The Wolverines delivered, picking up their first win in a 28-0 blowout of the Warriors on homecoming night at the Wolverine Den.
Woodstock quarterback Alex Motsinger had the best performance of his career, throwing for 75 yards and one touchdown, and rushing for 64 yards and another score.
Late in the first quarter with the game still scoreless, Motsinger connected with receiver Addison Bass on a post route in the middle of the field, 41 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with just 1 minute remaining in the first period.
Before Cherokee (1-5, 0-3 Region 5AAAAAA) could even take a breath, Woodstock (1-5, 1-2) added another score, courtesy of its defense.
On the ensuing possession, Cherokee fumbled a handoff in its own backfield. Woodstock linebacker Nick Cable recovered the ball and walked into the end zone to put the Wolverines ahead 14-0 with 14 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Getting those two quick scores at the end of the first quarter really pumped everybody up,” Motsinger said. “Things kept going up from there.”
The Woodstock defense continued its stingy play in the second quarter with a goal-line stand, stopping Cherokee on four straight plays from the 2-yard line to preserve the 14-point lead going into halftime.
The stop by Wolverines marked one of five turnovers on downs for Cherokee.
Woodstock set the tone for the second half by forcing a three-and-out on Cherokee’s first possession, and then got more big plays from the offense.
Motsinger connected with Max Keeton for a 34-yard gain, and then dashed 28 yards for a score on a zone-read keeper on the ensuing play, extending the Woodstock lead to 21-0.
The Wolverines put the icing on the cake early in the fourth quarter with a 16-play, 77-yard drive that culminating in a 2-yard scoring run by Keeton for the final points of the night.
“We’ve been playing well in those five games we lost,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde. “The teams that we’ve lost to all have a very good combined record, so we’ve been playing tough teams and improving every week, and I think it showed (Friday).”
Woodstock will head into its bye week before hosting Roswell on Oct. 19, and Budde still has his sights set on the postseason.
“Losing to Walton and Lassiter doesn’t mean you can’t make the playoffs,” he said. “We’ve got four games left, we’re going to take them one at a time, and I’m telling you, this team is really good.”
For Cherokee, remaining winless in region play was just a sign of more growing pains for its young roster.
“We’re really struggling to move the football,” Cherokee coach Josh Shaw said. “We’ve got a lot of young players on that side of the roster, and they’re all growing together, so that’s something we have to get better at. We’ve worked hard in practice, but it hasn’t been carrying over to the game. That’s on me — that’s my fault. I need to do a better job getting these players ready for game day.”