Devin Whitlock’s thrilling last-second TD ‘most meaningful run he’s ever made’ for Belle Vernon

Saturday, September 25, 2021 | 3:11 PM

It needs a nickname, that dazzling touchdown run by Devin Whitlock. That 40-yard mad dash with 4.5 seconds remaining Friday night that lifted No. 2 Belle Vernon past No. 1 Thomas Jefferson, 28-21, at James Weir Stadium.

That viral scoring play lit up social media and sent the Jaguars packing.

Whitlock showed everyone how fast he can run the 40 in full pads, taking the snap on fourth-and-13, shuffling slightly left, then making a sharp cut inside — with the help of key blocks from senior Cole Weightman and sophomore Jake Gedekoh — and sprinted to the end zone to send the “Beach” crowd into a frenzy.

“The Veer at the Weir?”

“The 4.5 40?”

“Fourth and long gone?”

“The Riptide Rumble” as a reader suggested?

“It was a fun one,” Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert said. “(TJ) provides a handful of matchup problems, especially with their line, and we were able to rely on our guys to come through when we needed them.”

Whitlock, who ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns, can make plenty happen on his own. But his blockers, particularly Weightman, who moved to the interior line on both sides of the ball for the game, delivered to start the play in motion.

Weightman said the play was called “Boston Left.”

It sure went right.

“I just did what I have been doing,” he said. “I locked on, drove him back and pancaked him to clear the left side hole open. Gedekoh picked up a key blitz.

“With Devin, all he needs is a crease but if you can get him a hole like that, well, you know the rest.”

Humbert is never surprised by Whitlock but even he was left shaking his head as No. 1 raced to pay dirt.

“He’s made a lot of those types of runs in the past,” Humbert said. “I would say that one is the most meaningful run he’s ever made.”

Logan Hoffman also was a standout for the Leopards on defense as he made 19 tackles, three for loss.

Humbert has coached in many large-stage games, many of them against Thomas Jefferson. But he isn’t giving this one top billing just yet.

“I would say it was one of the most enjoyable (wins),” he said. “The biggest ones come in November and there’s a lot of football left.”

Belle Vernon sophomore Quinton Martin injured his left knee Friday but he tweeted Saturday morning that the injury is not serious.

Humbert said Martin does not have any fractures.

Belle Vernon (4-0, 2-0) hosts Laurel Highlands (5-0, 2-0) next week.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


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