Prospect hustles by Wheeling
Friday's football game between Prospect and visiting Wheeling turned on a hustle play early in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 14-7, Wheeling possessed the ball on Prospect's 4-yard-line and faced a fourth-and-3.
The play broke down, and sophomore quarterback Amani Dennis scrambled around a couple Prospect defenders, but was giving ground as he did so. Prospect senior defensive end Mike Houghton was finally able to corral Dennis for a 17-yard loss to give the Knights the ball.
On the ensuing drive, Prospect quarterback Devin O'Hara scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to give the Knights a 21-7 lead, which wound up being the game's final score.
"It was huge," Houghton said of his sack. "We knew we had to make a play. We knew it was basically goal line (defense). We all decided to buck up, and when we got the play we knew we were going to finish it."
O'Hara said it was a big momentum swing for the offense coming onto the field after Houghton's sack.
Adding to that momentum swing was O'Hara's 33-yard pass to junior receiver Luis Leguer to begin the ensuing drive.
"That was a big play for sure," O'Hara said. "Credit to Luis Leguer on that play because he went up and got the ball. That set the tone for that drive and then we went and finished it off."
O'Hara (18 carries, 103 yards, 2 touchdowns), running back Steve Isteefanos (19 carries, 94 yards, one touchdown) and running back Jack Tuttle (12 carries, 54 yards) led the way on the ground for the Knights.
Both O'Hara and Prospect (5-3, 3-1) coach Mike Sebestyen credited Prospect's offensive line of Kevin Kern, Thomas Castro, Houghton, Jackson Wrede, and Pat Costello with the success of the offense.
"We're a team that is very dependent on our offensive and defensive lines to come through, and then allow our skill kids to complement that," Sebestyen said. "We're going to have to grind things out and go for it on third and short, and fourth and short."
On several occasions in the second half, Prospect was able to convert first downs on running plays in short yardage situations on third and fourth down.
"Steve, Jack and I, we try to run hard, but none of that happens without the o-line," O'Hara said. "They were leaders at halftime. They stepped up, and said we need to pick it up big. So all credit to them."
Wheeling (3-5, 1-3) was effective with its quick passing attack all night. Dennis completed 18 of 24 passes for 134 yards. His favorite target was junior receiver Sam Yoshino, who had 11 catches for 79 yards.
Also impressive was the Wildcat defense, which came up with 2 fourth-down stops in the second quarter to keep the game tied going into halftime.
"I thought we played well in general," Wheeling coach Brent Pearlman said. "I thought the kids played hard, and that's what we asked them to do. I think this was the first time this year we played hard and really physical for four quarters. That's what we want them to do."