Catholic school football is in a league of its own, literally and figuratively. The energy at the game on Friday night was off the charts, which is why the loss for Wood came with such a sting.
Wood earned themselves a spot on a list they may have not wanted to be on: Largest Losses During the Last 15 Seasons. Some might say “the end of an era.” Wood owns a 160-31 record over the past 15 seasons (2003-17), but could not stop the number three ranked defense in the state of Pennsylvania for Catholic League high schools.
D’Andre Swift was a name missing from the roster, but Marquez McCray and his teammates have shown that they are ready to step forward and concur the season. Putting up 144 passing yards and 61 rush yards from McCray, as well as a crushing defensive effort, the Prep improved to 3-0 with a 27-7 win over Archbishop Wood.
McCray has certainly made quite the noise as Prep’s QB, but says, “A lot of teams will play zone, but Archbishop Wood has great (defensive backs) like Nasir Peoples, so they have a lot of trust in their guys and they played a lot of man.” “That opened up a lot of options for us,” said McCray.
Wood senior Nasir Peoples ran for 130 yards on 22 carries, but the Vikings were otherwise kept in check offensively. Peoples was the only scorer for the Vikings, with a touchdown on a 21-yard run in the first quarter. And while the Virginia Tech recruit had accumulated 68 yards on his first seven carries, only three of the next 15 went for more than five yards.
Anyone who knows Catholic League football knows the family ahead of Peoples, but when asked if that affects his game, he says, “I don’t think about it at all. I just try to practice hard, (hopefully) go out and execute, play hard and do what I gotta do.”
Both teams have quite the season ahead of them. Let’s hope this loss doesn’t loom in the future of Wood football.
Photo Credit: Wave Lane