"Even I was a little surprised with how we played against Wood," Golden said. "After what happened against Judge, I expected us to come out a little soft. But we pushed Wood around a little bit, instead of them bullying us."
In bowing to Judge, the Raiders, who won their first four games this season by a combined score of 186-37, fell to 0-3 in league action and were eliminated from playoff contention. They earlier lost to La Salle (28-14 score) and Roman Catholic (28-16).
"I'm not going to get over that loss to Judge any time soon," Golden said. "Something like that stays with you. We really wanted that one."
In the third quarter against Wood, Golden made a juggling catch on a pass from quarterback Mark Ostaszewski, stayed on his feet, and covered 65 yards for a score that gave the hosts a 15-7 advantage.
"The defender got a hand on the ball, but I was able to cradle it in my one arm," Golden said. "I nearly fell on the play, but I was able to stay up. Then I just started running."
Ryan's defense limited Wood running backs Jarrett McClenton and Josh Messina to a combined 65 rushing yards on 16 attempts.
"Our D-line played really well," said Golden, who also serves as a punter. "A couple of guys, including [tackle] Andrew Hund, had big games."
The defense also featured tackle Joe Hansbury, ends Sean Boylan and Dylan Dopkin, and linebackers Connor Rooney and Jesse Wireman. The Vikings' only tally was Luke Spahits' 48-yard, fourth-quarter dash.
Also a basketball player, Golden, a third-year starter who has four interceptions, is an outfielder and righthanded pitcher in baseball.
For football, the Bensalem resident has heard from the likes of Georgetown and New Hampshire. In the classroom, he is ranked in the top 10 percent in a senior class of about 400.
Ryan (5-3 overall) will close its Catholic AAAA slate Saturday at home against top-ranked St. Joseph's Prep (6-1, 3-0 league).
"I just want us to prove that we're better than what our record shows," Golden said. "Beating the Prep would be a real big deal for us."
Public League playoffs. Here is the tentative schedule for the Public League Class AAAA and AA playoffs this weekend.
In Class AAAA, Frankford and George Washington, the top finishers in the Gold Division, were awarded first-round byes.
Class AAAA First Round
Samuel Fels (Gold 4) at Southern (South 1), 6:30 p.m.
Lincoln (South 2) at Northeast (Gold 3), 6:30 p.m.
Class AA Semifinals
Roxborough (3) vs. Prep Charter (2), at Southern, 3 p.m.
High School of the Future (4) vs. Imhotep Charter (1), at Northwest Philly Super Site, 6:30 p.m.
The Inquirer TOP 25
Last week's rankings in parentheses.
Rk. Team Rec.
1. St. Joe's Prep (1) 6-1
Cornerback Rob DiSanto made two interceptions in a 38-23 win over Father Judge. Next: Saturday at No. 15 Archbishop Ryan.
2. Imhotep Chart. (3) 6-1
Fullback Eddie Lynch chipped in two scores in a 61-7 romp over Prep Charter. Next: Friday vs. High School of the Future.
3. Neshaminy (4) 8-0
D'Andre Pollard rushed for 280 yards and three scores in a 49-7 rout of Bensalem. Next: Friday at No. 18 Abington.
4. Coatesville (2) 8-0
Steve Pawling's pick-six helped secure a 21-10 win over West Chester Henderson. Next: Friday vs. W.C. East.
5. Pennsbury (6) 7-1
In a 42-8 win over C.R. North, Raheem Thompson rushed for 140 yards and two scores. Next: Friday at Bensalem.
6. La Salle (7) 6-2
Nick Rinella scored three times as the Explorers downed Roman Catholic, 35-14. Next: Saturday vs. No. 20 West Catholic.
7. Garnet Valley (8) 8-0
Christian Portale threw for 160 yards and two scores in a 41-14 win over Harriton. Next: Friday at Haverford High.
8. Pottsgrove (9) 8-0
Marquis Barefield ran for 200 yards and five scores in a 52-14 thumping of Phoenixville. Next: At No. 17 Perkiomen Valley.
9. W.C. Rustin (10) 8-0
Linebacker Sean Steinmetz posted 10 tackles in a 34-20 win at Unionville. Next: Friday vs. Kennett.
10. Arch. Wood (5) 6-2
Luke Spahits had the Vikings' only score in a 22-7 loss to Archbishop Ryan. Next: Saturday vs. Bonner-Prendergast.
11. Episcopal Ac. (11) 7-1
12. C.B. West (13) 7-1
13. Father Judge (12) 5-3
14. Academy Park (14) 6-1
15. Arch. Ryan (NR) 5-3
16. Spring-Ford (15) 6-2
17. Perk. Valley (16) 7-1
18. Abington (18) 7-1
19. Upper Dublin (19) 8-0
20. West Catholic (17) 7-0
21. Malvern Prep (20) 4-2
22. North Penn (23) 5-3
23. Down. West (24) 6-2
24. Unionville (21) 6-2
25. Pennridge (22) 5-3
Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Frankford (5-3), Penncrest (7-1), Plymouth Whitemarsh (6-2), Upper Darby (6-2), West Cester Henderson (4-4).
- Rick O'Brien