But on Friday night, they engaged in a physical — and, at times, undisciplined — game at the Wolverine Den, with Woodstock coming out on top 26-24.
Woodstock receiver Addison Bass caught two first-half touchdowns on his way to a 76-yard night on four receptions. The 6-foot-3 senior also recovered an onside kick in the second quarter, and he spoiled another onside kick by the Hornets late in the game with another recovery.
Woodstock (2-5, 2-2) opened the game with an 11-play, 77-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard field goal from Eric Cervantes.
After the Wolverines blocked a Roswell punt on the following possession, Woodstock quarterback Alex Motsinger found Bass at the left edge of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown completion, putting Woodstock ahead 10-0 with just under 4 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Roswell (1-6, 0-4) committed the second of six personal fouls on the drive, one of which included a player’s ejection.
“Roswell has been playing dirty this year — we knew that coming in.” Bass said. “We expected that. But we kind of got down on their level there, and that’s something we need to fix next week.”
Woodstock also committed a pair of personal fouls during the game, and the teams combined for a total 200 yards on 18 penalties.
Roswell got on the board late in the first quarter, when quarterback Ryan Monty found Bennett Barton down the right sideline for an easy 49-yard score, cutting the Woodstock lead to 10-7.
Woodstock’s most impressive drive of the night bridged the first and second quarters, and the 15-play, 80-yard possession finished with another Motsinger-to-Bass touchdown, this one for 26 yards on fourth down.
Motsinger finished 6-for-13 for 120 yards.
Roswell answered later in the quarter with an impressive series of its own, gaining first downs on six consecutive plays before Andrew Kwateng dove into the end zone from 5 yards out to cut the visitor’s deficit to 16-14.
Kwateng carried 17 times for 85 yards.
Woodstock appeared to have sealed the game with just under 4 minutes remaining, when Trey Alexander trucked his way through three Roswell defenders on a 10-yard scoring run to give the Wolverines a 26-17 lead.
But Roswell marched downfield on the ensuing possession, and Monty and Bennett connected again for an 18-yard score to cut the Woodstock lead to 26-24.
Bass made his second onside kick recovery of the night on the ensuing play, and he then cleared the path for Max Keeton to pick up the final first down needed for Woodstock to run out the clock.
“Addison is a solid player that makes plays,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “What not everyone sees, though, is him making those blocks downfield and contributing in other ways. He’s a player that will give you everything he’s got. I’m proud of him.”
As for the high rate of penalties and chippy play, Budde said “Roswell came out and wanted to play that kind of game.”
“They set the tone with the personal fouls, but I was disappointed in our character because we got into that game with them,” Budde added. “We should have just let our playing do the talking.”
Woodstock will be playing for bragging rights next week, as well as region positioning in a rivalry game that hasn’t lost any luster. Towne Lake neighbor Etowah will visit the Wolverine Den next Friday, and with a win over the Eagles, Woodstock can jump in front of its archrival in the 5AAAAAA standings.