Woodward Academy 20, St. Pius X 14

Judging from the celebration on the field after No. 10 Woodward Academy beat No. 5 St. Pius X with a last-minute touchdown Friday night for a 20-14 win, the War Eagles surprised even themselves.


Terry Googer’s 39-yard-touchdown pass to Conor Pilch with 20 seconds left not only kept Woodward Academy (7-2, 4-1 Region 6-AAA) in the region race, it helped the War Eagles forget about the way the Golden Lions dominated for the first 45 of 48 minutes.


I think it goes back to our guys never quitting because Pius was driving right down the field and they had first-and-goal inside our 5. For us to come up with a turnover, that’s just huge,” said Woodward Academy coach John Hunt. “To be honest with you, I was just trying for a field goal, and I’ll be danged if we weren’t able to get a touchdown.”


St. Pius lost five fumbles in the game, none more important than the second to last.


SPX fullback Ryan Braswell lost the ball at the Woodward 1 with less than three minutes left, and the War Eagles recovered in the end zone for a touchback.


To that point, the Lions (6-2, 3-1 Region 6-AAA) had out-gained Woodward Academy 356 yards to 132. St. Pius rushed 56-times for 344 yards overall.


The War Eagles were tied at 14 only because of a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter by Jollyce Myrick, and because they stuffed SPX earlier in the fourth quarter on fourth-and-1 from the Lions’ 29.


Googer, who accounted for 207 of the War Eagles’ 212 yards of total offense Friday – including all 80 on the game-winning drive – converted two third-and-long situations on the final drive by running from the pocket.


When he hit Pilch over the middle, the senior wide receiver had plenty of room to run. He crossed all the way to the sideline in front of the Woodward bench, and scored untouched.


It was a drag route with the slot receiver. It just opened up. It’s a hit-or-miss play,” Pilch said. “Usually, if you can hit that play, it’s going to be a home run.”


Woodward Academy sacked SPX quarterback Jack Spear on the Lions’ last two plays, forcing a fumble to end the game.


The War Eagles tied the game earlier in the fourth quarter shortly after stuffing Braswell on fourth-and-short.


We were 17-for-17 on that last year,” said SPX coach Paul Standard. “If you can’t get a foot . . . we can’t make that many mistakes and beat a good team.”


Two plays later, Googer scored on a 12-yard draw with 9:08 left in the game for the tie.


Googer completed 8-of-13 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown, and rushed 20 times for 81 yards.


The scoreboard didn’t show it when SPX carried a 14-7 lead into halftime, but the Lions dominated the first half with 216 rushing yards and 10 first downs while Woodward Academy mustered just 62 yards of total offense and one first down.


The Lions drove 80 yards in eight plays on their first possession, taking a 7-0 lead on Brandon Mitchell’s 16-yard sweep.


Woodward Academy countered minutes later when Myrick went untouched on the punt return – the first time St. Pius X had to punt in four games.

Soon after the teams traded punts in the second quarter, Braswell busted over left guard 63 yards, carrying the ball to the WA 4-yard-line. He scored two plays later from the 1 to give the Lions a 14-7 lead with 4:38 left in the second quarter.


SPX wingbacks Mitchell, Nick Ruffin and Kevin O’Toole swept around the edges for 111 yards on 13 carries in the first two quarters. The Lions were missing backs Jack Pelt, who is out for the year, and Georgia commit Nick Glass, a two-way starter who may return next week.


Both teams have big games next week. Woodward Academy closes its regular season against Cedar Grove at Panthersville Stadium. St. Pius will play host to Blessed Trinity.

SPX – 7 7 0 0 – 14

Woodward Academy – 7 0 0 13 — 20


SPX – Brandon Mitchell 16 run (Thomas O’Leary kick).

WA – Jollyce Myrick 54 punt return (Alex Robinson kick)

SPX – Ryan Braswell 1 run (O’Leary kick)

WA – Terry Googer 12 run (Robinson kick)

WA – Conor Pilch 39 pass from Googer (kick blocked)

61 comments Add your comment

ST PIUS fan

October 26th, 2012
11:06 pm

5 fumbles in one game says it all. We gave the game to Woodward.

