That improved play early on didn't lead to a Wildcats' victory at home against Rome, but it served as a positive sign for coach Steve Hamilton's team.
"They're learning that they have to play from the first snap and not wait and react to what the other team does," Hamilton said.
Woodland will take on a team Friday that experienced a slow start itself.
Johns Creek, a first-year varsity program, found itself behind 28-0 to Cass in the first half, but scored 15 points after halftime to lose by 13.
"What we gotta learn is we're still young and we make (youthful) mistakes," Gladiators coach Mike Cloy said after the loss to the Colonels.
Johns Creek committed four turnovers -- two interceptions in each half.
The Wildcats had turnover troubles, too, in their 34-13 loss to the Wolves. They fumbled nine times and lost four.
"We've just got to take care of the football, first and foremost. We would've won the football game if we didn't turn the ball over," said Hamilton, whose team led 14-13 at halftime. "The first half we looked awfully good, and it should have been 28-13 at the half. ... You rush for 270 (yards) in a half, that's pretty good."
Ashton Shelton and Cambrell Turner combined for 301 yards with Shelton, the team's senior quarterback, gaining 151. Turner scored once for the Wildcats.
"I think it makes us tough (to defend),'" Hamilton said of the inside-outside rushing attack of Turner and Shelton, "because the defense has really got to choose what they're gonna do."
Throwing the football hasn't been nearly as fruitful for Woodland, which went without a completion last week.
"That hasn't looked good this year," Hamilton admitted about his team's aerial attack. "It's another area we're looking to improve on."
The ability to better utilize the passing game may help the Wildcats in finishing drives, as they have had a few long drives result in zero points this year.
"We need to finish and that will help us finish those drives," Hamilton said. "That's pretty disheartening so we got to finish those drives, and we can't hurt ourselves."
The Gladiators, the coach said, will be a well-coached team that plays hard.
Led by sophomore QB Skye Overton -- whose 97-yard TD pass to senior Jay Barden gave Johns Creeks its second score against Cass -- the Gladiators attack is pretty straightforward, but was successful in upending Sequoyah, 24-21, in Week 2.
"They're a pretty basic team like us, trying to run the ball and trying to play good defense," Hamilton said.
As for his own defense, the fourth-year Woodland coach will likely have two sophomores at the outside linebacker positions with injuries to his normal starters.
"We'll be starting a lot more sophomores this week," Hamilton acknowledged.
With what figures to be a considerable amount of youth on the field for both sides, the game may be a tale of two halves as it was for the Wildcats and Gladiators in Week 3.
"If we go over there and take care of the football, we should be OK,'" Hamilton said.
Of he and his coaching staff's message to Woodland players after their first-half performance against Rome, he said, "You guys can beat anybody on the schedule if we play like that for four quarters.'"
Woodland (0-3, 0-3 Region 7-AAAA) visits Johns Creek (1-2, 1-2) at 7:30 p.m. today.