Woodward football lifts trophy over Madrid, volleyball heads into crucial tournament

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

Woodward-Granger’s first week of school saw some pretty light activities before the action starts to ramp up in September.

Football (1-0)

It took some time to get rolling, but the Hawks walked out of their stadium Friday night holding the new Battle for the Bridge trophy, beating Madrid 20-8.

After the Hawks had an early interception and fumble that kept the score 0-0 through most of the first quarter, momentum finally shifted back when Max Dalton crossed the goal line for the first touchdown of the year.

That pass from Carter Moran helped him get to 158 yards for the night, completing 12-of-19. Dane Polich played a large role in that with 80 yards on three receptions, including an early candidate for catch of the year leaping backwards on a fly route to setup Dylan McCaulley for a touchdown heading into halftime.

McCaulley led the team with 150 yards on the ground, averaging 8.8 yards per carry. On top of his work through the air, Moran also toted the ball 75 yards on 13 carries, adding one more touchdown to his name. He was also on the receiving end of an interception, grabbing one of Preston Wicker’s passes, as did Dalton.

Woodward-Granger's Dane Polich (6) and Max Dalton (7) run down the field during the season opener against Madrid on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, in Woodward.

On top of those two interceptions from the Hawk defense, they allowed Madrid to complete just 5-of-16 passes for 84 yards. Stopping the run was larger challenge, with Wicker proving to be slippery in the pocket, as he ran for a team-high 68 yards and had the team’s only touchdown. But even so, Kolby Fogarty made his name known in the backfield, leading the Hawks with two tackles for loss.

Now the Hawks prep for a date with ACGC (0-1) which lost its season opener 20-14 to Greene County. Last season, the Charges cruised to a 62-6 win over Woodward. But with a new running back as their primary driver, the Chargers look to be going through some early growing pains they didn’t have just a year ago.

Cross Country

The Hawks haven’t stepped on competition trail since their opener on Aug 22. Their next meet comes Thursday, Sept. 1 at Madrid where both the boys and girls teams took fourth place in 2021. While not every team on the docket has made their times public yet, Woodward freshman Eva Fleshner looks like one of the top competitors as no other listed runner has run under 22 minutes like she did in her first race.

Volleyball (1-1)

The Hawks had their first home match of the year, falling 3-0 to Des Moines Christian. Now their eyes are on Thursday’s invite at ADM (3-1) where they will be joined by Gilbert (3-4), Norwalk (4-1), Nevada (1-4) and Atlantic (3-4). That should serve as a good comparison to 2021 when Woodward won 1 of 11 sets, losing all five matches.