BEACON FALLS — Crosby scored on the first drive of the game before Woodland took it to the air and posted a convincing 40-6 win over the Bulldogs last Friday night.
Tanner Kingsley was on the mark, throwing for 365 yards and six touchdowns as the Hawks improved to 2-0 on the season.
“Crosby is a pretty good team and they have some very good athletes,” Woodland head coach Tim Shea said. “We made a couple of adjustments after the first score. They still moved the chains on us but we kept them out of the end zone after that.”
Mike Marshall and Myles Goulbourne engineered the opening drive with Chris Herrera (102 yards rushing) punching it in on a 2-yard run. Crosby failed on the two-point conversion pass to take a 6-0 advantage.
Crosby managed to pick up 20 first downs on 87 yards rushing and 137 yards passing but the Hawks’ defense swarmed to the ball in a team effort to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
Austin Clarke was an imposing figure on the defensive line along with Jake Boncal and Will Flormann. When Crosby did manage to get it into the secondary, the hard-hitting linebacker crew of Chris McDonald, Levi Fancher and Chris Slavin kept the damage to a minimum.
Woodland did a good job of mixing it up and keeping the Crosby defense on its heels. Sean McAllen (40 yards rushing) and Colby Vaccarelli (37 yards) did most of the damage on the ground behind Alik Bures, Jake Laliberte, Alex Varhol and Max McSperrin.
Just when Crosby had the running game figured out, Kingsley (19-of-28 passing) dropped back in the pocket and started to pick apart the Bulldogs. Mike Kenney (three catches, 105 yards) hauled in a 34-yarder to tie the game at 6-6.
Following a Crosby punt, Kingsley put together a drive that had the Hawks ahead for good when Taylor Tucciarone (five catches, 29 yards) pulled in his first touchdown of the game on a 4-yard slant.
On the next series Kingsley checked down at the line of scrimmage and found a wide open McAllen for an electrifying 61-yard scoring play. Dylan Abarzua latched onto the two-point conversion pass to open up a 20-6 Woodland lead with 9:33 to go in the half.
“Going into the season we wanted to have more of a balanced attack,” Shea said. “We had a lot of new receivers and felt we would be a tougher offense to stop if we concentrated on getting our running game going. That was the key against Crosby. Once we started to have some success running the ball it opened up the passing game.”
The Hawks never stopped pushing the ball downfield and utilized every minute on the clock to sustain that purpose. With 3:06 to go in the first half Kingsley hooked up with Tucciarone for a second time on a 13-yard touchdown pass with Kenney grabbing the two-point conversion to give the Hawks a commanding 28-6 advantage.
With just under a minute to play before the half, Kingsley rolled out of the pocket to pick up 20 yards of real estate. On the next play, Jack Pinho (five catches, 85 yards) took an over-the-shoulder grab 50 yards to the house with just 15 ticks left on the clock as the Hawks delivered the message to the Bulldogs, taking a 34-6 lead into the locker room.
Woodland finished up the scoring with McDonald catching a 37-yarder from Kingsley late in the third quarter for the 40-6 final margin.
“We are a little inexperienced on defense but we are getting better each week and playing as a team,” Shea said. “The kids are working real hard to get better and from a coaching standpoint that’s all you can really ask.”
The Hawks will be back at it this week when they take on Kennedy at Municipal Stadium on Saturday morning for a 10 a.m. contest.