They may have missed the playoffs by a talon, but Woodward-Granger’s football team gave their fans a lot this season after finishing with a winning record for the first time in four years.
There was no slow start to the season, no multiple nail biting come from behind wins, it was just solid hard nose football where you either win or lose.
The team’s six wins in nine games was the most since the 2013-2014 season when the Hawks finished 6-4.
In those six wins the team’s offense and the end zone became vastly acquainted with the Hawks putting up 214 points including back-to-back lopsided victories of 62-14 and 42-0.
They did post one edge of your seat, heart palpitating finish when they outdueled the Trojans of Pleasantville in double overtime, 27-24 back on October, Friday the 13th.
After starting the season 1-1 the Hawks ran off five wins in six games - two and three in a row- before having their postseason dreams snatched away by the Eagles of Pella Christian, 31-8.
Offensively they didn’t post the most overwhelming stats. They finished with 746 yards through the air on just 39 completions in 110 attempts for a 35 percent clip with six touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Brendan Bird, senior quarterback, accounted for 86 percent of the passing yards with 643 on 32-for-84 with eight TDs and four interception for a 38.1 completion percentage and 99.1 QBR.
Bryce Achenbach, sophomore and senior Payton Tague, combined for the 103 yards, two TDs and one int.
The Hawks’ offense did most of their damage on the ground where they rushed for 2,216 yards on 398 carries for a 5.6 yards per carry average with 23 TDs.
Tague was the team’s workhorse. He accounted for almost half the yardage with 1,018 on 192 carries while hitting pay dirt 10 times.
Seven other Hawks tallied the 1,198 yards and 13 TDs. Bird along with seniors Austin Scharlau and Josh Saak combined for 1,033 of those yards and 11 TDs.
The defensive presence was a big factor in the team’s success this season. Together they held their opponents to under 20 points in five games including posting two shutout wins.
For the season they amassed 476 total tackles - 63 for a loss, including 10 solo sacks. They picked off their opposing QBs six times,returning three of them for touchdowns and recovered 10 fumbles.
Scharlau led the defensive charge with 80.5 total tackles, 16 for losses including two sacks and 27.5 tackle assists. Senior Cole Carman finished second with 61.5 tackles, 11 for losses.
Carman, Tague along with Achenbach and senior J.P. Nixon combined for the six interceptions with Tague taking it to the house twice and Carman once.
The kicking team, mostly sophomore Matt Hansen finished the season 10-of-15 on PATs and 1-of-2 on field goals including a long of 28.