Sherando routs James Wood 65-6 in opener

By ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI The Winchester Star  
Aug 25, 2018
WINCHESTER — Following the Sherando football team’s game against James Wood at Kelican Stadium, Warriors coach Bill Hall said, “I don’t necessarily know if we were explosive as maybe we wanted to be.”
Maybe everything didn’t go the way the Warriors expected they would go against James Wood, but Sherando sure gave its fans plenty of opportunities to explode with joy at Kelican Stadium on Friday night.
The Warriors opened up a 44-0 lead in the first half and went on to defeat James Wood 65-6 in the season and Class 4 Northwestern District opener for both teams.
It’s the second straight year Sherando beat James Wood by at least 50 points, and the Warriors now lead the all-time series 25-2 following a game in which the Colonels were hit hard by injuries. Quarterback Carson Hoberg, running back/linebacker Jackson Turner and running back/cornerback William Crowder all had to leave the game for good in the first half because of injuries, and two-way lineman Luke Roy was among the players who did not dress to play because of an injury.
Despite the lopsided score, Hall and Sherando quarterback Hunter Entsminger noted that James Wood forced the Warriors to make adjustments. For example, James Wood mostly used a one-high safety look as opposed to the two-high safety defense the Colonels had shown on film.
In the end, though, Sherando was still able to roll up 427 yards of offense and record their 10th game with at least 50 points in the last four years. The Warriors might not have routinely ripped off big plays, and might have had to improvise to get some of the big plays they did get, but they dominated nonetheless.
“That’s not a bad thing [not being as explosive as we wanted],” Hall said. “Just figuring out, ‘Hey, how do you have to adjust based on the things that you’re getting?’, which is what football’s all about. I think our guys were put into some good live situations where they made good adjustments.”
Entsminger completed 8 of 9 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown and ran for 34 yards and a touchdown on five carries. The first touchdown of the game involved an audible in which Entsminger hit Nick Mazza for a 25-yard score down the left seam of the end zone to make it 7-0 at the 7:50 mark of the first quarter.
“We had to call something out of the blue,” Entsminger said. “We changed it, made the play, and Nick ran a good route and made the catch.”
It was all Sherando after that, as the Colonels were unable to get the Warriors off the field without them scoring a touchdown until the second half.
Senior running back T.J. Washington had 212 total yards. He recorded 155 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. His first score went for 47 yards. Washington caught a lateral throw in the left flat at Sherando’s own 45, moved ahead, made a 360-degree spin move on a James Wood defender at the Colonels’ 28, then sprinted in for a score that closed the first-half scoring with 35 seconds left in the first half. Washington also had a 52-yard TD on the first drive of the second half, after which the starters were pulled, and he added 47 yards on three catches.
Senior fullback JoJo Doleman added two touchdowns and 34 yards on five carries.
Sherando’s special teams and defense were also too much for James Wood to handle.
The Warriors allowed only 46 yards in the first half (161 for the game), with Sherando middle linebacker McKinley Dean the first one to hit Joseph Vitola (team-high 32 yards on 11 carries) in the end zone on a running attempt from the 1-yard line, resulting in a safety that made it 37-0.
Sherando also recovered two fumbles, the first at the James Wood 7-yard line on a pitch from backup quarterback Drew Reese to Luke Esparza that went awry (Payne Bauer, known mostly for his linebacking play, scored on a direct snap from the 1-yard line two plays later). Zach Kim then scored Sherando’s final touchdown of the game by scooping up a loose ball and returning it 33 yards to make it 65-0 with 6:01 left.
“[Sherando] is tough up front,” James Wood coach Ryan Morgan said. “We fared a little bit better up front this year [compared to last year’s Sherando game], but they had some linebackers who were just kind of blowing gaps, and we weren’t able to come off some of our double teams when we were supposed to. They put a lot of pressure on us, especially when we put in our backup quarterback. They just decided to come after us.
“We’re trying to protect our backs and protect our backup quarterback, so it kind of limits what we can do, but our guys need to step up and perform and make sure they’re executing their jobs.”
Morgan said it was definitely difficult to adjust to the team’s injuries on offense and defense (Hoberg and Turner went out in the first quarter), but Morgan said James Wood shouldn’t have had the issues it did on kickoff returns.
Sherando kicker Jack Hendren (9 of 9 on extra points) routinely boomed kicks inside the 15 and 10. The deep kicks gave James Wood time to set up the reverses and misdirection handoffs that burned many of their opponents last year, but James Wood had no gains or minimal gains throughout the first half. The Colonels started their first drive at their 11, and that was followed by drives starting at their 8, 12 and 7 before the fifth kickoff went through a player’s hands for a touchback.
“[Sherando] did a good job covering, but part of it was that we weren’t blocking the right people,” Morgan said. “The timing wasn’t there. We ran some of those [misdirection returns] last year, and we’ve got some of the same people back there. For some reason, the timing and communication were off. We had at least three kickoffs where two people were trying to catch the ball at the same time.”
James Wood will have some work to do with injuries and regrouping for its next game on Thursday at Justice. For a Sherando team that made the state semifinals last year, the start to the year couldn’t have gone much better.
“It’s the way we wanted to start the season,” Dean said. “We’d like to come back and do this next week too [against Jefferson].”
Jabril Hayes added three catches for 55 yards for Sherando.
Reece connected with Rodney Boward on a 14-yard touchdown pass for Wood to close the scoring with 14 seconds left.
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