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Huge first quarter leads Woodridge past CVCA

by Michael Leonard Sports Editor Published: September 4, 2016 12:00 AM
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Cuyahoga Falls -- It has become tradition for Woodridge football to clash with backyard rival Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in week one.

In recent years, the Bulldogs have had their way with the Royals -- and a dominant first quarter insured that trend continued Aug. 26.

Woodridge erupted for 42 straight points to start the game and was up 49-7 after one quarter. From there, the Bulldogs coasted to a 56-14 win at Royals Stadium.

It says something about Woodridge's expectations that both the team and coaches were disappointed in their second-quarter effort -- after being up 42 points.

"We've got a lot of physical players and we expect them to make plays," said Woodridge coach Jeff Decker. "Our execution wasn't there in the second quarter. We don't want to have to rely on the big plays. We want to run our offense.

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"We did better in the second half," he added. "Not perfect, but we can certainly work on it."

Given his team's youth and lack of experience, CVCA coach Dan Larlham knew his team could be in for a long night.

"Here's the thing: Mentally weak teams are known to quit when they get down," Larlham said. "We have to grow up fast and we made too many mistakes, but we are mentally tough. All that improvement needs to take place, but we believe it will."

Decker may not want to rely on big plays, but the first quarter was full of them for the Bulldogs.

Woodridge went with a bit of trickery on the opening kickoff. Sharif Howard fielded the kick, but then threw a lateral the width of the field to Jacob Margroff .

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Margroff caught the ball and sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown.

CVCA's first play from scrimmage was a disaster, as quarterback Brock Simmons was picked off by Jacob Mally. Mally found his way to the corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown.

It was a sign of things to come for Simmons, who would toss three interceptions in the first half. He finished 6-of-20 for 54 yards and three picks.

"We believe in Brock," Larlham said. "I need him to be solid and get back to it."

Woodridge then got prime field position when it blocked the ensuing punt. Four plays later, King Alfred Sanders ran up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown.

Sanders picked up from where he left off last year, finishing with 118 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.

Woodridge quarterback Mason Lydic threw for Woodridge's next two touchdowns.

Lydic hit Kyle Kelleher with a 33-yard strike for a touchdown and then hit Sharif Howard with a 43-yard bomb for a touchdown.

Lydic didn't have his best night, going 4-of-12 for 90 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

"It's a long, long season," Decker said. "Mason made some decisions tonight that he normally wouldn't. He's got to straighten that out and I have no doubt he will."

CVCA continued to self-destruct, as a bad snap was recovered by the Bulldogs at the CVCA 8. Robert Singletary completed the short drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left in the first quarter.

Down 42-0, CVCA finally showed some life when senior Jay Woodlee returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown with 1:17 left in the first quarter.

However, Woodridge had an immediate answer, as King Alcardon Sanders took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 84 yards to close the scoring in the first quarter with 59 seconds left.

The pace slowed in the second quarter, as CVCA was able to put together one sustained drive.

Woodlee completed the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 10:47 left in the second quarter. Woodridge led 49-14 at the half.

Decker said his team regrouped after halftime and put up one more touchdown. King Alfred Sanders ran in a 32-yard draw play with 1:29 left in the third quarter.

Woodridge kicker Kyle Lamson went 8-of-8 on extra points.

Woodridge was set to take on Manchester Sept. 2, while CVCA was set to face Campbell Memorial. Results of these games were not available at press time.

The Bulldogs will travel Sept. 9 to take on their nemesis: Chagrin Falls. Meanwhile, CVCA will travel to Pepper Pike to take on Orange. Kickoff for both games is set for 7 pm.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

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