The Woodland Bobcats got back into the win column and got their offense jump-started in the process with a 33-14 victory over Donoho Friday in Anniston.
The win has Woodland in the thick of the playoff race in 1A, Region 5 and gives the Bobcats some momentum heading into this week’s rivalry game against Ranburne.
A big reason for that was a big night against Donoho for running back Parker Woodham, who rushed 30 times for 154 yards and four touchdowns.
It was a much-needed breakout for Woodham, who more than doubled his season rushing total from the first three games combined and took some of the offensive load off of quarterback Brock Edwards.
Woodland head coach Blair Armstrong said that getting more production out of the running backs was part of the game plan going into Friday’s game.
“It just has a lot to do with what they were running and what we were trying to accomplish, just trying to get our offense on track,” Armstrong said. “We did really well against Fayetteville and really well the first half against Randolph County, and then last week against Ragland we just didn’t play very well at all. We just kind of re-established ourselves Friday, and that was very, very important.”
Edwards, who came into the game as the team’s leading rusher, carried just three times for 37 yards while completing 3-of-5 passes for 75 yards.
That modest production left room for Woodham’s career night. The junior running back entered the game with 149 yards and a touchdown on 51 carries through the first three games, but exploded Friday and did a little bit of everything. He also kicked two extra points and had an interception on defense.
But he wasn’t responsible for Woodland’s longest play of the night. That distinction belonged to Lukea Brown, who had a 48-yard touchdown run to help stake Woodland to a 33-0 lead through the first three quarters.
Armstrong went to his bench in the fourth quarter, and Donoho scored to two late touchdowns to spoil the shutout.
Now Woodland will try to keep its good mojo going as it prepares to host Ranburne Friday. Ranburne has won nine straight games in this rivalry, and won the last two by a combined score of 98-7. But the Bulldogs enter this game with a 2-3 record after Friday’s 46-18 loss to B.B. Comer.
Armstrong, who is in his second year at Woodland, says his team needs to change that trend in order for this to be a true rivalry.
“We haven’t won in so long it’s not really what I consider a rival game,” Armstrong said. “The kids do, of course, just because it’s so close to us. But to me it’s not really a rival game if you don’t get to win it once in a while. So when it’s one-sided like that it kind of takes away the rivalry for my part.”
Woodland is now 2-2 on the season and has already surpassed its win total from a year ago. Putting an end to the Ranburne win streak would provide a huge shot of confidence for the Bobcats heading into the second half of the season.
“If we get better each week then by the time we get to our region games again we’ll hopefully win a couple of those,” Armstrong said.