Fourth quarter rush all Central Catholic needs, beating Woodland Hills, 31-13

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Woodland Hills kept Central Catholic running back Damion Jones-Moore in check for the first three quarters Friday night, but with a chance to put the game away, Jones-Moore did what he does best.

The senior busted loose for 100 fourth-quarter rushing yards as the Vikings (4-0, 2-0 Big East) pulled away and beat the Wolverines, 31-13.

"The stamina kicked in," Jones-Moore said. "We got back to playing Central Catholic football."

Jones-Moore finished with 133 yards on 15 carries and three touchdowns. He entered the final quarter with just 33 yards on the ground but ripped off touchdown runs of 42 and 50 yards to give the Vikings an early leg up in the Big East Conference race.

"They're a great football team," Vikings coach Terry Totten said. "This is a good win for us."

Woodland Hills (3-1, 1-1) had a chance to swing the momentum late in the third quarter. After a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Menifee to Shakim Alonzo, the Wolverines trailed, 17-7. They forced Central Catholic into a three-and-out but fumbled the ensuing punt and gave possession right back to the Vikings.

"It was critical," Totten said. "I thought it was critical for us to get that."

Two plays later, Jones-Moore tore off down the right sideline for the first of his two fourth-quarter touchdown runs.

The Vikings let Perry Hills air the ball out early. The future Maryland quarterback appeared to give his team the lead on just the second play of the game, but a 70-yard touchdown from Hills to Anthony Nixon, another Terrapin commit, was called back because of a penalty.

Nixon finished with eight catches for 84 yards, and Hills completed 11 of 15 passes for 117 yards and no interceptions.

On their second possession, the Vikings ripped off an 11-play, 48-yard touchdown drive. The Wolverines came up with goal-line stops on three consecutive plays, but on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Hills snuck the ball over the line for a touchdown. He lost the ball soon after he scored, but officials ruled he crossed the plane before the fumble.

On Woodland Hills' next drive, the Wolverines faced a fourth-and-4 from their own 29. Punter Harry Randall faked the punt and took off downfield. The sophomore came up a yard short, and Central Catholic took over possession at the Wolverines 32. Three plays later, Jones-Moore ripped off a 20-yard touchdown run to put the Vikings up 14-0.

Woodland Hills coach George Novak said Randall punts rugby-style and always has the option to run if he sees daylight.

"He's a great athlete and he wanted to make a play," Novak said. "Just the wrong time to fake it."

Menifee was effective, if not spectacular, for Woodland Hills. The senior completed 8 of 17 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Alonzo finished with six catches for 128 yards and a score.

Woodland Hills travels to Altoona next week. Central Catholic will defend its perfect record against Penn Hills.


Sam Werner: swerner@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1459.


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