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Northwood football defeats Dana Hills with another big night from Adam Harper

IRVINE – Northwood senior Adam Harper rushed for 332 yards with four touchdowns and his younger brother, sophomore Joseph Harper, had two sacks to lead the Timberwolves to a 37-20 victory over Dana Hills on Friday night at Irvine High.

The victory gave Northwood (9-1, 3-0) the Pacific Coast League title outright.

The Timberwolves will find out their playoff division and first-round opponent when the CIF-SS brackets are released Sunday at 10 a.m.

Dana Hills (6-4, 1-2), which finished third in league behind Northwood and Laguna Hills (2-1 in league), will have to wait to see if it gets an at-large berth for the playoffs.

Adam Harper, a 5-foot-11 senior, also had 13 tackles in the contest and he scored on the first play of the game, on an 80-yard run.

“It’s a great family and really great kids,” Northwood coach JC Clarke said of the Harper brothers. “Joe is a great kid. He’s our best receiver and defensive end. He played varsity last year as a freshman and he was the fifth-leading tackler. He’s a different type of player.

“In Divisions 7 through 10, Adam has to be the best two-way player out there. He’s an outstanding linebacker. He can play defense in college, but he’s a pretty good running back. He’s got moves, he’s strong and he doesn’t get tired. He didn’t take a play off tonight. He played that entire game. He’s pretty special.”

Dana Hills stayed with the Timberwolves with a pair of field goals — 38 and 21 yards — from Deacon Hill.

The Timberwolves added a touchdown in the first half with a 20-yard pass from Eugene Miyata to Andrew Penrod.

That touchdown pass was the only score Northwood had that didn’t come from Harper, who had 32 carries on the night.

“We just got our all-league lineman back,” Adam Harper said. “He was able to come back, and was able to light the fire with us. Our O-line came out on fire tonight. They were amazing. They gave me holes and I was running through them.”

Dana Hills got its first touchdown in the third quarter on a 55-yard pass from Connor Vernon to Noah Kucera.

Vernon threw another touchdown pass, to Blaize Bolter, from 52 yards in the fourth quarter.

Vernon completed 16 of 34 passes for 242 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Kucera caught six passes for 144 yards with a touchdown, and Bolter caught four passes for 67 yards and a score.

Ethan Brougham had 13 tackles for Dana Hills.

Christian Guarascio rushed for 82 yards on 19 carries for the Dolphins.

“He’s a good runner,” Joseph Harper said of Guarascio, who entered the game leading the county in rushing yards. “We stopped him. I don’t know how many rushing yards he’s had this season, but he’s been going off. Coach said if they can’t score, they can’t win and we did a great job with him.”

Miyata completed 5 of 13 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Penrod caught three passes for 79 yards and a score.

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