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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 06, 2017 11:30 pm

Woodlan gets redemption against South Adams

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

WOODBURN – Jack Rhoades ran into a wall along the right sideline, so he reversed his direction and trotted toward the middle of the field. Then the defense encircled him again, and Rhoades reversed his field again, going back to the sideline and trotting into the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown that completed the scoring in Woodlan’s 25-3 victory over South Adams at Etzler Field.

“It was closed and I just found a lane and cut, just went through, and did it again,” said Rhoades, who carried the ball 26 times for 188 yards and two touchdowns for the Warriors (7-1, 5-0 in the ACAC), who had lost 27-20 to Lima (Ohio) Central Catholic on Sept. 30.

It’s easy to think this game was redemptive for the Warriors, the fifth-ranked team in Class 3A, after they were a state-championship favorite last year that lost 20-14 in sectionals to South Adams.

“It means everything,” Rhoades said. “Our seniors wanted to come back and just play ball, and that’s what we did tonight.”

But it’s important to note a few things: As Warriors coach Sherwood Haydock pointed out, this was a far-from-perfect performance; the script was similar last year when the Warriors shellacked the Starfires 36-3 only to lose three weeks later; and these teams are quite different now.

“It really wasn’t the same team we were playing, but if (our players) want to think they got rid of some demons, then I’ll let our kids think that,” said Haydock, who bemoaned, in particular, the penalties.

His team had 13 for 145 yards and South Adams had five for 40.

“I thought it was very intensely played by both sides,” Haydock said.” It was very sloppy with a lot of penalties. They were legit penalties. My only gripe with the officials was evidently, (based on the penalties, South Adams) played a very clean game and we didn’t. Usually, it’s not like that and both teams are doing it. But we were holding every time. We’ve got to play better next week or Adams Central is going to blow us out.”

Rhoades opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run with 7:54 left in the first quarter and quarterback Justin Durkes got a 1-yard touchdown with 9:36 left in the second quarter, which was followed by a two-point conversion pass from Ben Reidy to Aaron Hahn for a 15-0 lead.

A 48-yard run by South Adams quarterback Joe Stuber got his team within the 8-yard line before two sacks spoiled the drive and the Starfires had to settle for a 44-yard Andres Martinez field goal with 1:30 left in the half.

Luke Crilly made a 36-yard field goal in the third quarter for an 18-3 lead and all that was left was Rhoades’ beautiful touchdown and terrific defense. The Warriors intercepted three passes and got five sacks, three of which came from Sebastian Spieth.

Durkes completed 7 of 19 passes for 65 yards. Amarion Hicks rushed eight times for 56 yards.

For South Adams, Stuber was 13 of 24 for 119 yards. Nick Miller caught seven passes for 71 yards. Austin Gorney had eight solo tackles.

jcohn@jg.net