WARMINSTER, Pa. – West Catholic’s game plan against Archbishop Wood was rather simple. Run the ball, control the clock and keep Wood’s explosive offensive unit watching helplessly from the sideline.
West did the run the ball – 47 times to be exact – and limited the Vikings to only 38 total offensive plays. But Wood made those plays count.
Joey Monaghan threw for 279 yards in just 10 passing attempts and West Catholic (0-2) had to endure three turnovers on downs and an anemic passing attack as Archbishop Wood (1-1) posted a 28-0 shutout of the Burrs Saturday night at William Tennett High School in Warminster.
West head coach Brian Fluck said the effort came down to two words: missed opportunities.
“In the beginning, we did what we wanted to do,” the Burrs’ boss said. “But we made too many mistakes.”
From the beginning, West showed its hand of trying to take the air out of the ball, orchestrating a 14-play march which drained 7:07 of game clock. Junior running back David Williams saw six of the first 14 plays go his way, but the Burrs turned the ball over on downs at the Wood 37 yard line following a costly holding penalty and a pair of injured quail looking passes from Jaleel Reed fell incomplete.
West had another similar drive late in the first half. Highlighted by a Williams 50-yard run to the Wood 27, the Burrs got as far as the Viking 14-yard line, but Jalil Shoatz fumbled away the opportunity at the seven yard line with 2:33 left in the first half.
Wood, already up 7-0 at that juncture, wasted no time in making West Catholic pay. One play after West was flagged for pass interference, Monaghan hooked up with Nate Smith for a 52-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 Viking advantage. Smith caught a 31-yard pass from Monaghan earlier in the drive and had four catches for 153 yards in the first half.
“Nate’s a good one,” said Wood head coach Steve Devlin. “I kinda kick myself for not using him more (in the Central Catholic game the week before). He’s definitely one of our playmakers.”
Monaghan wasn’t slowing down – on Wood’s second possession of the second half, he hit Kyle Adkins on a 45-yard screen pass which went all the way to the Burrs’ 19 yard line. Three plays later, senior Ryan McMullin crashed into the end zone for Wood to push the lead to 21-0.
McMullin saw action this night as Rutgers commit Desmon Peoples was held out of action due to a sprained ankle, shifting Brandon Peoples to the tailback slot. #5 got Wood on the board to start the scoring with a 14-yard run just five seconds into the second quarter.
“He’s one of our guys – we have several guys who can carry the ball,” Devlin said. “Tonight, Ryan ran it well for us.”
Just for good measure, Monaghan signed, sealed and delivered Wood’s win with one more long connection with Smith – a 65-yard bomb down the middle of the field after forcing a West punt. In all, Smith caught five passes for 218 yards – and none of the passes went for any length fewer than 31 yards.
“The goal was to shut down their ground game and force them to pass,” Fluck said. “And we got caught playing some man-to-man coverage.”
West had one last chance to try to dent the scoreboard, driving from its own 31 to the Wood 14 with runs of 22 and 13 yards by Williams along the way. But Wood stiffened, sacking Reed for a 14-yard loss and bringing up a 4th-and-26 situation, which ended in a turnover on downs when Reed’s pass intended for Williams was incomplete.
From there, Wood strung together four first downs on a series of runs from Kendall Singleton and Jake Cooper to run out the clock.
Wood finished with 420 yards of offense and 16 first downs – most of that came from Monaghan, who reached his passing total with an 8-of-10 night. McMullin ran for 55 yards on eight carries and the two touchdowns. Cooper ran for 49 yards on six carries and Singleton 17 yards on three carries.
West was paced by Williams’ 211 yards on 32 carries. Shoatz added 18 yards on four carries. Reed finished with minus-31 rushing yards and connected on 4-of-9 passes for 15 yards. West finished with only 11 first downs, gained either by way of Williams’ runs or Wood penalties.