FAIRFAX — Taking advantage of several first-half Commerce turnovers, Woodland jumped out to a 26-0 lead then rolled 40-14 in a second-round Class A playoff game here Friday night.
“They are a good football team. They will be tough to knock out,” Tiger head coach Steve Moss said. “I thought we would be able to run the football at them and establish the line of scrimmage because defensively, I didn't think they would be able to block us up front. They have little, small offensive linemen who were quick off the ball and they moved us around pretty good.”
The Cougars only led 57-54 in total plays, but they used a ball control attack to eat up a lot of time in the first two quarters.
“We helped them out a lot in the first half,” Moss said. “We had a three-and-out to start the game, then their first possession ate up about seven minutes. They had another long drive that ate up a lot of time.
“We probably ran five offensive plays in the first half and had two turnovers (including a 71-yard interception return),” he said.
Commerce finished the season 5-5 while the Cougars are 11-1.
After a scoreless first quarter, Woodland had a 21-yard touchdown run, a 2-yard pop, the long pick-6 and a 12-yard TD pass to open up its 26-point lead at the break.
The Cougars added a 34-yard run in the third quarter and an 8-yard carry in the fourth.
Commerce broke the ice in the third quarter with a 13-yard pass from Gannon Reece to Lance Hyatt. Josh Thronebury caught a pass from Eric Cunningham for the conversion, narrowing the score to 34-8.
A 5-yard run by Cunningham created what would be the final score in the fourth quarter.
Thronebury was the Tigers’ rushing leader with 71 yards on 10 carries, including one burst that went 30.
Cunningham and Spencer Osborn added 51 and 42, respectively.
Reece completed eight of his 14 passes for 109 yards with the one score and the interception.
Ty Jauert had three receptions for 74 yards, Hyatt snagged two for 18 and Cunningham, Trysten Bundy, Thronebury and Reece each had one catch.
Aiddenn Vanatta made 18 total tackles, including 16 assists. Thronebury had 14 assists and one tackle while Kolby Dean had nine assists and one tackle.
“I told our kids I was proud of them,” Moss said. “We’ve dealt with quarantines, just like everybody has this year, at different times.”
Moss missed three games because of the coronavirus and coached from the car. Assistant Logan Cawyer also was out for one game due to a positive test.
“It was an odd year, but the kids worked hard and we had a successful season; a winning season,” Moss said.
“You are proud of different things. The kids did the right thing, wore masks when they were supposed to and listened to me along that line. I don’t know how many times I told them I wanted it decided on the field and not because of quarantines. They were able to able to decide it on the field — there were a lot of teams that it wasn’t decide it on the field because they had to cancel (games).”