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Woodridge rolls on with rout of Cloverleaf

by Michael Leonard Sports Editor Published: October 9, 2016 12:00 AM
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So far this season, the formula for the Woodridge football team has been simple.

The Bulldogs pile on the points early to trigger the running-clock rule in the second half and then allow their reserves to get playing time after halftime.

"We've done that a lot this year," said Bulldogs coach Jeff Decker. "We've got off to pretty fast starts in all six games."

Woodridge put up another dominant performance Sept. 30, running out to 56-12 win over Cloverleaf at Lahoski Field.

Woodridge improved to 6-0, 3-0 in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division. Cloverleaf fell to 0-6.

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The Bulldogs' dominance has presented Decker with an unusual problem: He has yet to use his starters need to play a full 48-minute game.

"The issue for us is staying for four quarters because so far, we've had 20 players playing in the first half and 20 different players playing in the second half," Decker said. "We've talked about that and we've threw in some extra conditioning into our practices. That way, our guys can practice being sharp while being fatigued."

Decker admits this is a good problem to have. He also noted the Colts were able to do little to slow the Bulldogs down.

After the Bulldogs' defense stopped Cloverleaf's first drive, Woodridge opened the scoring from an unlikely source, as junior running back Spencer Robinson plunged in from a yard out. Kyle Lamson then nailed the first of eight extra points on the night to make it 7-0.

"We wanted to make sure Spencer got in the end zone," Decker said. "He's been working as hard as any of our running backs in practice."

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Special teams were special again for the Bulldogs, as Jake Margroff scored Woodridge's next touchdown, returning a punt 57 yards to paydirt.

Quarterback Mason Lydic got into the act on Woodridge's next drive, finding Sharif Howard on a 41-yard touchdown pass with 4:36 to go in the first quarter.

Lydic was his usual efficient self, going 8-of-11 through the air for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Lydic also ran three times for 19 yards.

"Mason just keeps doing a great job for us," Decker said.

Up 21-0 after one quarter, Lydic would toss two more touchdowns in the second quarter.

He found Robbie Taylor open on a play-action pass for a 26-yard touchdown with 11:52 left in the half, followed by an 18-yard pass to Howard for a touchdown with 9:10 left.

Howard finished with four receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

The highlight of the second quarter was Margroff pulling out another punt return. After receiving the punt at the Cloverleaf 45, Margroff looped back over the 50 and across the entire field, trying to find running room. He did along the left sideline and returned his second punt for a touchdown on the night with 6:24 left.

Woodridge's running game found the end zone late in the first half, as Robert Singletary ripped a 67-yard scamper for a touchdown.

Singletary made the most of his touches vs. Cloverleaf. The senior ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns -- on just three carries.

Singletary's last run was a 28-yard touchdown with 9:58 left in the third quarter, which made it 56-0.

King Alfred Sanders also had a big night running the ball, rushing for 126 yards on just nine carries.

"Going back a few weekends to the Ravenna game, they did everything they could to stop the run. We had to rely on our passing game," Decker said. "The last few weeks, teams haven't been able to stop our running game."

Cloverleaf avoided the shutout, thanks to a one-yard touchdown plunge by Al Kozma with 42 seconds left in the third quarter. Kozma scored again on a 21-yard touchdown run with 1:58 left in the game, though both scores came against the Bulldogs' reserve defense.

Kozma finished with 90 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

Woodridge finished with a 398-182 edge in total yards and also caused the game's lone turnover.

Woodridge was set to host Field Oct. 7, but results were not available at press time.

Up next, Woodridge takes a trip to Coventry Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC


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