A bye week following a last-second loss to Cambridge is probably what the Woodstock players needed, but the road will get no easier for the Wolverines.
Woodstock (0-3) will travel Friday to North Paulding (3-0), which is coming off a 49-0 win over East Paulding. The Wolfpack, who were also off last week, have outscored their opponents 148-56 this season, and Woodstock coach Brent Budde said he has stayed consistent with his message for his players.
“The bye week went well, and it’s just been a constant message of continuing to improve and become more consistent,” Budde said. “I’ve seen us get better. We executed cleaner in the last game than we had in the past, and our defense did a good job of forcing some turnovers, but we still turned the ball over too many times, and that’s something we can’t continue to do.”
It looked like Woodstock would win two weeks ago after Walker Ormsby found Wes Bruno for a go-ahead touchdown with less than 2 minutes to play, but a successful Hail Mary pass at the end gave the game to Cambridge.
Ormsby played his best game of the season, however, finishing with 205 yards and three touchdowns on 17-for-29 passing, and Bruno had a breakout game of his own, finishing with eight catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
Budde said Bruno’s effort on the final score epitomized what it will take for Woodstock to succeed.
“That’s a kid who broke his collarbone a year ago, and he’s really only played six varsity games,” Budde said. “It wasn’t a clean play on that last touchdown, and it was just a great effort on his part. He wasn’t going to be denied that end zone, and that’s the mentality we want from all our guys”
Woodstock’s defense recorded multiple sacks and caused three turnovers against Cambridge.
Michael Chelena intercepted two passes and leads the team with 29 tackles. Budde said senior Willie Grier was moved to defensive tackle in the last game, and Budde credited the move with helping the Wolverines' defensive front pressure the quarterback.
North Paulding will be led by dual-threat quarterback Kyle Bird, who is averaging 275 passing yards and 61 rushing yards per game. Bird has passed for five touchdowns while adding five more on the ground, and Budde said keeping him in the pocket will be priority No. 1.
“(Bird) is good with his feet. We can’t let him get out of the pocket and make plays,” Budde said. “Offensively, they’ve put up some big numbers, and we’ve got to get pressure on him to stop that.”