Woodward-Granger dominates arch-rival Madrid in opener

Woodward-Granger's Brendan Bird puts a big hit on Van Meter's Carson Rhodes during their non-district game last season. J.P. Nixon (5) and Josh Saak (27) close in on the play for the Hawks. All three played key roles in a win over Madrid last Friday, with a trip to Van Meter slated for this Friday.

WOODWARD — Bitter rivals Madrid and Woodward-Granger met on the gridiron in Week One for the second consecutive season, with W-G avenging a 47-12 loss at Madrid last season with a 26-6 victory Friday at Hawk Stadium.

W-G rushed 30 times for 206 yards and passed for only 11 yards in the season-opening loss last year, but dominated the beginning game of the 2017 campaign by running 40 times for 325 yards and adding 78 yards through the air.

Josh Saak opened the scoring by breaking loose for a 61-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Matt Hansen kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Hawk lead.

Head coach George Ashman leads W-G off the field prior to the start of the team scrimmage Aug. 18. The Hawks allowed 36 fewer points and gained 86 additional yards than last year’s meeting in besting Madrid last Friday.

Madrid responded in the second quarter when Logan Gray squirted free and stepped into the end zone from 13 yards out. The PAT kick failed, leaving the hosts with a 7-6 lead.

Saak bulled in from three yards away later in the frame, with a missed PAT boot leaving W-G holding a 13-6 advantage at the half.

Neither team moved the scoreboard in the third quarter. Senior Payton Tague’s 25-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth frame pushed the advantage for the home team to 19-6, with senior quarterback Brendan Bird providing a 44-yard TD run late in the period. Hansen hit the PAT, setting the score at 26-6, where it remained.

Bird hit 5-of-8 passes for 78 yards and was intercepted once, with Bryce Achenbach throwing one incomplete pass. J.P. Nixon caught three passes for 44 yards, Saak one for 16 yards and Matt Buch one aerial for 18 yards.

Saak led the ground assault with 137 yards and two TDs on 17 carries, with Bird scoring once while gaining 88 yards on six rushes. Tague ran seven times for 56 yards and a score, with fullback Austin Scharlau collecting 44 yards on 10 dives into the line.

Achenbach led the defense with 10.5 tackles, with Gabe Yingst making 10 stops and recovering a Tiger fumble. Scharlau and Cole Carmen also played well, with each making nine stops for a unit that recorded seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Statistics from Madrid were not available.

W-G returns to action with a road trip to Class 1A No. 4 Van Meter, who survived a 21-20 scare from Class A No. 10 Earlham last week.


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