By Tommy Keeler Jr. - email@example.com
STEPHENS CITY -- Taylor Loudan did a little bit of everything for Sherando on Friday night -- except score a touchdown.
The senior tailback had a huge night running and receiving, and helped set up many of the Warriors' touchdowns in a 50-14 rout of James Wood in Northwestern District action.
Loudan finished the game with 176 yards rushing on 15 carries, and 87 yards receiving on four receptions. Loudan said he didn't mind not getting in the end zone, and was happy to see his teammates score.
Sherando quarterback Reid Entsminger said it was a shame Loudan didn't get into the end zone.
"I think Taylor deserved to score -- all of our touchdowns, really," Entsminger said. "He was the one that got us down there so that we could score. He's really stepped up this year for us, and done a great job every single game."
On the Warriors' first play from scrimmage, Loudan ran 64 yards to the James Wood 18.
"I got a great block out of Adam [Nordling] on the play, and then I had about 15 yards of open space," Loudan said. "I just cut back to the sideline and got some yards out of it."
Three plays later, Entsminger ran it in from the 5 to give the Warriors a 6-0 lead with 8:15 left in the first quarter. It was just the start of thing to come for the Warriors.
On Sherando's next possession, Entsminger connected with Loudan on a screen pass for a 54-yard gain to the James Wood 22. On the next play, Entsminger drilled a pass to Adam Whitacre in the end zone to give Sherando a 13-0 lead with 4:19 left in the first quarter.
James Wood (1-6, 0-2) could handle the ensuing squib kick and Sherando's Josh Ojo recovered it to give the Warriors possession again. Entsminger then connected with Joshua Wagner for a 50-yard touchdown to give Sherando a 20-0 lead with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
Entsminger finished 10-for-18 with 235 yards passing and three touchdown passes.
"There were some things that we saw that we thought we could take advantage of," Sherando coach Bill Hall said of the Warriors' passing game. "I thought Reid, especially in the first half, did a good job of getting the ball out on time."
The Warriors (3-3, 1-0) pushed the lead to 30-0 at the half, and held the Colonels to only three yards rushing in the first half.
James Wood made a comeback in the third quarter. The Colonels had an 11-play 65-yard drive on their opening series of the half, capped off with a Cam Butler 23-yard touchdown pass to Dakota Orndorff.
On the Colonels' next possession, Butler used three consecutive passes to score another touchdown. Butler connected with Brett Lewin for an 8-yard score with 2:36 left in the third quarter to cut the lead to 30-14.
"We played a little better in the second half," James Wood coach Mike Bolin said. "The kids battled. Our kids always battle."
Sherando responded, once again aided by a big play from Loudan. The tailback scampered 42 yards to the James Wood 9. Two plays later, fullback George Aston took it in from the 2, to give Sherando a 36-14 lead with 1:52 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors finished with 503 yards of total offense, with a very balanced 235 through the air and 268 on the ground.
Sherando started the season off slow, but the win over James Wood was the Warriors' first district game of the season. The Warriors know the district season is a fresh start and a chance to turn the season around.
"We still have plenty of room for improvement, but we're back at .500 now," Entsminger said. "This is how we're going to play from here on out. We just have to play like this every game."