BEACON FALLS — Woodland’s season-opener was filled with the positives and negatives one would expect with an underclassmen-laden team looking to grow into its own.
Crosby came into Woodland Sept. 9 and left with a 41-29 win over the Hawks.
“The kids played hard but our youth showed,” Woodland head coach Chris Moffo said. “We didn’t tackle very well and didn’t set an edge. They hit us off the edge all game long and we didn’t get 11 hats to the ball, things we constantly do in practice. When you don’t do those things the defense is going to have a long night.”
The Hawks (0-1) started off quickly with a 35-yard run by junior tailback Tom Smith. But, Woodland fumbled on the very next play. The Bulldogs (1-0) took over and went on a 50-yard drive that ended when Woodland’s Edit Krivca intercepted a pass.
Crosby struck first when Ricardo Morales hit Mike Marshall for a 19-yard touchdown. The Hawks answered right back with a 4-yard touchdown run by Smith.
Crosby took the lead back on a 15-yard touchdown run from Donte Detanto. Then, with 3:12 left in the first half, the Bulldogs extended their lead thanks to a 65-yard punt return by Jaedon Wolfe.
Detanto added a 1-yard touchdown run on Crosby’s first possession of the second half as the Bulldogs pulled away from the inexperienced Hawks.
The Bulldogs scored six touchdowns in all, four on the ground, one though the air and the punt return.
It wasn’t all bad news for Woodland, as the Hawks showed plenty of life on offense. Woodland piled up 338 yards of total offense, including 264 on the ground, and went 5-for-5 on fourth down.
“I thought offensively we produced very well. Our blocking needs to be cleaned up quite a bit. It helps when you have skill in the backfield, it makes up for a lot, but our youth showed in the offensive line,” Moffo said.
Smith, a new addition to the team, scored the Hawks’ first touchdown of the year on the ground and the first one through the air. He tallied 129 total yards. Smith had another receiving touchdown and was about a foot away from touchdown number four.
Senior captain Issac Negron added 179 rushing yards and two two-point conversions. Quincy Koch, in his first varsity year under center, threw for two scores and ran for another. Scott Lawrence led the defense with 12 tackles and Koch added 10 tackles of his own.
Moffo said the Hawks are putting the work in in the film room, which he added is a young team’s best friend.
“In our film session on Saturday we saw that we can’t run up field on defense and we have to block to the whistle. We get to the block and stop our feet with 4 to 5 seconds left in the play. Who knows what can happen in those 4 to 5 seconds, and I think they got that because Monday (at practice) it showed. We need to continue to improve.”
Woodland will head to Watertown Friday at 7 p.m. to face the Indians.