Give em credit

October 26th, 2012
11:58 pm

Hey Pius Fan, Lose with dignity. Give WA credit for beating a good Pius team. Gave the game to Woodward? Sounds to me like you have never played a down and never will. HS football is a 48 minute game and the team with the most points wins. Have you ever spent some time talking with one of the St. Pius coaches? I didn’t think so.

On this night, Woodward Academy is the better team. Get over it.

WA Parent

October 27th, 2012
12:00 am

Watch out because the next few years won’t be as easy for the Golden Bears.

WA Parent

October 27th, 2012
12:03 am

Just like in Thursday’s 9th grade game, WA did it when it counted!!!!

Region 6

October 27th, 2012
12:29 am

St pius will get Buford first round now. If St pius loses next week they will have to win last game against Decatur just to get in playoffs. Amazing how the tide can change in a week!

Keep it real

October 27th, 2012
12:36 am

@ wa parent ….. that is true because y’all stockpiling Mays High talent. that smart…beat spx at there own game. now y’ll be fighting for the same ytalent.

Matt Winkeljohn

October 27th, 2012
12:40 am

Woodward won. It happens. The War Eagles had more points at the end of the night. Sometimes, you can be the better team for, oh, 45 out of 48 minutes, and lose. If you don’t hang onto the football to the extent of five fumbles, you’re usually going to lose if you’re playing a good team.

SPX didn’t give the game to Woodward, per se. The War Eagles never quit. SPX was punching WA in the face all night statistically, until that very last drive, but that’s not the way games are decided.

SPX will get in the playoffs, guaranteed. I can tell you the four Region 6-AAA teams now — BT, SPX, Woodward and Cedar Grove. McNair, Decatur and obviously Towers have no chance. SPX could lose out and get in. 3-3 in the region will get you in, a testament to how stupid the playoff system in Georgia is. How many states allow .500 teams, or four teams from a region, in the state playoffs?

That’s dumb.

As for the future, SPX will be as good or better next year. The only key losses are QB Jack Spear, DT Quincy Nieporte and CB Michael Sikorski. Other than Spear, the entire backfield is back. There is a ton of young talent in the secondary/backfield and among LBs. Gotta come up with a couple linemen, but they grow on trees at SPX.

Don’t gloat, WA. You pulled one out tonight.

Jimmy Allen

October 27th, 2012
3:41 am

And the reason WA should not gloat, Mr Winkeljohn?? Why not? Isn’t that why you play the game and when you beat a team that you had no chance in the eyes of most socalled “experts” to win? Great win young men! Go ahead and “gloat” Saturday morning and then turn your attention to the business of getting ready for Cedar Grove. Great season so far. Congrats to my late brother’s grandson, Justin Jenkins; a member of the War Eagle football team.
Your Grandfather would be proud of you!

BT Fan

October 27th, 2012
5:44 am

St Pius cannot lose out. If they lose against us next week, then the game against Decatur will be for the final playoff spot if Decatur beats McNair. Football is a crazy game. You never know what will happen.

Fb fan

October 27th, 2012
5:51 am

That is correct. St. Pius must win this next week to guarantee a playoff spot. If they win this week there will be a 3 way tie for first and Blessed Trinity wins tie breaker, and St.Pius can be no better than 3rd. If they lose this week, then if Decatur upset them, they would be out of playoffs cause Decatur would have head to head and both would be 3-3 assuming Decatur beats Mcnair

Next year

October 27th, 2012
7:38 am

@Matt Isn’t Ryan Brawell also a senior? Losing QB and fullback, and leasing rusher, is big for an option offense.

Next year

October 27th, 2012
7:40 am

Meant Ryan Braswell

Paul Graham

October 27th, 2012
7:54 am

Hey Winklejohn, there is a way St. Pius could lose out and not go cause that would mean they lost HEAD TO HEAD to Decatur. Please know what your talking about before you write. You can’t guarantee anything, “That’s why they play the game” -Herman Edwards. Thanks for playing Winkeljohn.

WA Parent

October 27th, 2012
8:23 am

Mr. Winkeljohn, you obviously haven’t seen the talent coming through the ranks at WA. Let’s just say that there will be plenty of good football for you to write about in the coming years.

