McKeesport, Smith top Woodland Hills

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It was as if the McKeesport football team stepped into a time machine Saturday in its home opener against Woodland Hills.

George Smith was back roaming the sideline as head coach.

Members of the 1994 and 2005 WPIAL championship squads were honored in a pregame ceremony.

And the Tigers showed they are once again one of the top teams in Class AAAA.

In what you could label turn-back-the-clock day, McKeesport clocked third-ranked Woodland Hills, handing the Wolverines a 33-20 defeat in a non-conference game.

Smith last coached a McKeesport home game in 2009. He resigned at the end of that season after winning two WPIAL titles, two PIAA titles and 197 games in 28 years, but decided to return this season.

Smith couldn't come up with just one word to describe what it meant to be back.

"I've got two words: hard work," he said. "We've pushed them and they've responded."

McKeesport was 21-9 without a playoff win the past three seasons.

A 24-10 winner last week at Hempfield, McKeesport (2-0) proceeded to top perennial power Woodland Hills (0-2).

The return of McKeesport's vaunted flexbone offense played a major role in the win. The Tigers rushed for 247 yards and scored four of their five touchdowns on runs.

"It's hard to simulate during the week what they have," Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. "At times we did well. At times we didn't do well."

The game looked like it could develop into a thriller after the teams traded touchdowns twice in the first half. But McKeesport put together a 10-play, 55-yard drive that concluded with Mikell Moore scoring on a 4-yard run to give the Tigers a 20-13 lead with 2:03 left in the first half.

McKeesport's defense began to solidify in a scoreless third. Woodland Hills gained only 48 yards in the quarter and 123 in the second half.

"[The defense] got better and they got tough," Smith said.

Moore notched his second touchdown on a 16-yard run early in the fourth to give McKeesport a 27-13 lead.

Woodland Hills made it 27-20 when Harry Randall found Miles Sanders for a 36-yard touchdown with 3:41 left, but McKeesport put the game away on Reggie Smith's 29-yard scoring run.

Moore, who led McKeesport in rushing with 69 yards on 13 carries, said his "new coach" has been great.

"He's a cool guy. I love him," Moore said.

Sanders paced Woodland Hills with 94 yards rushing on 14 carries and opened the scoring with a 3-yard run.

Randall finished 7 of 16 for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

In the first half, McKeesport scored its touchdowns on Khaleke Hudson's 12-yard run and David Queen's 56-yard pass to TyWann Smith.

McKeesport outgained Woodland Hills, 326-234.

Other games

• Western Beaver 30, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 13: Hunter Roknich ran 26 times for 267 yards and two touchdowns as the host Golden Beavers defeated the Chargers in a Class A Big Seven Conference game.

• Apollo-Ridge 56, Wilkinsburg 36: Jesse Zelonka passed for 114 yards and two touchdowns as the visiting Vikings defeated the Tigers in a Class A Eastern Conference game.

• Waynesburg 14, Summit Academy 7: Bo Hampson ran 38 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to break a 7-7 tie and give the Raiders a non-conference win at the Knights.

• Hancock (Md.) 55, Serra 26: Quarterback Zac Quattrone accounted for 402 yards of total offense, but the visiting Eagles fell to the Panthers.

hsfootball


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