Through three games last year Woodland was 0-3 and had been outscored 104-27.
After three games this year the record is only one game better (1-2), but the losses have also been much more competitive. That was the case Friday as Woodland dropped a 15-6 decision at Ragland.
And while competitive losses are a step in the right direction, they’re still losses. And Woodland head coach Blair Armstrong believes his team is capable of winning more than just moral victories.
“We’re not sitting there saying, ‘We’re not big enough, we’re not fast enough, we’re not talented enough,’” Armstrong said. “We’re looking at it saying, ‘These are all fixable things, guys.’ We’ve just got to do it. We’ve got to get them fixed.”
Woodland has managed just six points in each of its last two games, something that is as much about missed opportunities as anything else. Against RCHS two weeks ago Woodland lost a fumble at the goal line in what was a one-score game at the time.
Last week against Ragland the Bobcats often found themselves with good field position, but were largely unable to capitalize.
“We had 11 possessions and I think eight of them we were on their side of the 50,” Armstrong said. “We should have come away with more than one touchdown. Good football teams do that. Average football teams are doing what we’re doing right now. We’ve got to get a little bit better than average.”
Woodland’s only touchdown came via the legs of Parker Woodham in the third quarter to put the Bobcats up 6-0. Woodham finished with a season-high 77 yards on 19 carries.
But after that Ragland scored two touchdowns and a safety and kept Woodland from making a meaningful comeback attempt.
Woodland quarterback Brock Edwards ran for 90 yards on 22 carries to pace the Woodland offense. He also attempted a season high 15 passes, only five of which were completed. Armstrong said a handful of those incompletions were drops, part of a salad of mistakes that have kept Woodland from turning offense into points.
“We’re getting penalties at the wrong time and missing blocks and dropping passes, all the things that keep you from scoring touchdowns,” he said.
It was just the first region game of the season, so the Bobcats have plenty of time to make up ground in what appears to be a fairly evenly matched region among the top four or five teams.
Armstrong is hesitant to put his team among that upper tier right now however.
“I think there’s three or four teams right now that are playing better than we are, so if we don’t pick it up we’re not going to be in the top four. That’s the way I surmise it right now. We’ve got to pick up our game if we want a chance at the playoffs,” he said.
Woodland will get a chance to do just that against Donoho this week. The Falcons defeated Woodland 35-6 last year, but are 0-3 coming off back-to-back losses to Victory Christian and Winterboro.