WA Teacher

October 27th, 2012
9:15 am

For all the talk of SPX giving the game away, don’t forget that WA made several crucial mistakes that kept them from potentially having control of the game much earlier, such as…

– LOTS of silly penalties that stalled out drives.
– 2 missed FG that would have certainly changed the complexion of the game.
– An illegal touching penalty on a play that otherwise resulted in a touchdown; if the WR does not step out there, WA has the lead much earlier and SPX is playing catch-up.

SPX looked like the better team most of the game. But the SPX coach made a very stupid decision to go for it on 4th down at the 29 and that decision cost them the game. Their defense had complete control; giving WA a chance at the ball deep in SPX territory was a terrible call. They should have made WA do something they had not done all day — put together a sustained drive.

Also, mad props to Benji Russel for TWICE chasing down SPX runners that looked like they had a free path the end zone. The first one did not end up changing anything, but the second one stopped a touchdown and gave the defense a chance to force a turnover.

Pius Parent

October 27th, 2012
9:58 am

Pius is still focused on winning the Region, not making the playoffs. If they beat BT and Decatur and Cedar Grove takes care of WA which is likely, Pius takes the Regin.

Not sure

October 27th, 2012
10:07 am

Not sure here but, I think what Mr. Winkeljohn is saying: There are two fullbacks at Pius who are far more talented than Braswell. Sophomore Dalton Wilson may be the best player on the team. At Pius you have to earn your stripes so, sophomores don’t usually get to carry the ball when there is a senior who’s been plaing since middle school. Wilson is bigger and faster than Braswell already. He plays the strongside LB position this year, but he will flat out run over WA tacklers for the next two years. Just ask the players – they don’t want any bit of Dalton Wilson. Tell the like it is Mr. Winkeljohn!!!

Matt Winkeljohn

October 27th, 2012
10:12 am

Yes, Braswell is a senior and an outstanding fullback. That position has tremendous depth for next season. Dalton Wilson and Daniel Crochet are leading candidates. As mentioned, there will be work to do along the lines as well.

SPX will be fine.

As for making the playoffs, yes, technically, if SPX falls to both BT and Decatur then the Lions could miss the playoffs — if Decatur first wins next week at McNair.

SPX is not likely going to lose to Decatur. The BT game will be very big next week — at SPX.

WA FAN

October 27th, 2012
10:22 am

Winklejohn,

By all stats and so forth St. Pius should win out but the next two weeks will be tough. The team you better not look past is Decatur. They are the team that is the youngest in the region and will have basically entire team back. They gave us fits and obviously looking at score gave Blessed fits. You guys have a great team and it was a great game last night. We will have our hands full with Cedar Grove.

Paul Graham

October 27th, 2012
10:23 am

Your real confident in St. Pius. Again,”That’s why you play the game” . “YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME’. What do I know your the same guy that predicted Woodward to lose last night.

Paying Parent at WA

October 27th, 2012
10:24 am

@Keep It Real…….Stop your crying and whining. Don’t disrespect the hard working parents at WA that pay for their kids to go to school and have been paying since elementary days. Why not be like most parents at St. Pius and teach your child GREAT sportsmanship and to lose with dignity. Instead of ” Mays High Talent” how about agreeing that it is WA talent.

Carpetbagger

October 27th, 2012
10:27 am

Weedward played well enough to win… barely!

Paul Graham

October 27th, 2012
10:29 am

Congrats Woodward. People can say whatever they want but the paper will read Woodward=W. No matter how it happens.

Carpetbagger

October 27th, 2012
10:31 am

Go Notre Dame!

Hamlton

October 27th, 2012
10:39 am

Congrats to WA on the win. You kept your head in the game and took advantage when you needed to. I look forward to the next meeting – Googer will be that much tougher as a senior I’m sure. It should be a fun one.

Check out the WA webcast – it looks like a blown call on the Braswell fumble on the goalline – the ball comes out when he hits the ground, not before. Complete blown coverage on the winning touchdown – how do we end up with absolutely no one covering the slot receiver in that situation?
Getting stopped on 4th and 1 was a game changer, but I still love the guts call by Standard. WA made the big stop when they needed it – well done.

Dalton Wilson – that is a beast of a sophomore! The O line looks like it will be just fine next year – no worries.

