CONROE, Texas-It was a downpour of points in Shenandoah Friday as The Woodlands shocked the Oak Ridge War Eagles.
The Woodlands Highlanders (4-1) defeated the Oak Ridge War Eagles(6-1) in a decisive district matchup, 49-14.
The Woodlands relied on its running game Friday, as it was without starting quarterback Quinn Binney for yet another game. Quinton Johnson filled in just fine, making no mistakes, when called on he had passes of 47, 43, 25 and 24 along with two passing touchdowns.
Speedy receiver KeSean Carter was back for the Highlanders and made his presence felt with catches of 31 and 43 yards. Receiver Connor Klapesky had himself a game finishing with 125 yards and a touchdown.
In attempt to keep the undefeated season going, the War Eagles pulled all kinds of tricks.
Bishop Durst not only took snaps but also played defense. At the “death-backer position,” he rushed off the edge as well as dropping back into coverage. Durst, Malachi Cramm and Chris Young led the hard-hitting defense, delivering bone-crushing hits that were met with audible reaction from the War Eagle student section.
The War Eagles’ first drive showed promise but ultimately went nowhere. On the Woodlands’ first possession, the Highlanders got down all the way to the War Eagle goal line before Carter was stripped by Robert Bartee, who returned the fumble 53 yards into The Woodlands territory.
The War Eagles used a gutsy playcalling on the drive to score quickly, however, it would be their last scoring drive on offense for the game.
Going into halftime, The Highlanders would use two rushing touchdowns to help boast a 21-7 lead.
The scoring would not stop there for The Woodlands.
They opened the second half with an 89-yard drive that was highlighted by a 24-yard touchdown by wide receiver Zayne Watson.
The Highlanders put in the backups with 10 minutes left but Oak Ridge still could not find a way to stop them. The Highlanders got one last touchdown with two minutes left off a pick six to finish the game 49-14.
The Woodlands are now in sole control of the division as they find themselves undefeated in district play with their toughest opponents behind them.
“It was big, it was huge, because it does a lot of things for you,” Woodlands coach Mark Schmid said. “It puts you in the driver’s seat and you control your own destiny. We want to be the number one seed in the playoffs and we’ve taken a step towards clinching a playoff spot and getting that No. 1 seed. I was pleased with the way the kids played and they played better tonight than they have the previous two weeks”
The health of Quinn Binney remains a concern but coach Mark Schmid said he’s doing everything he needs to do to get back on the field.
“Quinton has done nothing but respond to what we wanted him to do,” coach Schmid said.
Quinton Johnson stepped up big and if he’s called on to play the rest of the season, the Highlanders will be in good hands.
As far as the rest of the season and how Oak Ridge will respond to their first loss, Coach Dereck Rush says he said he was still proud of the way his players handled the loss. “I think the kids will respond in a positive way, they fought to the very end and we can use that to get better,” Rush said.
The War Eagles will have tough matchups against Lufkin and West Brook to close out the year, both teams have winning records, and, if the season ended today, would join Oak Ridge and The Woodlands in the playoffs.
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