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Wood storms past Central Catholic

Behind Brandon and Desmon Peoples, the red-hot Vikings ran wild in a 70-14 slaughter.

Archbishop Wood's Brandon Peoples picks up some big yardage against Allentown Central Catholic. Peoples scored three touchdowns and his cousin Desmon had two more in the rout.
Archbishop Wood's Brandon Peoples picks up some big yardage against Allentown Central Catholic. Peoples scored three touchdowns and his cousin Desmon had two more in the rout.Read moreDAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer

Archbishop Wood's size and dominance up front paved the way for quite the payback against Allentown Central Catholic.

Reversing last year's 22-point defeat, Wood scored five touchdowns in the first 13 minutes, racked up 568 yards on the ground, and dismantled the District 11 champions, 70-14, Friday night in a PIAA Class AAA state semifinal at Northeast.

With cousins Desmon and Brandon Peoples running wild, Steve Devlin's squad netted 368 rushing yards in the first half. Joey Monaghan's 1-yard sneak in the first minute of the second quarter made it 35-0.

Before the break, Desmon Peoples carried 12 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns. The senior tailback, bound for Rutgers, sat out last year's 49-27 loss to Allentown Central Catholic with a foot injury.

"This has been in the back of my mind for the longest time," he said. "I couldn't wait to play this game. I was so excited. I wanted to show them what I could do. We gave it 100 percent every play."

Next Friday, 7 p.m. at Hersheypark Stadium, Wood (13-1) will face District 3's Bishop McDevitt (13-2) for the state title. McDevitt eliminated District 7's Montour, 41-32, in Friday's other semifinal.

Against Central Catholic, the mercy rule - and running clock - kicked in early in the third quarter. Nate Smith's 73-yard punt return and Monaghan's conversion pass to tight end Colin Thompson put Wood in front, 49-14.

"They remembered the feeling coming out of the locker room last year," Devlin said. "They put their heart and soul into it."

As expected, Brendan Nosovitch, Central Catholic's strong-armed quarterback, fired away from the beginning. In the first half, the South Carolina recruit hit on 22 of 42 passes for 239 yards and two TDs.

Overall, Nosovitch, who left with a little less than seven minutes to play, completed 25 of 53 throws for 265 yards.

"The better team won," the senior said. "We gave it our all. They were as good as advertised."

After producing a pair of 7-yard TD bursts, Brandon Peoples, a senior fullback, went 70 yards for his third score of the first quarter. The Temple recruit finished with 136 yards on 10 attempts, all in the first half.

Wood's offensive line included center Brandon Arcidiacono, guards Fran Walsh and George Griffin, tackles Nick Arcidiacono and Frank Taylor, and tight ends Thompson and Jonathan Vicari.

"Our line has been a strength all year," Devlin said. "We got a couple of guys [Taylor and Arcidiacono] back from injuries, and that was a huge plus for us. Football, especially in Pennsylvania, is won on the line."

Allentown Central Cath. 0 14 0 0 – 14

Archbishop Wood 14 27 22 7 – 70

AW: B. Peoples 7 run (Visco kick)

AW: B. Peoples 7 run (Visco kick)

AW: D. Peoples 2 run (Visco kick)

AW: B. Peoples 70 run (Visco kick)

AW: Monaghan 1 run (Visco kick)

ACC: Gulyas 8 pass from Nosovitch (DiGiacomo kick)

AW: D. Peoples 77 run (kick blocked)

ACC: Snyder-Scipio 18 pass from Nosovitch (DiGiacomo kick)

AW: Smith 63 punt return (Thompson pass from Monaghan)

AW: McMullen 34 run (Visco kick)

AW: McMullen 11 run (Visco kick)

AW: Messina 81 run (Buonomo kick)