Plum Dominated By Woodland Hills
Mustangs shutout 35-0, remain winless.
Woodland Hills scored less than two minutes into the contest, and never looked back, as the Wolverines dominated the Mustangs en route to a 35-0 victory Friday night at Plum.
The Mustangs (0-4, 0-4 WPIAL AAAA Southeastern Conference) turned the ball over on the second play from scrimmage, as Plum senior quarterback Corey DeLoach had his pass intercepted by Khalil Harper, who returned it to the Mustangs’ 8-yard-line. Two plays later, Dequan White found the end zone to put the Wolverines ahead, a lead they would never relinquish.
Plum Head Coach Frank Sacco emphasized the significance of the poor start.
“We shoot ourselves in the foot on the first drive,” Sacco said. “You can’t do that against a football team like Woodland Hills. They are going to take advantage of it.”
Later in the first quarter, Harper hauled in a 5-yard pass from Cody McClelland to put Woodland Hills ahead by 14.
While the Wolverines (3-1, 2-1) got into a groove early on offense, the Mustangs could not find a rhythm in the passing or running game.
Sophomore tailback Kyle Smecker found little running room, as he accounted for only ten yards rushing in the first half. DeLoach also struggled to gain positive yards, as he was repeatedly brought down behind the line of scrimmage on his rushing attempts.
“We got to get the running game going, it will open up our offense a lot more,” Sacco stated.
With their struggles on the ground, the Mustangs were forced to throw the ball more often, as DeLoach attempted 11 passes in the first half. The senior signalcaller completed only two passes for 10 yards, however, and also threw another costly interception, the second of four Plum turnovers.
Daechaud Ausbrooks stepped in front of a Mustangs receiver to pick off the pass, and then darted 30 yards down the sideline for the defensive score.
Ausbrooks touchdown was sandwiched between two other big scoring plays for the Wolverines, as Miles Sanders scored on a 46-yard run, while Harry Randall found the end zone with a 72-yard reception from McClelland late in the first half.
With an insurmountable lead, the Wolverines twice elected to attempt field-goals on first down, instead of potentially running up the score by scoring touchdowns. Both attempts came up well short. Sacco respected the gesture shown by the Woodland Hills coaching staff.
“Coach Novak is a class act,” he said. “He runs an outstanding program, and has for the past 20 years.”
The mercy rule went into effect at the start of the second half, as the clock ran continuously except during timeouts and for an injury stoppage when a Wolverine went down briefly in the third quarter.
Mustangs running back Joe DeFelice found some success running once the outcome was decided, as he gained over 50 yards on the ground. Punter Dylan Kondis provided another bright spot for the Mustangs, as he blasted a number of punts that backed the Wolverines into their own territory.
The Mustangs look to win their first game of the season next week when they travel to Canon-McMillan. Meanwhile, Woodland Hills returns home to host Mt. Lebanon.