Woodward football overmatched against state title hopeful Underwood
Woodward-Granger was in a rare, season-ending position Friday night as the Hawks fell 37-7 in their second round matchup against No. 5 Underwood (8-1).
Traditionally a run-dominant team, the Hawks threw the ball a season-high 24 times against one of the state's top-rated defenses compared to just 30 rushes as Woodward looked to climb out of a hole down 13-0 at halftime. That climbed to 30-0 in the next quarter, shifting the game's dynamics in new territory.
The Hawks have passed the ball just 30 percent of snaps this season. That leaped to 44 percent Friday night, giving the Eagles' trigger-happy secondary even more opportunity to force turnovers. On top of a second quarter fumble that led to the game's first points, Underwood's Collin Brandt (1) and Brayden Wollan (2) combined for three interceptions to prime the Underwood offense.
Starting to take control in the second half, the Eagles were powered by a run-first mentality. If their 234 yards on the ground weren't enough, sophomore quarterback Alex Ravlin threw himself into the mix with 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Though Woodward's defense eventually cracked and let up five touchdowns, the Hawks weren't without their playmakers as they totaled three sacks, the most Underwood has allowed this season. Jack Muesberger, Garrett Burkhart and Jon McKeever each wrapped up Ravlin.
Underwood countered that with a steady stream of tackles in the backfield as well with 11 total tackles for loss. That severely hampered the Hawks rushing attack, holding the offense to 89 yards on the ground. Kade Polich led Woodward with 92 yards on 16 carries.
Woodward's lone score came through the air from Trevor Simmons to Dylan McCaulley from 57 yards out in the fourth quarter. Simmons finished with 128 yards completing 8-of-24 passes. Christian Husmann (3 receptions, 38 yards), Carter Moran (3-32) and Worth Henry (1-1) were also a part of the mix.
Thus ends the season for the Hawks while Underwood moves on to the final 16 teams of the Class 1A postseason.