WEXFORD — Woodland Hills needed a couple of defensive stops. What it got instead was instant offense.
The Wolverines’ Donte Broadus and Jihad Brown intercepted Seneca Valley quarterback T.J. Holl on consecutive drives in the fourth quarter, turning them 55 and 100 yards, respectively, for touchdowns.
The two plays built an insurmountable lead for Woodland Hills in a 28-14 WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal decision at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium Friday night.
“Those two players were so big,” said Woodlabd Hills coach George Novak. “We had a couple of interceptions that we dropped in the first half.
“It was good to see us catch them in the second half.”
The first defensive score came with the Raiders trailing 14-7 with just over five minutes left in the game. Facing a second and 10 at midfield, Holl was pressured and let a pass go over the middle, but Broadus snagged it at his own 45 and went the distance for a 21-7 lead.
Holl then led SV 64 yards in a frantic attempt to cut the deficit to one score. But on second and goal from the 4, his pass to the right front corner of the end zone was picked off by Brown at the goal line. His coast-to-coast score gave the Wolverines a 28-7 edge with just 2:02 remaining.
It was the last of five failed trips into the red zone for the Raiders (9-2).
Earlier in the game, kicker Chad Izenas missed field goals of 29 and 33 yards. Another drive ended deep in Woodland Hills territory on a turnover on downs and Holl was intercepted in the end zone by Mike Nash on the first play of trhe fourth quarter.
“It makes it even more frustrating, knowing we had that many chances to score,” said Seneca Valley coach Don Holl. “Efficiiency in the red zone is the telling statistic.
“You do have to give credit to Woodland Hills. They had kids make plays, but when we look at the film, I know we’re going to notice either bad execution or bad play calling.”
Woodland Hills (9-2) grabbed the lead whenquarterback Harry Randall raced 54 yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter. SV’s Tucker Van Dyke blocked the extra point and the score remained 6-0 at halftime.
The Raiders finally broke through in the third quarter when Mason Dehart capped an 8-play, 72-yard drive with a 4-yard scoring run. Izenas’ extra point gave SV a 7-6 lead.
The Raiders were looking for more on their next drive, but that’s when Nash intercepted a tipped pass in his own end zone and returned it to his own 23-yard line.
Randall then led a march that ended in his own 2-yard touchdown run.
The Raiders reached the WPIAL quarterfinals for the third straight season this year.
“We’re trying to build a program,” said coach Holl. “We have 19 wins over the last two years. That’s pretty good.”