Quincy – you need to bring some Holloween nightmares to BT next week. Love the play where Q drove the guard straight back 10 yards into and through the QB. HA! Keep it up, Q.

Hamlton

October 27th, 2012
10:41 am

What is the tie breaker if SPX, WA and BT are all tied in the region?

BT Parent

October 27th, 2012
11:59 am

In the case that all 3 teams are tied and there are 3 playoff spots available, then the regional representatives will decide the seeding,as if we didn’t have enough politics already. Vote BT!!!

BT will just crush SPX and make life easier for us all. GO TITANS!!!!

What about the record punt?

October 27th, 2012
12:26 pm

Alex Robinson with the 72 yard punt with 5.1 hang? Go war eagles

Hamlton

October 27th, 2012
12:27 pm

In case there is a 3 way tie (BT d. WA, WA d. SPX, SPX d. BT), all three have played Lovett – BT and WA lost, SPX won. Anybody have a better tie breaker?

Not sure

October 27th, 2012
12:47 pm

@paying parent of WA student — can’t you tell @keep it real is a kid? Yet, you give advice as if they are raising St. Pius students. Stupid is a stupid does — Forest Gump.

Region 6

October 27th, 2012
1:11 pm

If a tie you use the GHSA white book. It goes to overall record against teams in same classification. Blessed Trinity will be first because they beat Hart and White, Woodward would be second because it would then come back to head to head because St.Pius lost to Thomson. Crazy, but Blessed is in best position

punk

October 27th, 2012
2:12 pm

Pius has the dumbest coach ever to run 4th down on his own 30. Idiocy, but we’ll accept his brain freeze as we stuffed Pius when it counted. It was a WA victory in every way, since we scored the winning TD over 80 yds with less than a minute on the clock. Classic! By the way, Pius running game is solid, but can’t break a window pane with the pass. We way out-gained the elites in passing yardage.
Is it really beneath your dignity to lose? That’s the way you act; thus, the prolonged field celebration! War eagle.

punk has no class

October 27th, 2012
2:26 pm

Hey punk – your name fits you well. Coach Standard’s record speaks for itself. The St. Pius program will continue to do it’s talking on the field. WA will never have the kind of football teams that Pius has turned out year after year. When you never. ever expect to win – ever, thus the prolonged (over) celebration on the field. Put on some pads punk and get ready to tackle Dalton Wilson and Daniel Crochet for the next couple of years. C-R-U-N-C-H. Now go celebrate getting accepted to West Georgia University! loser.

Region 6

October 27th, 2012
2:43 pm

I remember not long ago St.Pius was horrible. So everybody needs to get over it. Face it neither St.Pius or Woodward are top teams in the State. Neither could beat Buford if they wanted too. Both are above average teams. Standard has done a great job bringing back football at St.Pius because or awhile it was a laughing stock.

let's see Region 6

October 27th, 2012
3:58 pm

Coach Standard enters his 12th year as Head Football Coach and has the second best record at St. Pius X behind legendary Coach George B. Maloof with a career record of 96-34. The 2011 team finished with an 12-1 record and a final ranking of #8 in Class AAA. The 2010 team finished with a 9-3 record and a 2nd round trip to the State Playoffs. The 2009 team finished with an 12-1 record and a seventh trip to the AAA State Playoffs and a Quarter-Final appearance losing to eventual State Champion in overtime. The season included a 28-3 victory over archrival Marist in the season opening game, The 2008 team finished the season with a 9-2 record and a sixth appearance in the AAA State Playoffs, the 2007 team finished with an 8-4 record and a fifth trip to the AAAA State Playoffs, the 2006 team finished with the best record in 38 years with a 11-3 record and a trip to the Georgia Dome for the State Semi-Finals, the Golden Lions finished with a #4 state ranking.

let's see Region 6

October 27th, 2012
4:00 pm

Hey Region 6, can you even spell forfeit??? or Cheating??

Dang

October 27th, 2012
5:32 pm

Dang, reading these comments, makes me think Woodward has never won a big game before.

Not true

October 27th, 2012
5:37 pm

@Not sure, St. Pius has often played younger players over upper classmen. Trey White started at QB as a sophomore and Geno Smith as well. If the FBs you mention were better now than Braswell, they’d be starting.

