Bishop England and Woodland waged an entertaining battle Friday night for the Region 6-AA championship with the Bishops claiming the crown with a 35-26 road victory.
Senior quarterback Kevin Herbst rushed for 65 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 129 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bishops to their eighth win in nine games. Senior fullback Griffie Loy added 74 yards rushing.
“We ran the ball, that’s what we wanted to do, to keep their playmakers off the field,” said Bishop England coach John Cantey.
“We came in here not knowing how good we really were because we have been playing teams that really haven’t challenged us. I was pleased with how we stepped up to the challenge tonight. Woodland is a good football team.”
The game was explosive from the start as the two teams combined for five touchdowns in the opening quarter as Bishop England took a 21-14 lead.
Herbst capped the opening drive of the game with a 3-yard run less than three minutes into the contest but Woodland answered in 16 seconds on Dakeem Hanton’s 99-yard kickoff return, tying the game at seven.
On Bishop England’s next possession, Michael Wamer picked off a Herbst pass and returned it to the 17. DeLee scored on a 10-yard run two plays later, giving the Wolverines a 14-7 lead with 8:37 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bishops answered with a 66-yard scoring drive with Herbst tying the game on a four-yard run with 5:24 left in the opening quarter.
After a Woodland punt, Bishop England took the lead on Herbst’s 69-yard pass to Nick Theos, who was playing for the first time since Week 2 of the season.
Patrick Shepherd scored on a 10-yard run for Woodland but the extra point attempt was blocked, giving the Bishops a 21-20 halftime lead.
The Bishops scored on their first possession of the third quarter with Herbst scoring his third rushing touchdown of the night on a five-yard run, upping the advantage to 28-20 with 6:20 left in the quarter.
Herbst struck through the air in the fourth quarter, hitting DeAngelo Stephenson on a 30-yard scoring toss with 8:18 to play for a 35-20 lead.
Bishop England’s defense took control, allowing only 13 total yards on Woodland’s first three second-half possessions.
“Our defense came out and set the tone in the third quarter, took the momentum early and kept it,” said Cantey. “We did a good job of adjusting at halftime and made some plays in the second half.”
However, Woodland found life late in the fourth quarter. After recovering a Bishop England fumble at its own 42, Hanton threw a halfback pass to Herbert Johnson covering 58 yards for a touchdown with 4:25 to play in the game. Woodland’s two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the margin at nine, 35-26.
BE — Kevin Herbst 3 (Drew Costa kick)
W — Dakeem Hanton 99 kickoff return (Ty Gaddist kick)
W — Michael DeLee 10 run (Gaddist kick)
BE — Herbst 4 run (Costa kick)
BE — Nick Theos 69 pass from Herbst (Costa kick)
W — Patrick Shepherd 10 run (kick blocked)
BE — Herbst 5 run (Costa kick)
BE — DeAngelo Stephenson 30 pass from Herbst (Costa kick)
W — Herbert Johnson 58 pass from Hanton (run failed)