In a game that was closer than the final score indicated, Woodlawn gave University High all it wanted for three quarters, but turnovers and penalties proved to be too much for the visiting Panthers to overcome as the poised Cubs took a 34-14 win.
Woodlawn (0-1) piled up 457 yards of offense, but had trouble finishing drives after the first quarter, when the score was tied 14-14.
University (2-0) got steady performances from running backs Derrick Graham and Brian Beck, and lightning strikes from receiver Jason Barnes. Graham rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns, while Beck had 156 yards and a score. Barnes caught a 64-yard touchdown pass and also returned a kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown.
How it was won
U-High took advantage of Woodlawn mistakes in the second half. Trailing 21-14 at halftime, Woodlawn drove across midfield early in the third quarter. Quarterback Rickie Collins appeared to be scrambling for a first down, but bobbled the ball into a defender's hands without being hit.
After Beck’s 48-yard touchdown run, Woodlawn drove 70 yards and had a first-and-goal, but Dawaun Harris’ fumble was recovered by U-High’s Justin Collins in the end zone for a touchback.
Woodlawn had one more chance to make it a one score game, but the Panthers turned the ball over at the UHS 21 when Collins’ fourth down scramble came up a yard short. U-High took over, and picked up a first down before Abney found Barnes on a crossing pattern that turned into a 64-yard scoring play.
Player of the game
Beck carried 19 times for 156 yards to lead all rushers in the game. He had six carries that went longer than 10 yards, and showed off his speed late in the third quarter. Beck took an inside handoff, and burst through the line outrunning the Woodlawn defense on his way to a 48-yard touchdown run.
They said it
Marcus Randall, Woodlawn coach
We’ve definitely got some things we need to clean up. Being off for 12 day, you could see the rust out there. There were fumbles, problems with ball security, a lot of things we’ve been working on in camp. You can’t have that against a good football team.
Andy Martin, U-High coach
We knew coming in that Woodlawn was a good football team. We knew it was going to take four quarters to get there. They’ve got athletes everywhere, but I’m so proud of our guys.
Both our running backs played hard. We’ve got a one-two punch there. They’re both outstanding guys. The O-line was opening up holes for them, and they hit the holes.
After being intercepted on his third pass of the game, Collins went on to complete 17 of 26 passes for 235 yards and both Woodlawn touchdowns. He didn’t have much success running the ball — he was sacked four times but the Panthers ground game found other ways to thrive. Harris rushed 13 times for 106 yards, and Jay’veon Haynes had five carries for 71 yards.