West Allegheny has top-notch defense - I'm Just Sayin'

Written by Mike White on .

It's time for another version of ...

I'm Just Sayin'

Look at the scoreboard after last Friday's West Allegheny-Woodland Hills game and you'd think West Allegheny's defense struggled. West Allegheny defeated Woodland Hills, 42-41, in overtime. But if ever a score was not indicative of a game, this was it.

West Allegheny's defense was absolutely superb, despite what the scoreboard said. There is no question the Indians have one of the best defenses in the WPIAL.

Yes, Woodland Hills scored 41 points, but one touchdown came in overtime, after starting at the 10-yard line. Woodland Hills also scored on an 80-yard interception return. West Allegheny also fumbled the ball away once, allowing Woodland Hills to take over at the West Allegheny 18. West Allegheny also had a punt blocked, allowing Woodland Hills to start another scoring possession at the West Allegheny 13.

Think of it: West Allegheny did not allow a 100-yard rusher and gave up only 103 yards passing. And this came against a much-bigger Woodland Hills team. Woodland Hills' offensive line is massive. Get this: The Wolverines average 6-2, 294 pounds from tackle to tackle.

There are some tough kids on that West Allegheny defense, no matter their size. Let's just say if I'm in a dark alley, I'd be more than happy to have one of those West Allegheny defenders at my side.

Let's look ahead. The West Allegheny defense going against Central Valley's offense next week? What a matchup.

**** Clairton's Lamont Wade averaged 39.3 yards per carry against Serra last Friday. Seriously. He had 275 yards on seven carries.

**** Neshannock might not be known by many fans in the WPIAL because it is located on the outskirts of the league. But what Fred Mozzocio has done there in three years as coach deserves recognition. For a number of years, Neshannock's program struggled. After two playoff years, Neshannock is now sitting two wins away from the first undefeated regular season in school history.

**** A feel-good storyline also is at Norwin this year. The Knights have struggled in recent years. But in his first year as coach, Dave Brozeski has the Knights at 5-2 and headed to the playoffs. Brozeski was an assistant for 17 years.

**** I intrigued by Apollo-Ridge's Eric Moran. When the heck was the last time Apollo-Ridge had a Division I college lineman? But this kid is 6-6, 322 pounds and is only a junior. He is fairly athletic and is impressive looking. I like him.

**** I also really like Woodland Hills' Amon Baldwin-Youngblood. He's 6-4, 325 pounds and is only a junior. Plus, he starts both ways for Woodland Hills.

**** The top three teams in Class AAA - West Allegheny, Thomas Jefferson and Central Valley - can play with any team in Class AAAA. I'm not saying they would win all the time, but they could play with the best in AAAA. Besides West Allegheny beating Woodland Hills, Central Valley won impressively against a pretty good Penn Hills (AAAA) team.

**** I better get the aspirin ready for this weekend. Time to figure out WPIAL playoff picture heading into the final week of the regular season. The Class AAA Greater Allegheny could be a mess. Five teams are tied for third place.

**** Woodland Hills' Miles Sanders is rated by scouting services as one of the top junior running backs in the country. In no way am I questioning George Novak's offense. Just merely pointing out that Sanders carried the ball 15 times against West Allegheny, which was only the second time this season he carried more than 10 times in a game.


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