West Hills coach Tay Snedden pointed out before a down was played that when the Wolf Pack stayed close, they were 8-0. When they didn’t, they lost with a running clock.
Second-seeded St. Augustine, led by super soph Elijah Preston, made sure West Hills wouldn’t be close by scoring the game’s first 28 points en route to a 41-7 victory in the Division II quarterfinals Thursday night at Mesa College.
At least West Hills avoided the running clock.
“We have too much speed for them,” said Saints coach Richard Sanchez. “The defense did a heck of a job in the first half. We were able to control the ball and not make mistakes.”
With the win, the Saints (9-2) advance to the semifinals against Imperial on Wednesday at Mesa.
Preston finished with 215 yards and TDs of 36 and 30 yards on only 14 carries.
When the Saints scored with just 26.4 seconds remaining before the break, it capped a dominant first half on both sides of the ball.
With Preston gaining 187 yards on just nine carries, St. Augustine piled up 278 yards on the ground and Joe Joe Hudson added another 86 passing on 7 of 9 attempts. The only thing slowing the Saints was 73 yards in penalties.
West Hills’ vaunted passing attack was grounded as Stephen Schindler could complete just 3 of 11 for 10 yards.