Woodward soars by WCV to boost playoff options

Sean Cordy
Woodward-Granger players react to a big play on Friday, Sept. 25.

Woodward-Granger (5-1) played like it had everything to lose Friday night at West Central Valley (1-5). Looking ahead to next week's season finale against No.1 Van Meter, the Hawks certainly could have lost a lot without a dominant penultimate performance.

A win against WCV was the only path that keeps the Hawks in contention to win the 1A-8 District title as a win against Van Meter next would give Woodward the tie-breaker and an automatic bye week in this year's revised playoff format. 

Though, should the Hawks lose next week's matchup against the undefeated Bulldogs — who have posted shutout wins three of the last four years against Woodward — they'll still vie for the last at-large bye. Running away with such a dominant win Friday keeps them on that path.

With a season-high 533 yards of total offense throughout the game, there was little standing in the way of the end zone. Within five minutes Kade Polich put up his first of two scores of the night. Taking his next score 77 yard down the field, he finished with 182 yards on 16 carries, his second straight week over the century mark.

That didn't even account for half of the team's rushing production as the Hawks ground the rock 353 yards with the aid of Dylan Bird (74 yards, 1 TD), Trevor Simmons (49 yards, 1 TD) and Jake Lego (34 yards, 1 TD).

Simmons also put together a highlight reel through the air for 180 yards and three touchdowns, completing 10-of-16 passes. His eight passing touchdowns are the most by a Woodward QB since Cole Ashman scored nine in 2014.

At Simmons' aid was Dylan McCaulley with a personal record 93 yards and two scores on five receptions. Christian Husmann also had 61 yards and a touchdown on two catches. 

Woodward's defense played lock-down as well, finding themselves in the WCV backfield all night as the team had eight tackles for loss. For comparison's sake, Van Meter had four TFLs in a 48-6 win.

Garrett Burkhart led the team with two TFLs, one sack and five total tackles. Jon McKeever also grabbed one of his seven tackles behind the line to go with two fumble recoveries.

Kickoff for next week's season finale against Van Meter is at 7 p.m. at Hawk Stadium.