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Woodridge football builds momentum in rout of Manchester

by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published: September 2, 2016 10:22 PM

Given that Woodridge put up 49 points in the first quarter last week, one might think coach Jeff Decker was concerned when his team started slowly Sept. 2 against Akron Manchester.

By the end of the game, however, Decker was all smiles.

Woodridge built momentum throughout the contest with Manchester, eventually running out 49-7 winners at Lahoski Field.

Woodridge improved to 2-0, while Manchester dropped to 0-2.

After being stuffed on Woodridge's first two drives, running back King Alfred Sanders opened the scoring in dramatic fashion.

Sanders stiff-armed a pair of Manchester defenders, sprinted to the left sideline and ran 66 yards for a touchdown with 3:23 left in the first quarter. Woodridge missed the extra point and led 6-0 after one quarter.

After a mediocre passing game in week one, Woodridge may have wondered if the football gods were against them early in the second quarter.

Bulldog quarterback Mason Lydic threw a perfect bomb to wideout Jacob Margroff — only to have Margroff drop what would have been a sure touchdown.

Margroff made up for the drop by scoring Woodridge's next two touchdowns.

First, Margroff ran in an 11-yard screen pass from Lydic with 3:51 left in the first half. Woodridge then faked the extra point, as Lydic threw to Robbie Taylor to complete the two-point conversion and make it 14-0.

Then, Margroff hauled in a 45-yard bomb for touchdown, ripping the ball away from a Manchester defender with 1:10 left in the half.

Margroff had four catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns and also had several nice punt returns for Woodridge.

After his subpar game in week one, Lydic was back to his efficient self, going 9-of-13 for 155 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Up 21-0 at halftime, Woodridge stuffed Manchester's offense on its first drive, as the Panthers had no answers for the swarming Bulldogs.

Manchester quarterback Dalton Earich was able to make some plays scrambling, but was under siege most of the game. Earich finished 6-of-11 for 49 yards and an interception through the air and ran 10 times for 31 yards.

Meanwhile, Woodridge stretched the lead to 28-0 when Lydic found Sharif Howard open on a hitch rout for a 19-yard touchdown with 6:45 left in the third quarter.

Woodridge benefited from a short field in the second half.

First, a punt return by Margroff set Woodridge up at the Panther 11. One play later, Sanders run up the gut for an 11-yard touchdown. Sanders finished with 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns on just 12 carries.

Then, Woodridge junior King Alcardon Sanders snagged the game's lone turnover when he picked off Earich and returned the ball to the Panther 1.

Woodridge let Alcardon finished the drive, as he ran in a 1-yard touchdown run on the next play.

With Woodridge's reserve defense in, Manchester was able to avoid the shutout. Backup quarterback Caleb Duckett threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jack Hettich with 4:55 left in the game.

However, on the ensuing kickoff King Alfred Sanders completed the rout by returning the kick 97 yards for a touchdown.




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