MORGANTOWN — Luke Hudson threw for a school-record 504 yards with five touchdowns, but that wasn’t enough as University High’s football team dropped a 55-33 decision to visiting Wheeling Park on Friday night.
The Hawks (2-2) had a 20-7 lead in the second quarter and had a chance to grab a 26-7 lead when a pass fell incomplete in the end zone on fourth down.
Wheeling Park (3-1) took advantage of that slight opening and scored the next 28 points to grab control of the contest.
“We had a chance to go up (26-7) and almost pulled it off. If we get that — maybe it’s different,” UHS head coach John Kelley said. “Credit to them, they came back. The made adjustment and their defense really stepped up.”
The Patriots capitalized on two UHS fumbles. One coming late in the first half as the Hawks were driving and the other on the first play of the second half. Wheeling Park was able to score touchdowns on both of those drives to grab the lead.
“Tribute to University, they kind of took it to us in the first half,” Wheeling Park head coach Chris Daugherty said. “I thought we had a slow start. We have done that twice now. We can’t afford to do that against good teams.”
The start was flawless for Hudson and the Hawks. The junior quarterback connected on 13 straight passes to start the game and racked up 274 yards at halftime. After the Patriots grabbed the lead, the Hawks were forced to throw, and Hudson didn’t disappoint as he finished with the school record.
“I knew it was going to be a dogfight and knew they are an explosive team and can put up points. I knew we were going to have to do the same to stay in it,” Hudson said.
Jaeden Hammack finished with 188 yards and three touchdowns, Noah Braham — back from injury — added five catches for 98 yards and a score while John Coleman had six catches for 134 yards and a touchdown.
University returns to action next Friday when it travels to Class AA No. 1 ranked Fairmont Senior.
By ERIC HERTER
WP 7 14 7 27 55
UHS 13 7 0 13 33
UHS – Noah Braham 24 pass from Luke Hudson (pass fail)
UHS – Jaeden Hammack 44 pass from Hudson (John Coleman kick)
WP – Brett Phillips 59 run (Aidan Forget kick)
UHS – Hammack 52 pass from Hudson (Coleman kick)
WP – Jerrae Hawkins 62 pass from Phillips (Forget kick)
WP – Will James 20 pass from Phillips (Forget kick)
WP – Zac Lydick 27 run (AJ Seals kick)
WP – Phillips 5 run (Forget kick)
UHS – Coleman 32 pass from Hudson (Coleman kick)
WP – James 92 pass from Phillips (Seals kick)
WP – Hawkins 79 interception return (Forget kick)
UHS – Hammack 1 48 pass from Hudson (pass fail)
WP – Gavin Washington 52 run (kick fail)
RUSHING: WP – Phillips 12-93, Lydick 9-74, Hawkins 1-29, Max Wiley 2-9, Washington 1-52. UHS – Sebastian Dalton 16-43, Hudson 4-4, Coleman 1-(-5), Donovan Demidovich 3-3, Jack Byrer 1-(-1).
PASSING: WP – Phillips 14-29-1 211. UHS – Hudson 30-43-1 504.
RECEIVING: WP – Mykel Davis 3-34, Hawkins 3-29, Keohn Stephens Jr. 1-12, Wiley 2-8, Lydick 1-0, James 4-118. UHS – S. Dalton 4-64, Benny Carter 3-20, Braham 5-98, Hammack 10-188, Ethan Jackson 2-10, Coleman 6-134.