Rome shuts out Woodland

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The Woodland High football team fell to the Rome Wolves Friday night at historic Barron Stadium in Rome. 

The run game that carried Rome to a 49-10 win last week over Cass came in handy once again. 

After receiving the opening kick off, Rome scored after three straight runs by E.J. Burke, with a 19-yard run being the play that started the offensive onslaught. 

Woodland would go three-and-out on its first three drives of the game. 

Meanwhile, Rome was able to add another touchdown on the ground by Ahijah Blackwell. 

Woodland didn't get any favors from its special teams, as a high snap on a punt was recovered by Rome on the Wildcats’ 12-yard yard line. The next play, Burke would go to the house untouched to stretch Rome's lead to 21-0 with 3:14 left in the first quarter. 

Woodland would then go three-and-out again with its offensive line unable to make any room for Asa James to get free. 

It only took Rome two plays to put the ball in the end zone again after a 27-yard quarterback run by Caleb Ellard, making the score 28-0 with 42 seconds left in the opening quarter of play. 

At the end of the first quarter, Rome had compiled 146 total yards (141 rushing) compared to Woodland's negative-6 total yards. 

Woodland started the second quarter with its longest drive of the first half, but it would ultimately stall out at midfield. 

The Wildcat defense came alive in the second quarter, holding the Wolves to a three-and-out. 

Both offenses would struggle to move the ball in the second quarter. Towards the end of the half, though, Rome began to charge down the field with a Blackwell 56-yard run to the Wildcats’ 23-yard line. Alonzo Rodriguez was able to make a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the opening half to send Rome to the locker room with a 31-0 lead. 

Total yardage at halftime was Rome 216, Woodland 16. 

Things didn't get any better for the Wildcats after the break, as they fumbled the exchange on their second play and gave the ball back to Rome on their own 20-yard line. From there, Burke added another Rome touchdown on third-and-goal to make it 38-0 with 7:30 left in the third quarter. 

Woodland's defense did show signs of life, limiting the Wolves' running game and preventing big-yardage plays. They were able to force a three-and-out, stuffing each rushing attempt for no gain. 

Rome opened the final quarter of the game, moving the ball in position for Rodriguez to kick a 49-yard field goal through the uprights to extend the lead to 41-0. 

That score would hold true until the end of the game, as Woodland was able to get some offense going towards the end of the contest with quarterback Johnathan Thomas putting together a respectable drive as time expired. 

Woodland utilized James exclusively as its primary offensive option. He finished with 52 yards on 19 carries and one reception for 17 yards. 

"Our kids, they came out and they played hard,” Woodland head coach Tony Plott said. "It would have been real easy for them to back down and they didn't. They competed on every play and that's all we can ask for.” 

Woodland falls to 1-5 and 0-4 in Region 7-AAAAA play with the loss. The Wildcats travel to Carrollton next week for a region game against the Trojans, who are undefeated on the season.