Dangerous quarterbacks square off when Penn-Trafford meets Woodland Hills

Thursday, October 1, 2020 | 3:46 PM

When Penn-Trafford hosts No. 4 Woodland Hills on Friday in a WPIAL Class 5A Big East Conference battle for first place, it will feature a matchup between two of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the WPIAL.

Woodland Hills junior Deontae Williams and Penn-Trafford senior Ethan Carr will take center stage.

The shifty Williams has completed 27 of 41 passes for 509 yards and eight touchdowns. He also has rushed for three scores and ran for more than 100 yards against Penn Hills.

“They’re a very good team, and they have a lot of playmakers,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “They’re a typical Woodland Hills squad: tough kids and physical.

“Deontae is very dangerous. He reads defenses well and is an incredible dual threat when he takes off. We’ll have our hands full.”

Penn-Trafford will try to counter Williams and playmakers T’Rek Scipio, Gavin Yarbough and Omari Daniels with a talented secondary and linebacker corps.

Defensive backs Nathan Frye, Mason Frye and Brad Ford have played against talented receivers before, according to Ruane. They will get help from linebackers Cole Darragh, Jack Jollie and Chase Vecchio.

“Our defense is the key,” Ruane said. “They’ve given us a chance to win every game. They’ll be tested this week.”

Penn-Trafford (2-1, 1-0), which is unranked in the stacked Class 5A, rebounded from a tough 24-21 loss to Peters Township on Sept. 18 by smashing Shaler, 56-0.

Cade Yacamelli scored four touchdowns in the win. He returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a score and then had three touchdowns on the ground. He carried the ball four times for 81 yards.

Carr, however, is the player Woodland Hills coach Tom Bostard will watch.

“They are loaded,” Bostard said. “Their quarterback might be the most athletic player on the field. But they have a lot of weapons, and so do we. It should be fun.”

Bostard said Carr plenty of good options on offense, including Ford, Yacamelli, Vecchio, Chris Popovich and Jollie.

“We have to help Deontae read his keys,” Bostard said. “We want to put him in situations to succeed. We have kids who can make plays; we just have to get them the ball.”

This will be the eighth time the teams will have met. Woodland Hills (3-0, 1-0) leads the series 4-3, but three of those wins came in the playoffs. Penn-Trafford has won the last two meetings: 34-8 in 2017 and 26-7 in ’16. Bostard was the coach in ’17.

“After the loss to Peters Township, we bounced back and played with confidence against Shaler,” Ruane said. “We can’t give teams extra possessions. Our goal is to keep the football out of their hands.”

And the quarterback who plays the best probably will lead his team to victory.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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