Region 6

October 27th, 2012
6:07 pm

Like I said, St.Pius not in same category as a Buford. Your achievements are nice but I see no state championship appearances and no titles. St. Pius is a typical private school who recruits well and has good coaching. You got your butts beat last night and it’s funny because you guys thought you were gonna walk thru region. Well now you are fighting for a playoff spot. Buford will see you first round if you make it.

You're short compared to Yao Ming

October 27th, 2012
6:20 pm

Who has had as much success as Buford? That’s a dumb comparison. But at least Buford does not recruit . . .

WA Parent

October 27th, 2012
6:29 pm

Yo, “punk has no class”, has St. Pius ever had a 300 victory head coach? Check the GHSA website (that is, if you can find it). The late Graham Hixon was beating Marist years before you guys even could step on the field with those guys. (Or was that when you guys were still playing ‘killer” soccer). Until you guys started getting the so-called “Mays” guys, you couldn’t hang with anybody in your county much less the state. As for the “extended” celebration, it was OUR win on OUR field and you must not have been able to get those shiny buses started. If you guys would have won, your guys would have rubbed our noses in it. See you next year on Chamblee-Dunwoody! Good luck with Buford!!

Uh

October 27th, 2012
6:40 pm

Coach Hixon did not have 300 wins

WA Parent

October 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

Ok, so I stand corrected. 276-95-16 (source http://ghsfha.org/coaches.php?gName=Hixon,%20Graham)
Still, don’t lecture Woodward Academy on Georgia state football history; you’ve got a good, long ways to go, Father Bear.

Uh

October 27th, 2012
8:56 pm

Glad you were able to find the site, big mouth!

kidsballcoach

October 28th, 2012
3:15 am

Punk, I was at the game and your name is demonstrative of your BS comment. WA does get credit for not quitting even though several times they could barely slink off the field when having their offense shut down by the Pius D. Yes Pius failed to put this game away in the 1st QTR when they should have and the yes, you guys finally put together a drive in the 4th and a missed tackle resulted in a TD. 80 yd drive no, the QB probably won’t be able to practice this week from the bruises. Our coach who you insulted, who has a 102 wins, made a call because our FB had already run on you guys for over a 100yds and had 275 last week, and your D, who played hard made the play. Didn’t make it a stupid call, but he took a chance and it didn’t work. Don’t expect to see that again this season. WIth the spots WA got from the refs, the calls on fumbles when the refs are hold the ball taken from an SPX player and have 3 minute conference on possession, inadvertent flags, the repeated late whistles which enabled your “players” to strip ball when the play was clearly over and recalled touchdowns. Enjoy your victory Punk, we thank you guys for motivating us for the playoffs.
Whats funny about all this is how dejected the WA crowd was and how surprised they were to win. Now they knew all the time. And honestly the helmet throwing and poor sportsmanship of your team at the end reflects no better than punk on your program’

punk

October 28th, 2012
7:29 am

Looks like I stuck a nerve with you pretend Lions….hahahahahahahahaha! We won, you lost, get over it before you get manhandled by Trinity!!

punk

October 28th, 2012
7:38 am

kidsballcoach, you sound like a pretty sore loser…….and you bought into my comments hook line and sinker! You guys have a great team, but we punched you in the nose, capitolized on your mistakes and pounded it in when it counted. We knew we were in a brawl and we respect your program, but don’t diss us by a 4th down on your own 30….that sounds very pius to me (pun intended!). That, by any football standard, is very stupid. (pun intended!)

WA Parent

October 28th, 2012
8:04 am

Poor Winners

October 28th, 2012
9:08 am

Congrats to Weedward for having enough sober players to field another good team who will lose by the 2d round. All your history is OLD — Weedward has not been a real factor in football this century. SPX gave you this win, and you almost failed to take it. Congrats; enjoy this win over a real modern power because you won’t have much else to celebrate in football for a long time.

Parent?

October 28th, 2012
9:36 am

WA Parent — if you are a Woodward parent, I’d be surprised. The parents I know from Woodward are real classy people. You might want to check with them before you continue to misrepresent your fine school with your classless posts. I’m guessing, however, that you’re really a teenager who is playing with a grown-up’s computer.