Quick start carries Roadrunners past short-handed Hawks

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Interstate 35 running back Mason Cassady is twisted to the ground by W-G's Bryce Achenbach (7) and Gabe Yingst (42) last season. W-G hosts South Hamilton Friday in a non-district showdown between two undefeated teams.

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.

Woodward-Granger sophomore quarterback Bryce Achenbach looks downfield while rolling out against Interstate 35 Friday.

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.

Interstate 35 running back Mason Cassady is twisted to the ground by W-G’s Bryce Achenbach (7) and Gabe Yingst (42) as Brody Easter (71) and Austin Scharlau (24) race to the scene.

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.

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