GREENWOOD — A big play from “Butter” put the Woodbridge High football team on a roll Friday night.
With both offenses struggling to move the ball, Ci-Atrick Stones’ punt return touchdown sparked the Blue Raiders to a 24-12 victory over Caravel in a Class 2A, District III showdown. Both teams entered the contest unbeaten and Woodbridge improved to 6-0 overall (3-0 in district) while Caravel dropped to 5-1 (2-1).
Woodbridge earned just one first down in the first quarter before Stones, who said his parents started calling him Butter when he was born and now everyone else does, trotted onto the field for the first play of the second quarter.
The sophomore caught Caravel’s punt on the fly before scurrying to his left, out of the reach of a Buccaneer would-be tackler. Stones received some blocks as he neared the sideline, found a hole and was gone for a 63-yard score.
“I just saw green and my guys blocking,” Stones said. “It just opened up and I just ran. That gave us some momentum.”
“Butter has been close on a few this year,” said Woodbridge coach Marvin Dooley. “He got around the outside by making one guy miss, then had three or four blocks and made the rest on his own. I believe that was the game-changer, it gave us all the momentum.”
Kenny Newton added a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead and the game remained that way into halftime.
Ky’shwn Drumgo put the Buccaneers on the board midway through the third quarter with a rush from three yards out but they failed on the two-point conversion as Woodbridge stayed in front.
The Blue Raiders then had an immediate response.
Seth Smart connected with freshman Lextyn Wescott over the middle for a 38-yard touchdown. Jordan Evans converted the two-point conversion to make it a two-possession game, 16-6, with 5:34 remaining in the third.
Caravel drew closer on a Nick Richardson 52-yard touchdown pass to James Wingo in the fourth quarter but again did not convert the two-pointer. The two teams then exchanged a pair of three-and-outs as both offenses resumed the rut they were in during the first half.
Woodbridge looked like it was headed for yet another three-and-out before Newton broke a rush for a 72-yard touchdown on third-and-long. His two-point conversion sealed it for Woodbridge with 4:38 left.
“He’s lightning in a bottle,” Dooley said. “And our offensive line battled. We’ve been struggling up front but they deserve their props tonight.”
Noah Matthews ensured the final score would stay 24-12 with a sack on Caravel’s final possession, which ended up leading to a turnover on downs. Newton rushed for one first down for the Blue Raiders before they were able to just kneel the ball to run out the clock.
“There were really no losers tonight. I thought both teams battled and we just made a few more plays than they did,” Dooley said. “Defenses were great for both sides. Both offenses struggled but it was both defenses that made them struggle. Our kids were very resilient and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
“It was a dogfight,” Stones said. “But we had to face that adversity and do what we had to do to win.”