WINCHESTER — One week after scoring 48 points in a blowout of Skyline the James Wood football team hoped to build on its momentum when Warren County came to town Friday night.
The Colonels offense more than held up their end of the deal, reaching the end zone nine times in a 63-35 win, the second-most points scored by the Colonels in school history behind the 66 they put up two years ago against Park View.
Wood's defense struggled with the Warren County offense throughout the first quarter but was able to make several adjustments and settle in, and the result was a comfortable victory on Hall of Fame night at James Wood's Kelican Stadium.
Several James Wood players starred offensively. Sam Adkins had nine carries for 120 yards and three touchdowns and a 58-yard receiving TD; Carson Hoberg completed 8 of 11 passes for 277 yards and five TDs; and Jaden Ashby had four catches — all for TDs — totaling 130 yards. Ashby also had an interception.
"We expected some wrinkles because they have a good coaching staff over there [at Warren County]", James Wood coach Ryan Morgan said. "They saw some weaknesses in our scheme and they picked away at it. They went five wide basically the entire game.
"Our kids kept preserving and we made some adjustments at halftime. Our kids came out and played hard. I didn't really expect to put up 63 points because they're a tough, physical team and they're well-coached but we had to keep our foot on the gas because they kept scoring too."
Warren County (1-3) took the opening kick and preceded to kick the Colonels right in the mouth.
From their own 26 yard line the Wildcats used nearly half the first quarter on a 16-play, 74-yard drive and took a 7-0 lead on a fourth down, one-yard run by quarterback Bryce Post. It was Warren's fourth attempt to score from the one. On the drive, Post completed six passes for 54 yards, and it was just a sampling of things to come.
For the game Post completed 20 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns. He also carried the ball 32 times for 49 yards and a score.
James Wood (2-1) didn't waste any time responding.
The Colonels started their opening drive on their own 44-yard line and marched right down the field. Two big pass plays, the first 24 yards to William Crowder, got Wood into Wildcat territory. The second was a beautiful strike from quarterback Hoberg to Ashby for a 28-yard touchdown to cap a five-play 56-yard drive. The Colonels attempted to take the lead with a two-point conversion but were unsuccessful and trailed 7-6.
The rest of the first quarter went exactly the same way, back and forth with touchdowns being scored like in a video game. Each team scored all three times they had the ball in the opening period.
There were no running plays on the second Warren County scoring drive, which went for 64 yards. Post completed 4 of 6 passes, the last a 10-yard scoring pass from Post to Austin Baugher to extend the Wildcats lead to 14-6.
The next two Colonels possessions lasted one play each. The first was a 66-yard run by Sam Adkins to pull Wood back to within a point at 14-13.
Following Warren County's third score of the first quarter, a 10-yard touchdown pass from Post to Logan DeHaven which made it 21-13, the Colonels took over on their own 25-yard line.
It took one play for Holberg to find a streaking Ashby and hit him in stride wide open behind the Wildcat defense for a 75-yard score. Ashby easily won the foot race and the Colonels again pulled to within a point at 21-20 with 1:30 left in the first quarter.
With the offense clicking on all cylinders, James Wood's defense started to make some adjustments following that score to slow down Warren County.
Wood's defense stopped the Wildcats on their next three possessions, forcing punts on the first two possessions and getting an interception from Ashby on the third.
Following a short punt the Colonels took over on the Wildcats 40 but thanks to a couple of penalties found themselves facing a first-and-28 from their own 42-yard line. The quick strike offense took care of the penalty yardage and much more. Hoberg hit Adkins with a short pass and Adkins did the rest, racing nearly untouched 58 yards for what was officially a 40-yard drive and the Colonels' first lead of the night at 27-21 with 8:00 left in the second quarter
After the Ashby interception Wood added to its lead with an eight-play, 67-yard drive. Adkins again found the end zone, bursting in from two yards out with 3:31 left in the second quarter to send James Wood to a 34-21 Wood halftime lead.
"Our defense wasn't clicking at first but our offense was on tempo," Adkins said. "Our offense was on fire. We like to spread out the ball to everybody and we trust them. We have lots of guys that are athletes and once they catch it we have faith in them."
Wood took the opening kick in the third quarter and had an opportunity to possibly put the game out of reach with another score. However, an interception set the Wildcats up near midfield.
Post and the Wildcats offense took full advantage of the opportunity and drove 55 yards on five plays. Warren pulled to within 34-28 on a three-yard pass from Post to Karenzo Hogue.
Like an alarm clock going off on the Wood sideline that series of events seemed to spark the Colonels.
Wood scored 21 unanswered points to close of the third and take a commanding 56-28 into the fourth quarter.
Adkins scored his fourth touchdown of the game from 12 yards out, Crowder took an end around 22 yards to make it 49-28, and Hoberg hit Ashby with an 11-yard pass for the 28-point lead, all within about five and a half minutes.
For Warren County, DeHaven had seven receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns while Hogue had six catches for 57 yards and a score for Warren County.
James Wood returns home next Friday night to play Kettle Run.