WOODWARD — So far as the IHSAA is concerned, the football games played both Friday and those on Oct. 23 are considered postseason games, and not playoff games. No awards or official playoff recognition will be given to any team until they at least reach the third round — in other words, to be one of the final 16 teams playing in each class.
The path for Woodward-Granger (5-2) to thus reach the official playoffs for the first time since 2014 begins Friday when they host Colfax-Mingo (0-7). The winner advances to play the victor of the other contest in Class 1A Pod 15, which pits Underwood (6-1) against West Central Valley (1-6).
The Hawks and Tigerhawks are somewhat familiar with each other, having met in the final week of the 2019 regular season, a 62-24 W-G win. Of returning stars, C-M tailback Jayden Horrach ran for 83 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries while W-G’s Kade Polich ran 12 times for 126 yards and two TDs. The hosts ran for 487 yards, the guests for just 93.
W-G has missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons by the most narrow of margins, being the first at-large team to miss qualifying in both 2018 and 2019. The team intends to take matters into their own hands in 2020, and are most capable of doing just that.
The Hawks have outscored their opponents by a combined 207-109, with their only losses a 10-0 setback to a strong Panorama (5-2) team, and a 41-0 loss last Friday to No. 2 and 2019 state runner-up Van Meter (7-0).
Quarterback Trevor Simmons is 49-of-102 for 825 yards and eight TDs while being intercepted six times. He has gained 52 yards on 42 rushes, scoring four times.
Christian Husmann (12-291, 5 TDs), Dylan McCaulley (10-159, 2 TDs) and Worth Henry (10-130) have been the leading receivers, with Polich (89-601, 9 TDs), Jake Lego (96-528, 7 TDs) and Dylan Bird (18-119, 1 TD) the leading rushers.
Simmons (38.5), John McKeever (33.5), and Dane Polich (30.5) are the top tacklers for a defense that has recovered 10 fumbles and made three interceptions. McKeever, Polich, Garrett Burkhart and Jack Muesberger all have three sacks apiece.
C-M has been outscored 354-93 this season.
Colton Lind started the season at quarterback and is 40-of-79 for 321 yards and one TD. Cole Bracewell then stepped in, as is 47-of-93 for 556 yards and four TDs. Lind has thrown six interceptions and Bracewell three.
Zach Stenhoeck (35-408, 3 TDs) is the main receiving threat, with Justin Myers (13-124, 1 TD), Lind (5-105, 1 TD), and Bracewell (12-97) involved as well.
Horrach leads the ground game with 553 yards and five scores on 125 carries. Bracewell (40-140, 1 TD) and Trey Hockemeier (14-134, 2 TDs) have helped share the load.
The Tigerhawk defense was recovered six fumbles but is yet to intercept a pass.
Kickoff Friday is set for 7 p.m. Admission is $6.