By Score Atlanta
Woodstock head coach Brent Budde was certainly motivated when the Wolverines stepped onto the field tonight after a disappointing 4-6 record last season. Memories of deflating injuries and lopsided losses were still fresh in the minds of the hosting Wolverines as Johns Creek visited the Woodshed. Before there would be an opportunity to restore excitement in Town Lake by starting 2012 off strong, everything was spoiled by a Gladiator shutdown as Johns Creek prevailed 28-0.
Budde and his team did not appear synchronized for the majority of the game, and on the opening possession, running back Trey Alexander fumbled. Johns Creek took possession and Mike Cloy’s talented offense, led by senior quarterback Skye Overton, quickly took control of the game.
Woodstock’s defense did a good job in the early action of being aggressive against the spread but that success was short-lived. Late in the first quarter while backed up at the Johns Creek nine yard line, Overton was forced into a dangerous third and long. Overton’s playmaking was outstanding all night and wideout Ben Deck was able to convert the third and long by hauling in a beautiful touch pass from the senior. On the next play, Matt Azemar took the handoff and hurdled over Woodstock’s Max Keeton for the first down. Overton began to take over the drive and the game with his legs. After a couple of successful keepers, Overton did it again and galloped in on a 50-yard rushing touchdown.
The Gladiators continued to disrupt Woodstock offensive coordinator Roy Clayton’s attack, and despite being undersized up front, Johns Creek was able to stuff the Wolverines all night with low pad levels and excellent leverage. They forced the three-and-out, and on the next offensive possession, Azemar took the handoff in for a 41-yard score.
The Woodstock offense continued to struggle and the only stops came off a brilliant night by Woodstock’s Keeton. Offensively and defensively, Keeton was everywhere for the Wolverines, but his true successes came on Gladiator field goal attempts as he batted down three tries.
In the second half, the Gladiators were able to close the door with authority. Overton once again ran past the defense for a big 52-yard score. The lead was pushed to 21-0, and this non-region matchup became a tool for Cloy and his team to use for the rest of the season. Defensively the plan was to continue shutting down whatever the Wolverines threw their way, and they did that by forcing a turnover on downs on the only real scoring threat. On offense, it was clear that the fourth quarter would be an assessment for how his offense could put together a long successful drive.
The Wolverines’ defense looked exhausted trying to slow down this explosive unit. Overton continued to move the ball and made some key throws on big third down plays. Cloy was opening up the playbook, and, after a pair of penalties, Overton eventually found Jack Pomerantz and converted the third-and-14. The 15-play, 86-yard drive was capped off by Overton’s third rushing touchdown of the night. Overall, the quarterback carried the ball 16 times for 151 yards.
“ We knew that had to be a long drive and we were ready to make the plays,” said Overton. “I just have to continue playing hard and reading the defenses throughout the game.”
“Tonight was fun wasn’t it?” coach Cloy asked his team after the game. “We’ve got to get back to work this week and get ourselves prepared. Rest up and great job.”
Next week Johns Creek will travel to Milton to take on a talented Eagles team. Woodstock will get the Harrison Hoyas next and will hope to answer some major questions. This was a team that was shut out three times last season and overcoming this early setback will be a challenge. Both teams will look to build from tonight’s game.