Wood ral­lies past Pope John XXIII

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - SPORTS - By Bren­dan Mon­a­han

Warmin­ster >> Arch­bishop Wood High School de­feated Pope John XXIII High School 22-20 in a thriller Satur­day night.

Wood led John XIII 16-13 with a ma­jor­ity of the sec­ond quar­ter left. Wood took the ball to the 41yard line af­ter a boot from John XXIII kicker early in the sec­ond quar­ter. This led to an easy first down on two plays that started a drive into John XIII ter­ri­tory. The Vik­ings mixed the play calls with both run and pass.

An in­jured Chris Black­stone, the Vik­ings tail­back, gave more play­ing time to Tom San­ti­ago. Arch­bishop Wood coach Kyle Ad­kins said Black­stone suf­fered from a “bruised leg.” This caused San­ti­ago to fill his place.

“He’s a tough kid,” said Ad­kins of San­ti­ago. “He runs hard. We’ll need him as the sea­son pro­gresses.”

A San­ti­ago run caused cheers from the crowd. He notched a 40yard touch­down in the first quar­ter on his third carry with sev­eral other big runs. San­ti­ago pro­vided a spark for the Vik­ings all night as he com­bined a unique blend of speed and strength.

The run­ning back had a 61yard run to the 19-yard line, but noth­ing ma­te­ri­al­ized on the drive. San­ti­ago de­liv­ered the game-win­ning play, pro­vid­ing a touch­down run with around 10 min­utes left in the fourth quar­ter, but the Vik­ings missed the ex­tra point. The score be­came 22-20 Wood. This re­mained the de­cid­ing touch­down. John XXIII couldn’t cap­i­tal­ize on its fi­nal op­por­tu­nity.

“As soon as I caught the catch, I saw the hole wide open, and I just took it,” San­ti­ago said. “Then, a cou­ple de­fend­ers got to me, but I broke the tack­les, and I got in.”

Wood led 16-13 over John XIII at half­time and rode its tail­back most of the game. The Vik­ings sealed the con­test with his fourthquar­ter touch­down and mul­ti­ple runs. Black­stone ran the ball early within the 10-yard-line, but the Lions pushed Wood back­ward. The Vik­ings used their full slate of tal­ent to march down the field on the drive.

A 70-yard-run by Pope John XXIII pushed it close to the 20-yard-line. Hron­cich threw a

per­fect ball in the cor­ner of the end­zone, and the Lions tacked on the ex­tra point for the 20-16 lead with just over seven min­utes left in the third quar­ter. Hron­cich’s speed was on full dis­play af­ter a big run brought John XXIII to the en­emy’s

32-yard-line.

John XXIII took over deep in its ter­ri­tory with just sev­eral min­utes to play in the third quar­ter. Wood quar­ter­back Jake Ross handed the ball off sev­eral times be­fore the end of the third quar­ter, but noth­ing came to fruition. Wood re­cov­ered a fum­ble on the 31-yard-line at the be­gin­ning of the fourth.

To be­gin the third quar­ter, Dy­lan Ur­banowski of Wood

pro­vided a sack on third down and set up a John XIII drive start­ing from the 38yard line. He also forced a fum­ble in the first quar­ter. John XIII al­most blocked a punt with a ma­jor­ity of the third quar­ter re­main­ing.

Af­ter the stag­nant sec­ond quar­ter, Ur­banowski said the team started com­mu­ni­cat­ing bet­ter.

“Our of­fense put the ped­als on,” Ur­banowski said.

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