James Wood seeks fifth straight win vs. Culpeper

Each of the James Wood football team’s first four games were decided early, so Colonels coach Ryan Morgan liked what he saw from his team in overcoming a 32-28 deficit with five minutes left to win 42-32 last week against Independence.
“I told the kids after the game that they needed a game like that,” Morgan said. “I won’t say you need a loss, but there’s some games where you need to dig it out and figure what you’re made of.
“The kids know now that they can come back from a deficit, and they know when they’re playing poorly, that doesn’t need to be the script for the rest of the game. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but not many teams make it through a season with all ideal situations. Hopefully they’ll get better from this for the remainder of the season.”
Ideally, James Wood (4-1, 1-1 Class 4 Northwestern District) will produce a more comfortable fourth-quarter situation tonight in a 7 p.m. homecoming contest against Culpeper County (1-4, 0-2). The Colonels are seeking their first five-game winning streak since 2009.
The Blue Devils have lost three straight games by a combined 83 points, including last week’s 42-7 loss to Handley. The Judges led 28-0 at halftime and held Culpeper to two passing yards while recording five interceptions. Handley had a 357-257 yard edge overall.
Culpeper running back Riley Harrison showed big-play potential against the Judges with carries of 67 yards and 58 yards, the latter going for a touchdown. Morgan said the Blue Devils run a lot of formations with two or three backs in the backfield, mostly out of the shotgun.
“They do some things to get angles with their blocking with their fullbacks,” Morgan said. “We need to manage all of their different formations and their personnel changes that come in. We’re going to need to figure out the strength of their formations and what they’re trying to do out of those formations.”
If James Wood forces Culpeper into difficult passing situations, safety Sam Adkins (team-high 43 tackles) might be able to add to his interception total. He had two last week, including a 40-yard interception return to the Independence 5 that set up his two-yard TD run that made it 42-32 with 2:37 left.
“Defensively, he does a really good job in coverage, staying over the top at safety,” Morgan said.
James Wood is also led defensively by Jackson Turner (31 tackles) and lineman Clayton Jones (five sacks). Jones and fellow lineman Austin Schmitt (three sacks) suffered injuries in the first half of last week’s game and did not return.
Morgan feels Culpeper is a sound group defensively and boasts plenty of size. Morgan said he believes only the inside linebackers on the Blue Devils are under 6 feet. Culpeper gives up 28.8 points per game.
“They don’t do a whole lot of different things,” Morgan said. “They’ll show a couple of different looks [mostly 3-4 with two high safeties, but also 3-3], but then if you watch them frame-by-frame during film, they’re getting to the positions they need to get to. Their defensive line is aggressive off the ball. They don’t stand up. Their third level doesn’t let anything behind them, and their second level is pretty tough.”
Morgan said James Wood needs to be more efficient on offense this week after fumbling twice last week. The Colonels are led on offense by Adkins (46 carries for 535 yards and nine TDs, including four scores last week), quarterback Carson Hoberg (60 of 110 for 1,095 yards, 11 TDs and three interceptions) and wide receiver Jaden Ashby (24 catches for 459 yards and seven TDs).
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