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High School Football:
Woodrow Wilson Wins Defensive Battle Over Triton

Friday, November 3, 2000

By Bob Wankel
SJSports Student Correspondent

Friday night marked Senior Night at Triton High School as the Mustangs welcomed the Tigers of Woodrow Wilson. Both teams entered the game struggling with records of one 1-6. Wilson was coming off an uplifting win by the score of 13-7 over Paul VI. The Mustangs were trying to end a 5 game losing streak against an aggressive Woodrow Wilson Team. Early on it appeared they would.

Triton was looking good early on as they penetrated deep into Woodrow Wilson territory twice, but were unable to punch it in. That was something that haunted them throughout the game. Woodrow Wilson running an aggressive shotgun offense was unable to do anything in the first quarter and at the end of the first quarter the score was deadlocked at 0-0.

In the second quarter, the Mustangs continued to move the ball at will thanks to the running back tandem of Frank Williams and Brian McLaughlin. However, the theme of not being able to cap off a drive continued to haunt the Mustangs, as they remained scoreless. Triton decided to take control as quarterback Bill Grinovics found tight end Rich Maunz for a 30-yard touchdown strike. The sophomore, Maunz has found the endzone in two straight games and has become a favorite target in the Stangs passing game. The extra point was no good and the Stangs held a 6-0 lead. The Tigers answered right back as they found the endzone to tie it up at 6-6. Cortes knocked the extra point home to give Wilson a 7-6 lead.

In the third, DeShields pounded his way into the endzone to put Woodrow Wilson up by the score of 13-6. The Mustangs knew in order to pull this out they would have to start finishing off their drives. The Mustangs pounded the ball deep into Tiger territory, but they were still unable to convert their drives into points. The third quarter was scoreless and Woodrow Wilson still clinged to the 13-6 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Triton put some points on the board, but it was the stingy defense that did it. Triton was marching right down the field to the Wilson 5 yard-line. It was 4th and 1 for the Stangs and they elected to go for it. They were unable to pick up the first down and turned it over on downs. The Mustangs defense on the very next play appeared the rap up Wilson running back Keith Harrison in the endzone, but the ball was spotted on the goal line. Alex Deshields got the call to try to get Wilson some breathing room, but instead the swarming Mustang Defense surrounded him in his own endzone. With the safety, Triton cut the lead 13-8 and you could sense that this one was going down to the wire. Wilson kicked off to the Mustangs from their own 20-yard line. After the return, the ball was spotted at the Woodrow Wilson 47 yard line giving Triton great field position. Triton was unable to take advantage, so Brian Yackle came into punt. He placed a perfect kick down to the Tiger 15 yard-line. Wilson took over with just a little more than 3 minutes left to play. The Triton defense held their own and forced a 4th and 1 upon Wilson from the Tiger 24 yard line. Incredibly, Wilson elected to go for it. DeShields took the carry and was hit right at the line of scrimmage. The fate of the game depended on the spot of the ball. To the luck of the Tigers and to the dismay of the Mustangs the ball was spotted across the 25-yard line and Woodrow Wilson maintained possession. They held on the rest of the way and stole one from the Mustangs on the road by the final of 13-8.

On a side note, the Triton Freshmen Football team won by the score of 14-0 over Woodrow Wilson. Zack Finley did the scoring for the Mustangs as he tallied twice. The offensive and defensive lines both dominated this one resulting in the win for the Triton.

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