James Wood Routs Handley In Season Finale, 45-28

Posted: November 9, 2015
The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Handley knew plenty about James Wood running back Tyler Bishop before Saturday’s season finale.

It’s kind of hard to forget someone who rushed for 221 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime against you last season.

But with the Judges’ defense focusing on the area’s leading rusher, Colonels’ quarterback Dade Carroll had a career afternoon. Carroll completed 11 of 13 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns as James Wood defeated the Judges 45-28 at the Handley Bowl.

Bishop did rush for 164 yards and two scores as the Colonels (5-5) defeated Handley for consecutive seasons for the first time since 1976 and 1977. The Judges (0-10) suffered the first winless campaign since the program began playing football in 1919.

“Beating Handley two years in a row — whether they’re good or bad — it is big for the James Wood football program,” Colonels coach Mark McHale said. “After almost 40 years, beating them back-to-back is big.”

Junior Carroll was a big reason why Wood raced to a 30-0 lead in the contest. He went 7 for 8 for 175 yards in the first half, including two touchdown passes to Dillon Manuel (44 and 43 yards) and one to Noah Sullivan (34 yards).

Each of the scoring strikes came on play-action passes as Carroll faked to Bishop and found open receivers. Manuel carved up the Judges secondary by hauling in 11 catches for 193 yards.

“With the year Tyler is having, he’s been running really well,” Carroll said. “The linebackers were coming up to stop the run and it opened it up. It was pretty much on command.”

“We have to sell out to stop the run … but on the other side they made a lot of plays,” Handley coach Tony Rayburn said. “They threw the ball well and made a lot of good catches.”

Carroll agreed that Manuel, Sullivan and Bishop — out of the backfield — helped his big day.

“I can just throw it up and they can do whatever they do,” Carroll said of his receivers. “This was probably my best game this whole year.”

McHale agreed.

“He’s been throwing at a pretty high percentage this year, but as far as total yards it was his best,” McHale said of Carroll. “I think the total package, this was his best day.”

Bishop got off to a good start, including a 34-yard run on the game’s first possession. Carroll’s first pass attempt went the distance as Sullivan made a fine catch on the seam and outraced the Judges’ secondary for the only score in the first quarter. Brady Burner’s first extra point made it 7-0.

The Colonels had several big plays called back, including a 75-yard punt return by Bishop, before they’d get the offense rolling in the second quarter.

Carroll hit a wide-open Manuel for a 44-yarder to make it 14-0 with 10:19 before the half. A muffed kickoff led to Handley quarterback Jacob Parker being sacked by Cody Polk for a safety to make it 16-0.

Bishop returned the ensuing free kick 40 yards to the Handley 25, setting up his own one-yard TD run and suddenly it was 23-0 with 7:18 left before the half. Carroll would find Manuel from 43 yards out to push the margin to 30-0.

The Colonels defense, buoyed by the return of linebacker Ryan Funkhouser, held Handley in check for most of the half until Sergio Martines swept left and rumbled 58 yards to make it 30-7 at halftime.

“That first half was the game,” McHale said. “… We got right on them. Stayed on their half [of the field].”

But the Judges wouldn’t go away, thanks to the arm of Parker.

The freshman, who was 0 for 8 in the first two quarters, threw for 259 yards and three scores in the second half.

He got the Handley faithful excited by connecting with classmate Jeffrey Walker, a call-up from the JV team, for a 72-yard bomb on the second play after the break.

Wood bounced back, using a fake field goal pass from Carroll to Manuel to extend its drive. Carroll’s one-yard sneak made it 37-14.

But two plays after that, Parker hit Walker again for a 45-yard TD strike.

Bishop would score again from a yard out and a two-point conversion pass made it 45-21. Handley closed the scoring in the final quarter on Parker’s 34-yard toss to Dolan Delaney.

Handley did not make the afternoon easy for Bishop, who came out in the final quarter. “They did a good job adjusting to the run stuff that we did,” said Bishop. “We added new stuff this week. They played well.”

Bishop finished the season with 1,549 rushing yards and his career with 2,885. Bishop, who missed 11/2 games with an injury, finished just short of Clayton Hartman’s school career mark of 3,024 rushing yards.

Funkhouser, who missed most of the past two games, had 13 tackles to finish the season with 109.

Bishop said the season was bittersweet for the Wood seniors.

“We were a little disappointed,” he said. “We wanted to get into the playoffs and go deep. We lost a little bit of power. We had some injuries and we knew that would be our downfall. If we didn’t get hurt, we knew we could keep winning.”

McHale liked how his squad finished the season.

“I thought the defense played really well,” he said. “Special teams was sound. We made big plays on offense and threw the ball well. Tyler ran the ball well. It was really a complete game for us.”

Rayburn said he was proud of his seniors for battling to the end.

“The seniors — obviously you don’t want to be part of a losing season much less an 0-10 season — were really good leaders and handled it with class,” Rayburn said. “My hat’s off to them. They worked hard and they played hard.”

Saturday’s offensive output netted the Judges a season-high 28 points and maybe offered a glimpse at next fall.

“As far as the future goes, yeah, we’ve got a lot of young players that played this year, but you don’t all of a sudden become good just because you’re a year older,” Rayburn said. “It’s what you do in the offseason. That will determine whether or not we’re good next season.”

— Contact Walt Moody at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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