3 Things to Know: Woodward-Granger football

Sean Cordy

Woodward-Granger sports are officially on vacation until the winter season starts up. After a second-round loss to Underwood last week, Hawks football won't suit up for Friday night lights until next August. With a record of 6-3 behind them, the Hawks still walked away from 2020 with the team's third consecutive winning season. Here's what to know about this year's successes.

A balanced attack

Trevor Simmons gets ready to take the snap on Friday, Sept. 25.

Since 2010, the only season in which Woodward's pass attempts made up even a quarter of the team's plays came in 2011 en route to a 10-1 campaign. With a new QB under center in 2020, 30 percent of plays were through the air.

This year's design had the advantage of senior Trevor Simmons under center full-time with a diverse group of receivers. Despite playing in just nine games, Simmons became the first Hawks QB since Taylor Ashman (2011-2012) to throw for over a thousand yards. He finished with a line of 1,117 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a wide range of weapons at his disposal.

Go big or go home

Not only were passes more abundant than previous seasons, they were also more productive. Simmons' passing yards made up 39 percent of the team's total yardage, a big leap from the 23 percent of production in 2019.

Woodward-Granger's Christian Husmann in action during the season opener on Friday, Aug. 28.

That was largely due to the staggering amount of long-distance plays from his receiving corps led by senior Christian Husmann. With a team-high 16 receptions for 399 yards and six times scores, his 24.9 yards per catch ranked first among Class 1A players with at least 15 catches. Worth Henry also tacked on 208 yards, leaving plenty of room for new starters in 2021 as 63 percent of receiving yards leave along with Simmons.

So long, farewell

Kade Polich runs the ball for the Hawks on Friday, Sept. 25.

Along with the new air yardage graduating, the Hawks also say goodbye to all of the offensive line's primary starters. That leaves running back Jake Lego — who led WG in rushing before a Week 7 injury — as the offense's only primary contributor set to return as Kade Polich's 796 yards and 11 scores also vanish.

That same impact is seen on the other side of the ball as half of the team's top 10 tacklers were seniors. In total, the class of 2021 made up 54 percent of the team's stops and were even more concentrated behind the line of scrimmage to comprise 66 percent of the team's tackles for loss after boasting similar numbers as juniors.

Jack Muesberger is the lone defender returning next season with at least five tackles for loss while team leaders Jon McKeever (8), Garrett Burkhart (6), Trevor Simmons (5) and Kade Polich (5) all move on.

Jack Muesberger celebrates during Woodward-Granger's win over Colfax-Mingo on Friday, Oct. 16.