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Woodridge football blasts Chagrin Falls

by Michael Leonard Sports Editor Published: September 18, 2016 12:00 AM
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During Woodridge football's rise in the last decade, Chagrin Falls has often been a stumbling block.

The Tigers ended Woodridge's longest playoff run in 2009, eliminating the Bulldogs in the regional semifinals.

Until last year, Woodridge had been unable to the solve the puzzle of how to beat Chagrin.

As of Sept. 9, however, any hold the Tigers once had over the Bulldogs has been relinquished.

Woodridge dominated both sides of the ball on its way to a 44-6 rout at Chagrin Falls.

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Woodridge improved to 3-0, while Chagrin dropped to 0-3.

Bulldogs coach Jeff Decker said his team played a complete game against the Tigers.

"I really felt like we played three solid phases of the game," Decker said. "I don't think we punted until the fourth quarter when our JVs were in."

Much like the first two weeks of the season, Woodridge had a big edge in field position throughout the game.

Woodridge's first score was set up by a fumble recovery by senior Dontae Craft at the Chagrin 30.

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Woodridge punched it in, thanks to a one-yard touchdown run from King Alfred Sanders.

Sanders had a quiet night in terms of yardage, rushing for 58 yards on 13 carries, but he did find the end zone three times. Woodridge had a short field again on its second drive, as a blown punt set up the Bulldogs on the Tiger 22.

"Technically, it wasn't a blocked punt, but we tackled the punter," Decker said. "He couldn't even get the punt off. Special teams set us up with great field position."

Three plays later, Sanders was back in the end zone, as he ran in a six-yard touchdown. Kicker Kyle Lamson went 5-of-6 on extra points on the night.

Woodridge finally had to start in its own territory on its third drive. The drive resulted in the longest field goal of Sharif Howard's career, as he nailed one from 37 yards, giving the Bulldogs a 17-0 advantage.

Chagrin Falls answered at the end of the first quarter after a 46-yard pass from quarterback Tommy Maliak to Pierce Fricke set the Tigers up on the Bulldog 9.

On the first play of the second quarter, Maliak threw a two-yard touchdown pass to running back Mick Lawrence. However, Chagrin missed the extra point to make it 17-6.

"On defense, Chagrin always tries to get you out of formation with a lot of motion," Decker said. "Our kids adjusted well. I think they had one drive. Other than that, I think we had five or six three-and-outs."

Maliak put up more than half his passing yards on the scoring drive. He finished 10-of-17 for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Lawrence -- and the Tigers' running game -- were non-factors. He led Chagrin with six carries for 33 yards, as the Tigers were held to just 47 yards rushing.

Woodridge came back with a 55-yard pass from Mason Lydic to Jacob Margroff. That bomb set up Sanders' third touchdown of the night, this time on a 9-yard touchdown run.

Woodridge's next drive saw running back Robert Singletary gettin into the act. Singletary ran in a 22-yard touchdown to make it 30-6. Singletary finished the night with five rushes for 39 yards. He also led the Bulldogs' defense with six tackles.

Chagrin Falls drove to the Woodridge 31 on its next possession before stalling.

Despite some penalty issues on its next drive, Woodridge found the end zone again just before halftime, as Lydic threw a

13-yard touchdown pass to Margroff.

Lydic had another solid night, going 12-of-19 for 177 yards and a touchdown. Margroff caught three passes for 80 yards, while Howard snagged five passes for 63 yards.

Down 37-6 at the half, Chagrin attempted to catch Woodridge off guard with an onside kick to start the second half. It did not work, however, as Woodridge's Elijah Arnett recovered the ball at the Bulldog 42.

The resulting drive saw King Alcardon Sanders finding paydirt, running in a 10-yard touchdown score.

Woodridge had its reserve players in from that point on.

The Bulldogs' offense was perfectly balanced: 177 passing yards and 177 rushing yards. However, the Bulldogs had 120 yards worth of penalties.

"As typical, our offense was very balanced," Decker said. "We were running the ball well. We were able to keep drives going. I was pleased with our offensive line and the way they handled things."

Woodridge was set to open Portage Trail Conference Metro Division play Sept. 16 when it hosted Ravenna, but results were not available at press time.

Up next for the Bulldogs is a trip to Streetsboro Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC

Twitter:@MLeonard_RPC


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