James Wood looks to continue improvement against Warren County

While the scoreboard may have looked pretty good in Front Royal last week, James Wood football coach Ryan Morgan was under no illusion that his team's 48-14 romp against Skyline was anywhere close to perfection.
Coming off a 49-12 loss against Sherando in the season opener, the Colonels had a bye week to work on things before tackling the Hawks, who were 2-0. Thanks to a 35-point second quarter James Wood rolled to a 42-0 halftime lead against Skyline.
While that looks dominant, Morgan says the film tells a different story.
“The kids played hard and fixed a lot of things from the Sherando game a couple of weeks prior, but there were also a lot of mistakes that we made,” the third-year coach said. “Truthfully, we got away with some things that we probably shouldn't have gotten away with as far as routes we were running and people that we should have been blocking that we didn't and things like that.
“We got lucky on a few things, but we have film on it and the kids got a chance to look at it and make some corrections. We'll get better from that. Anytime you win a game, you enjoy that. Anytime you get some backups in that maybe didn't get a chance to play against Sherando is good. Anybody who was healthy had a chance to play.”
After being blanked by Sherando's first team defense in the opener, the Colonels got the ball moving, especially through the air. Quarterback Carson Hoberg completed 15 of 24 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns.
Of his four TD passes, Hoberg completed them to four different receivers. Three different players rushed for scores.
“We've changed some things on offense this year and we've been really stressing to our quarterbacks to make sure that the ball gets to the open guy,” Morgan said. “We have a lot of athletes and a lot of guys who are deserving of touches.
“He's got to get the ball where it needs to go and he did a good job of that on Friday. … Carson did a good job of just getting it to the open guys and he didn't try to force anything.”
Warren County also rebounded last week. After getting pummeled by Handley (48-0) and Timber Creek, N.J. (58-7), the Wildcats pulled out a 27-24 win over first-year program Independence on Bryce Post's touchdown pass to Logan DeHaven with nine seconds left.
“Warren County had a rough start,” Morgan said. “I think some people might have looked at that score against Handley and thought that Warren County would be down quite a bit. I think it actually might be the case that Handley is pretty good.
“They had a little bit of a rough start, but I see some things that I like from them. They're quick and they're aggressive and they have some good athletes. I think their coaches do a good job of scheming.”
Morgan is particularly impressed with Post.
“They've got a good quarterback. I told the kids [Monday] that their quarterback Bryce Post is going to be the best quarterback that we've faced so far this year,” Morgan said. “He's experienced. He's been starting since his freshman year. His first start actually came against us two years ago. He's grown a lot since then as a player and everything. He's pretty precise with his passing and he's got some athletes to get the ball to. They're going to be a tough opponent.”
Post can be a handful both throwing and running the ball. Last week, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound junior threw for 200 yards and rumbled for 123 on the ground.
“He's not the fastest runner but he's a tough runner,” Morgan said. “He's a thickly built kid. He's one of those guys that doesn't need to gain yards on the ground with designed runs. … He's a guy that will tuck the ball and run straight upfield and he's not afraid of contact.”
Warren County coach Brian Bush said his team couldn't celebrate last week very long because the Colonels were next up on the schedule.
Bush is impressed with the Colonels' defense. Clayton Jones had two sacks last week and linebackers Sam Adkins (19), Kevin Brown (15) and Jackson Turner (14) lead in tackles.
"Their guys up front aren't afraid to let the offensive line know that they're physical, they're strong," he said. "And their backers play downhill and their DBs are gonna be able to make up any ground that any receiver [gets]. If he runs a route, their DBs are good enough that they can make up that ground and go man-to-man and let their guys up front take care of the rest."
Morgan said the Colonels will not go into this game overconfident against the Wildcats, who have won six of the last nine meetings with the Colonels. Two seasons ago, James Wood was 1-1 after starting the season with a loss to Sherando and a win over Skyline and suffered a 35-8 drubbing against an 0-2 Warren County team in Week 3.
“We want to make sure we keep the intensity and the focus up,” he said. “Just because we've got one win, it doesn't mean we're on a roll.”
He's looking at a couple of keys to bringing home a win on a night where the Colonels will honor six new inductees into the P. Wendell Dick Athletic Hall of Fame.
“We have to keep their quarterback hemmed in,” Morgan said. “He's a good runner. We have to make sure that we do a good job in coverages. He does a good job of getting the ball where he wants it to go. He's a very accurate passer. They have a receiver/running back Logan DeHaven who is a good route runner and who's got speed. He beat us for a touchdown last year.
“Defensively, we have a lot of things to focus on. Offensively, we've got to continue to improve our physicality up front and make sure we are staying low and driving people off the ball.”
The Northern Virginia Daily contributed to this story.