After a disjointed start to the season, Woodlawn showed it's capable of putting the pieces together.
And it's just in time for the start of District 5-5A play.
Woodlawn, which had its season opener wiped out by Hurricane Ida and another game canceled because of COVID-19, got three rushing touchdowns and a solid defensive effort for a 27-14 homecoming victory Friday over Dutchtown at Panther Stadium.
“We came out and started strong and kept that same intensity throughout the game,” Woodlawn coach Marcus Randall said.
Woodlawn junior quarterback Rickie Collins, who committed to Purdue on Friday, completed 13 of 19 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. Jaylon Henry (4-81) and Clayton Adams (4-26, TD) led the way receiving.
However, it was the running of Armani Givens and Jay’veon Haynes that provided a lift with Woodlawn rushing 38 times for 195 yards and giving the Panthers (2-3, 1-0) a balanced offensive attack that outgained the Griffins, 385-225.
Givens carried 15 times and Haynes added 12 attempts, with both backs gaining 95 yards apiece and each scoring first-half touchdowns.
“We expected a little more passing,” Dutchtown coach Guy Mistretta said of Woodlawn. “We have been really good against the run, so we figured they would come out throwing a little more than they did. They have the running backs and the line to do that (run the ball).”
Leading rusher Dylan Sampson, a Tennessee commitment, had his longest gain of the evening when he dashed 59 yards to pull Dutchtown (4-1) within 20-14 on the second play of the third quarter.
Sampson wound up with 20 carries for 134 yards but was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 with 5:37 to play, allowing Woodlawn to run out the clock after five first downs.
Woodlawn’s lone score in the second half came on Collins’ 2-yard run at the end of a nine-play, 54-yard drive with 2:29 left in the third quarter.
Woodlawn scored on a pair of 89-yard drives — one to start the game, the other to end the first half — for a 20-7 halftime lead.
The Panthers’ final drive was a 13 plays, with Collins rolling to his left and finding Adams on a 4-yard TD with 42 second remaining before halftime.
The teams traded scoring drives over the first six minutes of play for a 7-7 tie.
“We knew they were mainly a run team,” Randall said of Dutchtown. “We wanted to get them out of what they’re comfortable doing and then we could run it and get the score in our favor.”