WOODWARD — Self-inflicted wounds are often the most difficult to deal with, and the suspensions of four starters from last Friday’s game — as well as from this Friday’s — likely cost Woodward-Granger a Homecoming victory and perhaps their best hope of a postseason berth.
Interstate-35, despite missing a key offensive weapon to injury, scored twice early before exchanging a pair of second half scores to spoil W-G’s HoCo celebration, 27-14.
The four self-reported disciplinary suspensions were reportedly handed down early Tuesday, and several sources told ThePerryNews.com that, thanks to the world of social media, word of action had reached Interstate-35 — Friday’s opponent — within hours.
While not looking for excuses, the Hawks clearly needed time to become adjusted to new faces in new places, and I-35 was not about to accommodate the hosts, quickly scoring twice and slamming the door on the W-G offense to take a 14-0 lead into the intermission.
Quarterback Braydon Egli found Grant Richardson for 30-yard scoring pass, then eluded numerous would-be sackers to eventually find Mason Cassady in the end zone for a nine-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
W-G ran just three offensive plays in the entire first quarter and had only six snaps in the second frame until a final few frantic plays as time ran out in the half.
A short Cassady run moved the score to 21-0 before Payton Tague scored on a six-yard run to trim the deficit to 21-6. A second Cassady TD dive moved the Roadrunner lead to 27-6 before Bryce Achenbach connected with Josh Saak on an six-yard TD pass, with Tague running in the conversion to set the final score at 27-14.
Achenbach was 4-15-1 for 69 yards and a score through the air, with Saak (1-6, 1 TD), Tague (1-34) and Austin Scharlau (2-29) catching passes.
Tague had 110 yards and a TD on 22 carries to lead the ground game, which totaled 192 yards on 39 totes. Scharlau (7-38), Achenbach (7-34), Saak (2-8) and Cole Carmen (1-2) also had carries.
Gabe Yingst led the defense with 12.5 tackles, with Achenbach making seven stops and Carmen six.
Egli finished 15-of-23 for 158 yards and two TDs passing. Tanner Daniels (5-54), Richardson (4-43, 1 TD), Carter Bussanmas (3-28), Cassady (2-24, 1 TD) and Joey Bregar (1-9) had the receptions for the guests.
Cassady ran 16 times for 131 yards and two scores, with Bridger Hutton (12-46) and Egli (3-24) also running the pigskin.
With No. 2 Pella Christian and No. 5 Pleasantville in the district, each team is hoping to upset one of the pair, then win the remainder of their games. I-35 (3-2, 1-2) has already lost to both; W-G (3-2, 2-1) is yet to play either.
W-G visits winless Des Moines Christian Friday. The Lions have been outscored 240-27 this season, including a 48-0 loss to Central Decatur last Friday, a team W-G shut out, 42-0, Sept. 15.