Nasir Peoples carries Archbishop Wood to PIAA state Class 5A championship

Seasons change, names rearrange, but it all seems to stay the same for Archbishop Wood.

Friday night at Northeast, the Vikings overwhelmed Unionville, 49-28, to advance to the PIAA 5A finale, a fifth appearance in the last seven seasons.

Next Friday at 7 p.m. at Hersheypark Stadium, Wood will face District 7 Gateway, which beat District 3’s Manheim Central, 31-28, on Friday night.

Last season, Wood knocked off Harrisburg to claim its fourth PIAA title in six years.

“Every year, the sophomores move up, juniors move up and there’s a new cast of characters,” Wood coach Steve Devlin said. “The (Raheem) Blackshears, (Shawn) Thompsons and (Mark) Webbs are all gone. These guys had to write their own story.”

Perhaps the swiftest pen strokes came from senior running back Nasir Peoples.

The Virginia Tech commit finished with 147 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries (all in the first half).

“This was a step in the road for us to get to Hershey,” Peoples said. “We did what we had to do.”

By halftime it was all but done.

The Vikings led, 14-0, after the first frame and, 28-7, at intermission.

Peoples touchdowns came from 2, 3 and 9 yards out but his longest was a 38-yard rush down the right sideline.

“He’s got great vision, he glides, he’s explosive and he turns short runs into powerful 10-yard runs,” Devlin said. “And he’s tough. The more you give it to him, the better he gets.”

Defensively, the Vikings held the Indians to just 17 total yards by halftime, while Wood’s offense had 241.

The Indians also had -7 rushing yards by the break, but finished with 101.

Wood finished with 375 total yards. Unionville finished with 173.

Joe Zubillaga finished with 30 yards on 8 carries. Joe Fariello added 37 yards and a score on 3 tries.

“This senior class,” Devlin said, “all those guys, that’s what makes it fulfilling. They just want to carry on that tradition. And as seniors they want to say they played in a state championship.”

Box Score

Archbishop Wood 14 14 14 7 49

Unionville 0 7 7 14 29

W: Nasir Peoples 2 run. Bob Hennessy kick.

W: Peoples 3 run. Hennessy kick

W: Jack Colyar 1 run. Hennessy kick

U: J.T. Hower 67 kick return. Twombly kick

W: Peoples 9 run. Hennessy kick

W: Billy Shaeffer 60 fumble return. Hennessy kick

W: Adrian Lambert 5 run. Hennessy kick

U: Alex Gorgone 30 run. Twombly kick

W: Chris Blackstone 1 run. Hennessy kick

U: Joe Fariello 20 run. Twombly kick.

U: Nick Schnaars 67 fumble return. Twombly kick