Woodberry Forest has been working and waiting for everything to kind of click into place at once for the Tigers.
They got there Friday afternoon.
“We practiced hard bouncing back from last week and we knew we had a Prep League game this week and it was big for us,” said Woodberry wideout DeQuece Carter. “This is the most complete game we’ve played so far and it’s nice.”
Woodberry rolled 48-13 over Collegiate to move to 2-2 on the year and 2-0 in the Prep League. They got there with a stingy defense and a resurgent ground attack. Combine that with a passing attack that was already rolling, and Woodberry managed to make short work of the Cougars.
“We kind of challenged the offensive line — we have been such a pass-heavy team, I think last week again Landon we had 24 yards rushing so we really challenged the guys to try and run the ball,” said Woodberry coach Scott Braswell.
The Tigers started in a 6-0 hole after Nigel Williams hit K.J. Rodgers for a touchdown, but exploded for 28-straight points over the rest of the first half, with Ben Locklear catching fire with three touchdown passes before the break, the first to big tight end Kyle Bilodeau from 16 yards out and the others to Carter who raced in from 31 and 73 yards out as part of a seven-catch, 152-yard performance.
“That’s not the way we wanted to start it but that says a lot about the team and how much we carry each other,” Carter said. “We just keep each other’s heads up even when we go down like that.”
Carter had a busy and particularly effective day beyond his work as a wideout, handling return duties, punts and was even forced to come up with a tackle on a long Collegiate punt.
Locklear was a red-hot 15-for-18 for 216 yards and the three scores. But the run game having some rhythm was the real key for the Tigers as Kay Muganda went for 159 yards on 19 touches six runs of more than 10 yards each, including a 39-yard touchdown in the second half that finished off his day for the Tigers. Muganda benefited from some improved offensive line play as he regularly had sizeable holes to attack, but the 200-pound Canadian made things tough on Collegiate defenders at the second level too.
“Obviously 21 (Muganda) helps, he’s pretty special,” Braswell said. “Every once in awhile we didn’t block everybody and he still got the first down.”
Running also helped the Tigers control the clock, limiting Collegiate’s chances in the second half to mount a comeback starting with a long, run-heavy drive to open the third quarter. That march took four minutes and 51 seconds off the clock.
Defensively, the Tigers managed to hold Collegiate essentially in check after the early score, with Davis Smith putting together a big sequence in the second half. Smith sacked Williams and then raced in and blocked the Collegiate punt on the next play.
“It was not supposed to be a punt block and I didn’t hear it so I was just going to take on the personal protector but he didn’t block me so I just blocked the punt,” Smith said.
The Tigers will look to make it two wins in a row when they host Benedictine Friday at 4 p.m.