
|RELENTLESS—Dom Timbers of Woodland Hills ran through the rain for 162 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Central Catholic.
Timbers rushed for 162 yards—his fourth consecutive 100-yard effort—and three touchdowns to lead Class AAAA No. 3 Woodland Hills 27-3 over No. 4 Central Catholic.
Coach George Novak’s Woodland Hills football program has fallen upon some hard times recently.
The four-time WPIAL Class AAAA champion Wolverines have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2006 and have not returned to a Heinz Field title game since winning their last crown in 2002.
To be the champs, the Wolverines will have to beat the champs.
|READING THE DEFENSE—Woodland Hills quarterback John Yezovich looks to pass against Central Catholic.
With that in mind, each of Woodland Hills’ victories so far this fall has seemingly added to the notion that the Wolverines are back on top.
Woodland Hills has already lowered the boom and knocked out the reigning WPIAL Class AAAA champion Bethel Park, 21-17. The loss ended Bethel Park’s 16-game winning streak against WPIAL competition and there should be no question after the Wolverines dominating performance against the Vikings.
Weather played a part in the victory. The storm and steady rain made the football more difficult to handle and the Wolverines employed a low-risk running game that allowed Timbers to chop down the Vikings like he had an “ax to grind.”
Timbers, who spent his freshman and sophomore years at Central Catholic, got his new team on the scoreboard first on a 10-yard touchdown run to give Woodland Hills a 6-0 lead.
Central’s Matt MacZura kicked a 42-yard field goal to cut the lead to 6-3.
In the second quarter behind the running of Timbers and 230-pound fullback Cameron Thompkins, who seems to salivate when he sees a defensive back that’s 50 pounds lighter trying to challenge him, extended the lead to 17-3 at halftime.
The high-powered offense for the Woodland Hills varsity football team gets a lot of attention from its big offensive line led by Bruce Atkins, talented running backs and receivers.
At the same time, the Wolverine defense, led by Richard “Bump” Gray, Julian Turner and Pitt recruit Khaynin Mosley-Smith, has made its mark this season.
Damian Jones-Moore, who had averaged nearly 200 yards per game heading into the contest, was held to 81 yards on 18 carries.
“All week we talked about getting 11 guys to the ball,” said “Bump” Gray, who had two quarterback sacks. “We came out hyped and played together. I want to win a championship.”
Jones-Moore, the WPIAL’s second-leading rusher, is also a 4.0 student in the classroom, but it was Timbers who went to the head of the class.
He scored three touchdowns and Woodland Hills outrushed the Vikings, 252-86.
The Central Catholic team made the most of every possible opportunity to beat themselves against Woodland Hills.
The Wolverines sacked quarterback Dave Smyers six times and caused three fumbles.
“I came here to see Damian Jones-Moore,” said coach Jerry Stackhouse. “I coached him in midget football. He was a great player for the Beltzhoover Browns.”
The most exciting play of the night was called back because of a penalty. Junior Lafayette Pitts has used his standout speed to burst onto the scene in recent weeks. He returned a punt in the third quarter 72 yards for a touchdown.
Pitts is also a talented wide receiver and punter. He set a school record by booming a 67-yard punt in the first half.
The win moved Novak into 10th place on the WPIAL’s all-time list of winningest coaches, passing former Kiski Area coach Dick Dilts. Novak is 235-117-1.
Woodland Hills has great tradition. The Wolverines are one of six high schools in the country that have at least five graduates on NFL rosters this season including Ryan Mundy of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now that Coach Novak has his running game in place and a slew of talented skill position players to complement him, the Woodland Hills offense that struggled so much last season is suddenly lighting up scoreboards.
Timbers and his teammates’ relentless pursuit of a WPIAL title are trying to prove they are second to none.