Day After Report: Woodland 34, Hockinson 25
For those of you who are too young to recognize that shape on the field when Woodland was on offense Friday, that was a “huddle” – a relic from a time when football teams gathered between plays to discuss their next move.
It was one of the twists Woodland introduced in its game at Hockinson.
“We wanted to be able to run the ball a little bit. We were huddling this week in practice, which is a little bit new to us,” Woodland coach Mike Woodward said after the Beavers’ 34-25 win. “We were trying to slow the game down a little bit.”
The change came after the previous week’s game against La Center spun out of control early for the Beavers. In that game, Woodland played from behind and threw 32 passes compared with 21 running plays. At Hockinson, Woodland ran the ball 44 times for 253 yards and five Levi Orem touchdowns while throwing only 21 passes.
Helping that adjustment was adding another blocker in wing back Logan Knight, a look the Beavers did not show in their first two games.
“It just gave us an extra blocker in the box. They adjusted really well to it at halftime, but in the first half I think it caught them on their heels a little bit just because they hadn’t seen us do it,” Woodward said. “Logan was a trooper. He blocked like a champ on our inside runs, our outside runs.”
Knight pointed to the leadership of senior lineman Isaac Andersen and the commitment all week from the offensive line as the keys to Friday’s success.
“Our whole offensive line, they’ve been powering through this week and busting their butts every day and it really showed tonight,” Knight said.
Playing with a lead also helped the Woodland defense, which was steady for the most part against the Hockinson passing game. Canon Racanelli finished with 277 passing yards, but his biggest plays were two rushing touchdowns. Woodland was able to defend crossing patterns and the deep middle well, though the Hawks did have a couple of drops on potential big plays.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to be able to shut (Racanelli) down much,” Woodward said. “He does such a great job of keeping the play alive. You’ll be rushing guys from both sides and he squirts out and make plays. I guess around 300 yards (passing allowed is good if you get a win.”