Woodland had its first win of the season, beating Paulding County 22-14 at home, while Cass lost to Gilmer on its home turf by a score of 30-13.
It was a Friday night of firsts for the Wildcats. They scored their first touchdown in the second quarter, took their first lead in the third quarter, and won their first game by closing out the fourth quarter.
The team got its running game going, producing some Sunday Standouts, to go along with strong individual performances from several members of the defense.
On the other hand, Cass struggled scoring against a Gilmer team that had allowed more than 10 points to an opponent just once this season. As a result, the team did not put forth outstanding individual statistics.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Woodland’s Khalil Morris had been battling an injury the last few weeks. He came back for the North Paulding game two weeks ago, but was not at full strength.
However, the bye week came at a perfect time for the junior linebacker as he made a big impact in the Wildcats’ first win. In the second quarter, Morris got to the quarterback for a sack, forced a fumble and recovered it seconds later. Paulding’s next drive ended after a poor pitch on an option play. Once again, Morris jumped on the ball to give Woodland possession, which led to Woodland’s first touchdown of the season.
The two plays by Morris unquestionably turned the momentum in Woodland’s favor, despite the team trailing 14-0 before the plays were made. Morris’ best blay in the game was in the third quarter when he blocked a punt that caromed out of the back of the end zone for a safety to make the score 22-14. He also added five tackles. It is his second appearance on Sunday Standouts and first since the first week of the season.
BEST OF THE REST
Damek Lewis — Woodland
Lewis also was outstanding on defense for the Wildcats Friday night. Lewis had five tackles and a sack in the game, but his biggest contribution was a fumble recovery at around the 7-yard line. The junior defensive end picked up the ball and ran it in the rest of the way for a touchdown and Woodland’s first lead of the season. Lewis, like Morris, had been suffering from injury and used the bye week to get healthy. It showed with one of the best defensive performances of the season.
Isaiah Ross — Woodland (2)
Ross has been the catalyst for the Wildcats’ improved offense the last two games and head coach Vince DiLorenzo seems to have found a feature running back as DiLorenzo said Ross running the ball was the momentum boost his team needed.
The senior ran the ball 15 times for 101 yards. He also added a touchdown and had four carries for 28 yards on that drive. In addition, he had a crucial 17-yard run on a third down, eventually leading to Woodland’s first touchdown of the season.
Quadre Allen — Woodland (2)
Allen brought the speed and quickness to the team’s backfield to compliment Ross’ power running game. The senior running back carried the ball eight times for 49 yards and caught four passes for 36 yards. The running game has come on the last few contests and excelled against Paulding as the Wildcats accumulated 159 of their 224 yards of total offense. Allen and Ross accounted for 150 of those yards. Allen was as effective on defense as he was on offense as well. He had an important pass breakup in the fourth quarter to prevent a Paulding touchdown.
Mackenzie Borge — Woodland
Borge has the honorable distinction of being the first Wildcat to find himself in the end zone in 2013. His second-quarter touchdown was on a 12-yard slant route. He also had an interception and four tackles on defense.
Jose Panigua — Woodland
Panigua used his rugby-style punts to pin Paulding inside their own 20 on two occasions. The senior punter stuck Paulding inside the 5-yard line in the third quarter, leading to Lewis’ fumble recovery for a touchdown. He did it again later in the quarter, pinning Paulding near the 10-yard line. After a three-and-out, Morris blocked the punt through the back of the end zone for the safety. Had Panigua not given Paulding such poor field position, Morris’ punt block would likely not have resulted in points for Woodland.
Jordan Cothron — Cass
Cothron was the only skill position player to have over 40 yards of offense against Gilmer. He had 52 yards on three receptions, including 36- and 15-yard catches.
Jarvis James — Woodland
The sophomore defensive back had a fumble recovery and a crucial pass breakup on a third down to preserve Woodland’s eight point lead in the fourth quarter.
Keylon Wooodard — Cass
The senior had four receptions for 33 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown catch.
Trevor Lowe — Cass
The freshman quarterback went 11-for-17 passing for 133 yards, a touchdown and one interception.