Woodland Hills survives in overtime
Woodland Hills won’t surrender its crown easily.
With 16 seconds left Friday night, senior Devon White caught a 32-yard touchdown pass and then a game-tying two-point conversion to force overtime, where the Wolverines beat No. 2 seed Mt. Lebanon, 29-22, in the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs.
Woodland Hills, the seventh seed, won the title in 2009.
“The kids never gave up,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. “They made a lot of tough plays. They knew we had to get back down here and score.”
Wolverines star Lafayette Pitts scored the winning points with a 10-yard touchdown run on the first play of overtime. He took a pitch to the right and sneaked inside the pylon. It was the 33rd carry for Pitts, who had 176 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 95-yard kickoff return.
On its overtime possession, Mt. Lebanon (10-1) began with three straight runs by standout junior Luke Hagy. The first gained 7 yards and the second gained 1, but Hagy was stopped for a 2-yard loss on the third. On fourth-and-goal from the 4, quarterback Pat Goff’s pass fell incomplete.
“Woodland Hills made some awesome plays,” Mt. Lebanon coach Chris Haering said. “On the two-point conversion and the touchdown, we had guys right there. They found a way to make the plays.”
In the semifinals, Woodland Hills (8-3) will play North Hills (10-1), a 16-14 winner over Upper St. Clair.
Mt. Lebanon had a 22-14 lead when Hagy ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils were facing fourth-and-goal when Hagy leapt into the end zone with what seemed to be the winning touchdown.
But Woodland Hills had one more drive.
Quarterback Patrick Menifee, who became the team’s starter midseason, led the Wolverines 72 yards in 10 plays, including a 14-yard pass to tight end Ejuan Price on fourth-and-12. That let White make his two pivotal catches in the end zone. Menifee fought through a tackle attempt of Mt. Lebanon’s Paul Lang when throwing the tying two-point conversion.
Woodland Hills mistakes led to Mt. Lebanon’s first 14 points. The Wolverines fumbled three times in the second quarter, all within a three-minute span. Mt. Lebanon recovered two of them and quickly turned the turnovers into touchdowns.