Woodstock will look to bounce back Friday when it hosts Creekview at the Wolverine Den.
The Wolverines (1-1), who fell to River Ridge last week in a game that came down to the final minute, have allowed 100-yard rushers in each of their first two games and will need to prepare for a third straight opponent that seems intent on establishing the run.
Woodstock’s Carson Gray leads the county in tackles for loss (6) and will likely be supported by linebackers Ryan Comeau and Nate Osario, who are tied for the team lead in tackles with 14 apiece. Standout defensive back David Daniel will likely be asked to help support the run defense against Creekview (1-0), which tallied 38 rushes in a Week 1 win over Etowah.
“In high school football, that’s every week,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “If you can’t stop the run, no one’s going to pass it because they don’t have to.”
Woodstock’s offense is averaging 29 points per game, and quarterback Preston Lawrence seems to be finding a rhythm after his first two career starts.
“He’s progressing very well,” Budde said. “He definitely should have built some confidence up this week. He also ran the ball exceptionally well.”
The junior has completed 65% of his passes (19-for-29) and has multiple weapons on the perimeter, Daniel, Wes Bruno, Sebastian Moss and O.J. Dupree. Running back V’ontae Hampton is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and should continue to keep Woodstock’s offense balanced.
Punter Tyson Giles is averaging a county-best 41.5 yards per punt and could also play a pivotal role in a field position battle.
Creekview is coming off an early-season bye week after earning a last-minute victory over Etowah in Week 1. The Grizzlies were led by their running game, which featured Tyler Stevens.
With offensive linemen Anthony Dorr and Sam Hartley leading the way, Stevens finished with 106 yards on 24 carries and caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the game’s final seconds. Creekview will want to get the passing game ignited with quarterback Brody Rhodes after Etowah held the Grizzlies’ pass game in check for 22 yards in the season opener.
“The running game was definitely a focus of our offseason,” Creekview coach Trevor Williams said. “Everyone knew about Brody Rhodes and our receivers, but we really want to be balanced offensively.”
Defensively, Creekview began the season strong. Linebacker Grant Anderson finished with a team-high 11 tackles and two sacks, while outside linebacker Isaac Hubert continued to look like one of the best pass-rushers in the area. The Grizzlies finished 2019 with a county-high 41.5 sacks and picked up right where they left off, tallying seven in their season-opening victory.
“I don’t think you can ever rely on getting sacks,” Williams said. “We preach getting negative plays on defense and being good on third down. I think the sacks just come as a byproduct of that. The thing that jumps off the film with Woodstock is the speed that they have. Our keys will be containing the big plays and, obviously, being aware of where David Daniel is on every play.”