Peters Township defense clamps down on Woodland Hills, posts shutout

Friday, September 6, 2019 | 10:53 PM

Coming off the high of toppling neighboring Upper St. Clair last Friday, Peters Township’s defense made sure there would be no letdown this week.

Logan Pfeuffer tossed four touchdown passes for the Indians, but his teammates on the other side of the ball stole the show by limiting Woodland Hills to 111 yards of total offense and posting a 26-0 shutout Friday at the Wolvarena.

Peters Township (3-0, 2-0) wasn’t at its sharpest on offense, turning the ball over three times. But the defending Allegheny 8 champs and second-ranked team in Class 5A clamped down on the Wolverines (0-3, 0-2) by holding them to less than 2 yards per rush — 79 yards on 41 carries — and eight first downs.

“We were a little flat oming off a big, emotional win, but we played tough,” Peters Township coach T.J. Plack said. “We put the ball on the ground a couple of times, which is uncharacteristic of us, but we’re going to get it out of the way and learn from it.”

The defense began making its mark on the second play for Woodland Hills’ offense, as Ryan Magiske pounced on a fumble at the Wolverines’ 32-yard line. Six plays later, Peters was on the board when tight end Corban Hondru ran a wheel route to the left sideline and pulled in an 11-yard toss from Pfeuffer.

Peters making stops was a common occurrence in the first half, as they limited the Wolverines to 7 yards on the ground.

“I think they loaded the box on us tonight expecting to stop the run,” Woodland Hills coach Tim Bostard said. “Honestly, we haven’t been throwing the ball very well so far this season, so we’ve got to complete some passes to get teams to take some guys out of the box. Peters loaded the box and dared us to throw, and we didn’t complete passes. Credit goes to them and their defensive coordinator.”

The Indians built their lead to 20-0 by halftime, as Pfeuffer connected with Josh Casilli on scoring passes of 5 and 15 yards. The junior quarterback finished 9 for 16 for 140 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, but he also was sacked five times.

“We’ve got five new linemen up there,” Plack said. “They’re young and have zero experience, so this is Game 3 for them. (Woodland Hills) is quick off the ball. They bring guys off the edge and gave us some different looks than on film, so it’s hard to make adjustments on-field because everything is new to them.”

On the other sideline, Bostard implored his defense to step up after halftime with the offense scuffling. The Wolverines responded and kept the game within reach with a turnover on downs and forced punts on Peters’ only two drives of the third quarter.

“We just had to do our keys that we were taught all week long. We challenged them to keep them to a goose egg on the scoreboard and try to give the offense a chance. They did their job, and offensively, I think we did a little better in the second half,” Bostard said.

But every time Woodland Hills came close to scoring, Peters’ defense had the answer.

The Wolverines got a short field late in the fourth quarter after recovering a snap over Pfeuffer’s head, but with first-and-goal at the 7, the Indians kept making plays and overcame a pass interference call to preserve the shutout.

“Our defense was phenomenal,” Plack said. “We played them tough, and we’re pretty good against I-pro (offense) teams. We get penetration. We’re fast on ‘D,’ and our guys tackle well. We’re very disruptive, and our guys take pride in that.”

Lucas Culan pulled in a 45-yard pass in the fourth quarter to close the scoring, and Magiske led the Peters rushing attack with 91 yards on 18 carries.

Quarterback Jeffrey Williams led Woodland Hills with 52 yards on 14 carries.

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