Last seen, Woodland quarterback R.J. Williams was hobbling off the field on crutches and coach Vince DiLorenzo and his coaching staff were holding a closed-door meeting following the Wildcats’ 24-17 loss to the previously winless Lithia Springs Lions.
That was two weeks ago, as the Wildcats (2-6, 2-6) had a bye week prior to tonight’s road game against the Hiram Hornets (3-5, 3-5).
Williams, who suffered a tendon sprain while playing defense against the Lions in the second quarter, slowly exited the field at game’s end with the hope of getting healthy during the team’s bye week.
“I hope to be back,” he said.
The starter at quarterback tonight, however, will be junior Mason Robinson, who has spent the entire season at the wide receiver position.
Robinson was Woodland’s backup quarterback last year, but elected to move to wide receiver this year in order to receive more playing time. Backing up Robinson will be freshman Mitchell Taylor. Since Williams’s injury, DiLorenzo had been looking into several options as to who will run the Wildcats’ offense.
“We will watch R.J. warm up, but he’s definitely not going to start,” DiLorenzo said. “Mason has been working with our first-team offense the past two weeks.”
Qua Stocks, who was inserted into an emergency backup role following Williams injury, returns to his wide receiver position.
“Qua gives us more versatility on offense,” DiLorenzo said. “The game tonight will determine how badly Mason wants to be our starting quarterback for the remainder of this season and next year as well.”
DiLorenzo is hoping Robinson can ignite an offense that has struggled often, and has averaged only 15 points per game.
With the question of who would be Woodland’s starting quarterback answered, Hiram coach Andy Dorsey will have to adjust his defensive game plan accordingly.
Dorsey spent part of the week watching the Wildcats’ injured quarterback on game film.
He noted that his defense played its best game in the Hornets’ 20-17 overtime loss to the unbeaten Allatoona Buccaneers last week.
“We have struggled on defense until that game,” Dorsey added.
Allatoona and the East Paulding Raiders are both 8-0 overall, 8-0 in the region, and tied for first place in Region 5-AAAAA. In the Hornets’ 56-30 loss to East Paulding, “we set a school record with 540 yards in total offense,” Dorsey said.
Woodland opened the season with a 45-20 loss to Allatoona.
Hiram will be facing a Woodland defense that is allowing 35 points per game.
“Our goal is to win our last games and to have a .500 record,” said Dorsey, who finishes the regular season with games against Woodland and New Manchester.
The Hornets, who have struggled the past two seasons, were 11-1 in 2009 and 9-3 in 2010.
The best Woodland can hope for is a 4-6 record with games remaining against Hiram and Rome.
“The extra week off has allowed us to prepare for both Hiram and Rome,” DiLorenzo said. “Compared to how our game ended two weeks ago, I’m definitely looking forward to holding our postgame, victory talk in the end zone.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.