Football: Woodbury uses running attack, defense to defeat Farmington
Run. Run. And run again.
That was the mentality for the Woodbury Royals on Friday night against Farmington.
And it worked.
"We found some openings in [Farmington's] defense and took advantage of them," said junior Brock Rinehart. "It's always great to see us put 49 points on the board in the first game."
The Royals defeated the Tigers 49-28, but it was a second half push from Woodbury to solidify that first win of the season. In the fourth quarter alone, the Royals had five turnovers including a blocked punt return for a touchdown.
Keyshawn Maxfield pushed down the Farmington offensive lineman and saw the punter coming to his side of the field. He ran as fast as he could and decided to put his arms up to try and block the punt.
The ball went off his hands and landed on the field, but Maxfield wasn't done yet.
He saw the ball on the ground and ran over to pick it up as he rolled into the end zone for a touchdown. A smile came upon his face as he ran over to the Woodbury sidelines where every coach was standing there waiting to give him high-fives.
"That was a fun play," Maxfield said with a smile on his face. "I saw the ball in front of me after blocking it and knew I needed to get it into the end zone."
The defense was strong allowing only 14 of the 28 points on Friday night as the other 14 came from a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a pick-six.
The duo of Rinehart and quarterback Jake Wenzel worked well throughout the entire of the game. The first half focused on Wenzel and his running ability.
He found a couple openings and took full advantage of them to keep the score close to Farmington. In the first quarter, Wenzel ran two yards for a touchdown to give Woodbury an 8-7 early lead. Then, Wenzel went 86 yards for another rushing touchdown to give Woodbury a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
"It was good to see Jake [Wenzel] get comfortable early in the game," Rinehart said. "He did a great job and it'll carry into next week and the next game."
The Royals went into the half down 21-14, but Rinehart found his groove early and often in the second half to give Woodbury the lead and, eventually, the win.
Rinehart started the third quarter with an 86-yard rushing touchdown to tie the score. Then, he tied the game once again at 28 with a rushing touchdown from the one-yard line.
Rinehart had not one, not two, but three rushing touchdowns in Friday night's game and the last touchdown was the last score for Woodbury as he ran in for a 12-yard touchdown to make it 49-28.
"We have three running backs that we like to use throughout the game," said head coach Andy Hill. "Brock was working well offensively, so we stayed with him for the second half."
One of the three running backs, Andrew Kraemer, left the game with an injury. Hill said he doesn't know the severity of the injury, but it kept him out for the entirety of the Farmington game.
Woodbury is also facing a key injury with its senior wide receiver Drew Pearson, who's dealing with a knee and head injury. Hill said his head injury is fine as he passed all the concussion protocols. The knee injury was more of the contributing factor of why he stayed out of the game.
"If it was week eight or the East Ridge game, he would've been able to play," Hill said. "We just wanted him to get rest with his knee and prepare for the season ahead of him."
Without Kraemer and Pearson, Woodbury still put up 49 points, which made Hill very happy to see. He also understands it's week one and there's plenty of games left on the schedule this fall.
"I wouldn't mind putting 49 points on the board each week," Hill said jokingly. "Woodbury hasn't won a conference title outright, so that mission starts next week when conference play starts."
The Royals will take on Roseville at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 7, at Woodbury High School.