WOODWARD — Woodward-Granger’s football team did a complete 180-degree turn in more ways than one last Friday.
One week after suffering a 44-8 loss to visiting Madrid in Class A District 7 play, W-G moved to the visitors bench last Friday and posted a District 7 win over the Woodward Academy by, yes, a 44-8 margin.
"We played really well after not going into the Madrid game the way we should have," W-G head coach George Ashman said. "I know they (the Academy) are winless, but they have put up some decent offensive numbers, and I was happy to see us hold them like we did."
W-G (5-3, 4-2) reported the Academy had finished with just 17 yards of total offense, but the Knights posted six yards on the ground and 37 through the air for a total of 43 yards. Either way, the Knights (0-8, 0-6) made precious little headway, scoring only late in the game on a 22-yard pass from Victor Fuller to Reshsaun Mcgee, with Darius Scott-Crayton catching a two-point conversion pass.
The W-G defense fell on five Academy fumbles, with Race Brant, Tanner Canova, Jimmy Harney, Drew Jacobson and Riley Jacobson making the recoveries.
Marshall Nieland started the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run and point-after kick early in the first quarter. The lead grew to 15-0 when Dylan Garland scored on a five-yard run and added the two-point conversion run.
Nieland pushed the margin to 21-0 with a five-yard TD run in the second period, with Cole Ashman hitting Canova on touchdown passes of 37 and 51 yards, respectively, later in the frame. Michael Connor ran in one conversion, with Ashman finding Canova for another as W-G posted a 37-0 margin at the intermission.
Connor capped the scoring for W-G with a six-yard burst in the third period, with Nieland’s PAT putting the score at 44-0.
Ashman was 3-4-0 for 88 yards and two TDs through the air, with Canova catching all three passes.
The Hawks ran 57 times for 276 yards, with Nieland (25-134) and Connor (12-82) leading the way. Garland (9-26), Brant (5-25), Ashman (3-17) and Hunter Vermaas (1-3) all had positive yards for W-G, with Nick Squires losing 11 yards on two carries in mop-up duty at quarterback.
Canova and Dyllan Rosenbaum each had two sacks, with Connor, Dylan Nixon and Drew Jacobsen adding one sack each.
W-G hosts Bedford (1-7, 1-5) tonight in their regular season finale. Barring a considerable upset in Woodward or Malvern and a few other mathematical quirks, the Hawks will place third in District 7 and face District 8 runner-up East Mills, in Malvern, Wednesday in the first round of the playoffs. Look for a preview of that contest early next week online at www.theperrychief.com.