Football preview: James Wood at Skyline

By WALT MOODY | The Winchester Star
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Skyline High School.
Records: James Wood (1-1); Skyline (1-1).
Last week: James Wood beat Park View 66-28; Skyline beat Broadway 32-22.
Last year: James Wood won 26-0.
Players to watch: James Wood — RB/LB William Crowder, OL/DL Dominic Revetta, RB/LB Tyler Arnold, WR/DB Tylor McBride; Skyline — QB/LB Ryan Scott, WR/DB Bailey Smeltzer; WR/DB Trenton King, RB/LB Quentin Diggs.
Preview: What a difference a week made for both the James Wood and Skyline football teams. The Colonels fell 58-8 to Sherando in Week 1, but rebounded to bury Park View. The Hawks fell 48-13 to Central in their opener before bouncing back to top Broadway.
“They were pretty excited,” Wood coach Ryan Morgan said of his team’s victory. “They were a little bit down after the Sherando game because they were not expecting that result. Last week against Park View, they were confident in themselves coming in. ... After that first series when we marched down and scored in two plays, they sort of got their mojo flowing again.”
The Colonels’ definitely had the offense going, especially on the ground. William Crowder (168 yards, 3 TDs on 10 carries) and Tyler Arnold (108 yards on seven carries) led a rushing attack that piled up 508 rushing yards. Quarterback Mike Zebarth also hit Tylor McBride with a pair of TD passes.
Morgan said the Colonels improved dramatically from Week 1 on the offensive line. “There were still a couple of mistakes, but they figured out who they were supposed to block and making the right calls. That was the biggest thing — getting a hat on a hat.”
The Colonels will face a defensive challenge from Skyline quarterback Ryan Scott, who beat Broadway with his arm and his feet. Scott was 7 of 11 for 168 yards and three touchdowns (two to Trenton King). He also rushed seven times for 128 yards, including a 71-yarder that put the game on ice.
“He’s got a big arm,” Morgan said of Scott. “He can throw it off his back foot 45 or 50 yards. He’s a kid who will move around in the pocket and look to throw downfield as he goes. He doesn’t just tuck it and run as soon as he feels pressure. He’s probably one of the best quarterbacks that I’ve seen since I’ve been in the area.”
Morgan said while the Colonels have a size advantage across the line, the Hawks are good at getting lower with leverage.
“They have some tough kids on defense. They are a team who is always aggressive. They’re going to play tough and are going to hit you. We’ve got to respond to that and be physical.”
Morgan says for his team to win its second straight it must hit on two keys.
“The biggest thing is that we take care of the football,” Morgan said. “We can’t afford turnovers. It would be nice to force turnovers, but we can’t force anything where we put the ball at risk. The other thing is that we have to do our best to cover until the whistle and keep contain because their quarterback is dangerous.”
— Compiled by Walt Moody