Hawks fall to James Wood

WINCHESTER – Skyline had its opportunities against James Wood on Friday night, but couldn’t make enough plays.

The Colonels built an early lead en route to a 26-0 Northwestern District football victory over the Hawks.

“The kids have been working so hard in practice, they’re doing it the right way,” Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said. “I really wanted them to get rewarded with a victory tonight, and I hate that it’s gone this way for them but I am proud of them.”

The Hawks (1-6, 0-3 Northwestern) had an opportunity on their first drive of the game. Skyline was able to mix some runs and passes and moved the ball to the James Wood 32-yard line.

However, a five-yard loss on a running play and a James Wood sack forced the Hawks to punt.

The Colonels (2-5, 1-2 Northwestern) fumbled on their fourth play of the ensuing drive and Skyline’s Steven Timbers recovered at the James Wood 15 with 6:27 left in the opening quarter.

The Hawks were unable to take advantage of the turnover. Facing a fourth-and-5 from the James Wood 10, Skyline’s Quentin Diggs was stopped for a one-yard loss to give the ball back to James Wood.

“That turnover was so close and we weren’t able to capitalize on it,” Gilbert said of Skyline’s first two possessions. “That’s tough. We need to turn those into points. If we would have got one of those it could have been a different football game.”

The Colonels went 89 yards on 10 plays, all running plays. James Wood’s Tyler Arnold scored on a 16-yard run to give the Colonels a 6-0 lead in the final seconds of the opening quarter.

On James Wood’s next possession, the Colonels went 67 yards on five plays. James Wood capped the drive off with a trick play. James Wood quarterback Dade Carroll tossed the ball to Chris Lakin, who then threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Bearer for a 12-0 lead with 7:52 left in the first half.

The Colonels finished the game with 260 yards rushing, most of which came in the first half. Arnold, playing in his first game at running back, had 96 yards rushing to lead the way.

“I think this is the best we’ve run the ball all year,” James Wood coach Mark McHale said. “Tyler Arnold has been wanting to run the ball all year.”

Skyline’s defense stepped up in the second half, especially against the run. Gilbert said he hopes it’s something they can build in their remaining games.

“We made some adjustments in the second half, and tried to be more aggressive with some technique and the kids played some spy defense,” Gilbert said. “I’m really proud of their effort.”

Skyline’s Matthew Rutherford recovered a James Wood fumble at the Skyline 43-yard line with 7:13 left in the third quarter.

However on the next play, Skyline quarterback Ryan Scott was intercepted by James Wood’s Noah Sullivan. The ball slipped out of Scott’s hands as he slipped while trying to escape pressure.

The Hawks’ defense continued to slow down James Wood’s offense, but Skyline couldn’t convert on offense.

“I think it was tough to maintain the run game, and I think we had to put a lot on Ryan,” Gilbert said. “They did a good job of attacking, moving him out of the pocket. They did a nice job.”

The Colonels were able to score twice in the fourth quarter. Arnold scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to put the Colonels up 20-0 with 6:26 left.

Carroll threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to William Crowder on a scree pass with 4:10 left in the game.

“Any time you can get a shut out on anybody that’s good,” McHale said. “We can play with people if we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.”

Diggs led Skyline’s rushing game with 64 yards on 16 carries. Scott threw for 116 yards on 11 for 24 passing. He also had 42 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Gilbert said he continues to see improvement from his team.

“The defense showed it in the second half. They competed. They worked hard,” Gilbert said. “Steven Timbers and our outside guys Matt Rutherford and Tucker Fortney I thought they did a really good job. Our defensive lineman getting up the field a little bit helped our linebackers.

“We did play tougher football in the second half and we’re going to try to build on that.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com.

Colonels 26, Hawks 0
Skyline 0 0 0 0–0
James Wood 6 6 0 14–26
First quarter
JW: Arnold 16 run (Kick blocked), :01
Second quarter
JW: Bearer 26 pass from Lakin (Pass failed), 7:52
Fourth quarter
JW: Arnold 28 run (Carroll run), 6:26
JW: Crowder 65 pass from Carroll (Pass failed), 4:10
First downs 16 19
Rushes-yards 35-110 45-260
Passing yards 116 129
Passing 11-24-0-2 4-4-2-0
Penalties-yards 3-30 4-36
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-2
Punts-Avg. 5-35.0 3-26.3
RUSHING: Skyline, Diggs 16-64, Scott 14-42, Fortney 3-10, KIng 1-(-5), Reedy 1-(-1). James Wood, Rupp 21-87, Crowder 4-23, Arnold 11-96, DeHaven 7-61, Lakin 2-(-7).
PASSING: Skyline, Scott 11-24-116-0-2. James Wood, Carroll 3-3-103-1-0, Lakin 1-1-26-1-0.
RECEIVING: Skyline, Timbers 1-14, Reedy 2-18, King 1-14, Hartzell 6-68, McHugh 1-2. James Wood, Bearer 2-40, Sullivan 1-24, Crowder 1-65.