Woodbridge dominates in 2nd half for 30-22 win

By Tim Mastro
Posted 9/17/21

MILL CREEK — For the second game in a row, the Woodbridge High football team saved its best for last.

The Blue Raiders scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead touchdown …

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Woodbridge dominates in 2nd half for 30-22 win

Posted

MILL CREEK — For the second game in a row, the Woodbridge High football team saved its best for last.

The Blue Raiders scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead touchdown with 1:10 left, to win at St. Mark’s 30-22 on Friday night in a Division 2A matchup. Woodbridge remained unbeaten and improved to 2-0.

Seth Smart put the Blue Raiders on top with a 65-yard toss to Colin Hastings over the top of the Spartan defense to break a 22-22 tie before Kenny Newton added the two-point conversion. The Spartans had just tied it a minute earlier when Jabri White caught a tipped pass from Chase Patalano.

“We never give up,” Smart said. “We just keep competing. We’re a fourth quarter team, that’s what we do. When it’s the fourth quarter, we just ball.”

Hastings sealed it on defense for Woodbridge when he pounced on a loose ball as the Spartans fumbled a lateral.

Woodbridge played a similar game last week when it came from behind to beat Cape Henlopen thanks to 27 points in the fourth quarter.

“We really just needed willpower and heart for real,” said Woodbridge linebacker Wyatt Wright. “If there’s anything I learned from Woodbridge, it’s that it’s not how you start it’s how you end it. The fourth quarter is what really counts.”

Kenny Newton carried the load for Woodbridge offensively, but the sophomore sparked the Blue Raiders on special teams first.

St. Mark’s had just scored to go up 14-0 near the end of the first half when Newton responded with an 85-yard kick return touchdown. It made it a 14-8 game at halftime after he added the two-point conversion, which Woodbridge coach Marvin Dooley said gave his team all the momentum at the break even if the Blue Raiders were losing.

Dooley shifted his defense to a five-man front to adjust to the Spartans and stymie the run game. All of St. Mark’s touchdowns came on deep passes over the top of the Woodbridge secondary as the Spartans had difficulty solving the Woodbridge defensive line.

“I thought we dominated the second half,” Dooley said. “Three big plays is really all the defense gave up. I thought the defense controlled the game. We just got beat in the secondary a couple of times.”

Jordan Evans gave the Blue Raiders their first lead of the game when he converted on fourth-and-short in the red zone. Evans dropped the snap in a Wildcat formation but scooped the ball up in time to avoid the oncoming rush and found a hole in the defense for an 11-yard touchdown. Newton added the two-point conversion for a 16-14 lead with 9:50 remaining.

Wright provided a big sack for Woodbridge on the next Spartan possession which led to an interception by Ci-Atrick Stones. Newton took advantage of the good field position with his second touchdown on the day with a 41-yard rush. But the Spartans stopped Woodbridge on the two-point conversion to keep it a one-possession game.

That allowed the Spartans engineer the game-tying drive, aided by 30 penalty yards by Woodbridge. St. Mark’s two-point conversion was successful on a pass by Patalano to John O’Donoghue with 2:27 left.

With how his team was playing at that point though, Dooley knew that was plenty of time for Woodbridge.

“We were tied, we weren’t losing,” Dooley said. “We got two minutes left and we got Kenny Newton, so I liked my chances there. Then Seth played great when he had to play great. That’s what a quarterback does.”