Penn-Trafford gets clean victory against Woodland Hills

Friday, September 9, 2022 | 11:32 PM

Looking to right a wrong — the Warriors lost at home last week for just the third time since 2013 — Penn-Trafford returned to form at Warrior Stadium.

Instead of turning the ball over and going backward with penalties, the Warriors were sound and crisp, back to making big plays on both sides of ball and, most importantly to them, winning.

The No. 4 Warriors used a balanced offense, put up a 28-point first quarter and mercy-ruled Woodland Hills, 48-14, in a Class 5A nonconference game Friday night in Harrison City.

Quarterback Conlan Greene accounted for 170 yards of offense and three touchdowns, Tasso Whipple ran for 76 yards and a touchdown and the Warriors (2-1) intercepted three passes, one that went for an 80-yard pick-6 by Nolan Marasti, as the Warriors moved to 2-1.

“We played with a lot of energy tonight,” said Greene, who was 7 of 10 for 120 yards and a touchdown and ran for two scores. “We really prepared well for this game. It feels better to play like this. We know we are better than we showed (last week against McKeesport).”

Penn-Trafford built a 42-7 lead by halftime.

Whipple, who has moved into the top running back spot on the depth chart, capped a 92-yard opening drive with a short touchdown run.

The Warriors went up 14-0 on a touchdown by Jake Otto, who scored on a direct snap from a yard. Ben Cardiff’s interception and 34-yard return set up the score.

Otto later connected on a 34-yard pass to Daniel Tarabrella on a trick play.

Greene delivered a strike to Tarabrella for a 34-yard touchdown, and the pair hooked up again later in the first quarter — Tarabrella made a diving grab in traffic — before Greene scored on a 5-yard run.

Tarabrella had three catches for 106 yards.

Penn-Trafford had 371 yards of total offense, 212 rushing.

Green’s second rushing TD of the half made it 35-0 five minutes before halftime.

“I am proud of our kids,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “They had a terrific week of practice. They were more unhappy every day but kept working and improving. We wanted to get the ball to a lot of different guys and be more dynamic and creative. We got our confidence back.”

Woodland Hills’ Brandon Jones ripped off a 65-yard run to set up Cam Walters’ short TD pass to Will “Scoop” Smith to cut the deficit to 35-7.

Jones ran for 92 yards on nine carries.

But the Warriors responded in a big way as Marasti intercepted Walters and returned it 80 yards for a 42-7 advantage at the half.

“What a terrific play,” Ruane said. “He jumped it and turned on the jets. Just a great play.”

Woodland Hills (1-2), which was looking to rebound from a 21-0 loss to No. 1 Gateway, was playing catch-up from the start.

“Our kids didn’t quit, and I know I wasn’t going to stop coaching until there were zeros on the clock,” Woodland Hills coach Tim Bostard said. “P-T is a very well-coached team, and they fly to the ball on defense.”

With backups in the game in the third quarter, Parker Guy broke free for a 22-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring.

Amere Brown took the ensuing kickoff back 95 yards for Woodland Hills to make it 48-14 late in the third.

Jack Weishaar also had an interception for the Warriors.

Owen Demeri did not play for Penn-Trafford after he was injured last week against McKeesport.

The win was the 110th for Ruane at Penn-Trafford.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at

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