Wood puts thumping on Somerset in PIAA Class AAA semifinals

Entering this season it was probably expected that Archbishop Wood would return to the PIAA class AAA state championship game, but it wasn’t supposed to be this easy—or at least look this easy.

Wood has been dominating its opponents all season long and Saturday afternoon in the PIAA state semifinals it had one of its most dominating games of the season.

“We don’t take any game lightly and we had a little chip on our shoulder having to come all the way out here to play,’ Wood coach Steve Devlin said of his team’s 63-20 thumping of Somerset in at Chambersburg high school.

It is said that the quarterback is the most important position in all of sports; not for the Vikings on Saturday. Wood quarterback Anthony Russo attempted only two passes all game, he did not complete either, but that didn’t stop the Wood offense from rolling up over 500 yards of offense on the ground.

“The conditions were a little crazy out here today,’ Devlin said. “We figured if we could pound the ball and not have to throw it, we were doing that successfully so we didn’t need to throw.’

The Vikings had three different runners top the 100-yard mark rushing. Feature back Jarrett McClenton led the Wood rushing attack going for 232 yards on 14 carries in one half of work. Fullback Alex Arcangeli rushed for 141 yards on 10 carries also in one half of play. Both McClenton and Arcangeli hit paydirt three times apiece.

“We do what we do every week,’ Wood offensive tackle Ryan Bates said. “We line up across from the other team and we run the ball, we block, and my goal every time when I make the block is to put them on their butt.’

Wood took a 49-7 lead into halftime which set the PIAA class AAA record for the most amount of points scored in one half in a semifinal game. Even with mostly reserve players in the lineup by the second half, Shawn Thompson found his way to the 100-yard rushing mark as well.

“(It’s) hard work and preparation,’ Bates said of how Wood makes its victories look so easy. “We practice four day a week and it’s just a lot of preparation.’

After Saturday, there should not be much, if any doubt, about the status of the Wood program as the Vikings will be making their fourth consecutive trip to Hershey.

“This is my third state title starting in and I can’t describe the feeling,’ Bates said. “Knowing that I’m going to be playing my senior season in the state title game, it’s great.’

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