From the very first play, No. 6 West Liberty-Salem was on.
The Tigers edged Summit Country Day, 21-13 on Friday.
The Tigers’ Taylor Cordell scored on a 9-yard touchdown that capped off a 79-yard drive three minutes into the game to put them up, 7-0.
By the time the first play of the second quarter was in the books, West Liberty-Salem had posted 21 unanswered points and left the Silver Knights in a daze.
Cordell set the tone, finishing the night with 112 yards and a pair of first-quarter touchdowns. It was his work on defense hounding SCD senior quarterback Antonio Woods all evening long that really fueled the team’s fire.
The Tigers (10-2) sacked Woods six times and pressured him into two interceptions. The game plan was to make him uncomfortable and it was executed to perfection by the Tigers.
Woods wasn’t about to go quietly. A pair of second-half touchdowns passes to classmate Daniel Bruns kept SCD close. The last one came with 4:14 left in the contest to make the score 21-13.
Summit Country Day recovered the ensuing onside kick. With the Knights back in business, West Liberty-Salem turned to their defense once more and Kameron Evans picked off Woods to end the threat.
Time would run out on Summit Country Day and Woods' career, but not before he left a legacy that saw the program make four straight postseason appearances and nab its first wins in Week 11 while he was under center.
The victory marks the first time in school history that West Liberty-Salem has advanced to the Regional finals. The Tigers will face OHC league rival Mechanicsburg (10-2) for the Region 22 title.
The Indians beat WL-S, 32-22 during the regular season.
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