Postseason preview: Hawks head west to tangle with Eagles

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Woodward-Granger faces host Underwood Friday in the second round of the postseason. Photo courtesy Teresa Lettow.

WOODWARD — The Hawks of Woodward-Granger will face the hosting Eagles of Underwood Friday in the second round of the Class 1A postseason, and the two teams mirror each other in many ways.

Underwood (8-1) has lost only to top-ranked OA-BCIG (49-22), while W-G (6-2) had a loss to state runner-up Van Meter (41-0) and a very good Panorama (10-0) that also finished 6-2.

The Eagles average 44.6 points per game and the Hawks 32.3, a clip which climbs to 43 points per outing if their two losses are excluded. Underwood yields just 9.6 ppg and W-G 15.4, with the hosts having 19 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries and 13 interceptions while the visitors have tallied 16, 13, and six, respectively.

The teams are closely matched in proficiency on the ground as well, with Underwood gaining 1,656 yards and scoring 28 touchdowns on 268 carries while W-G has rushed 295 times for 1,621 yards and 24 TDs.

A major difference comes in the depth of the attack, as an injured Jake Lego (96-528, 7 TDs) leaves Kade Polich (96-704, 11 TDs) and Dylan Bird (35-220, 1 TD) as the only rushers with more than 100 yards.

In contrast, the Eagles have four rushers in triple digits. Joey Anderson (78-500, 8 TDs) leads the way, with Hayden Goehring (66-403, 9 TDs), Alex Ravlin (45-392, 6 TDs), and Scott Pearson (36-207, 3 TDs) also heavily involved.

Underwood has an edge in the passing game, with Ravlin 93-of-181 for 1,291 yards and 13 TDs. He has been intercepted six times. His W-G counterpart is Trevor Simmons, who is 55-of-110 for 989 yards, 10 TDs, and seven interceptions.

Simmons is 38 yards of matching Cole Ashman’s (son of head coach George) yardage from 2014, the last time a Hawk QB passed for 1,000 or more yards. Ashman had nine TDs in 2014. His older brother, Taylor, threw for 1,506 yards in 2012 and had 22 TDs, the last time — until Simmons — a W-G passer connected for double-digit TDs in a season.

Christian Husmann has 361 yards on just 13 snags, a tremendous average of 27.8 yards per catch that is tied for best in 1A among receivers with at least 10 catches. Husmann had six TDs and Worth Henry (14-207) one, with Dylan McCaulley scoring twice while catching 10 balls for 159 yards.

Simmons leads the defense with 44 tackles, with Kade Polich making 38 stops and John McKeever 36. Dane Polich has made 33 tackles, Brody Nardini 29.5, Henry 28, Garrett Burkhart 26.5 and Carter Moran 24. McKeever has four sacks, with Burkhartt, Dane Polich and Jack Muesberger each having three.

Simmons also handles the punting chores, and is averaging 39.7 yards on 19 punts. The Eagles, on the other hand, have punted only twice all season.

Brayden Wollan (26-530, 6 TDs), Quinn Kuck (23-251, 3 TDs), Blake Hall (20-251, 3 TDs) and Pearson (12-120, 2 TDs) are the main receivers for the hosts.

Pearson, a 5-10 and 180 pound junior, is a true weapon in all aspects of the game. In addition to his receiving and rushing numbers, he has returned a kick 72 yards for a score and a punt 52 yards for a score. He has 39 tackles (eight for a loss), three fumble recoveries, and two interceptions for 93 yards, including one TD.

The IHSAA will reseed all 16 teams that are victorious in each class Friday, with the Sweet 16 and Quarterfinal brackets to be released Saturday. Second round games kick off at 7 p.m. with admission of $6.

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