The Woodland Wildcats (1-1) had not won a game since September of 2015. On Friday, a 17-game losing streak was snapped when the Wildcats upset the Rockmart Yellow Jackets 31-30.
The game started off weird, which should have let everyone know that something special was going to happen. Rockmart’s first play from scrimmage after the opening kickoff was a 63-yard rushing score, but the PAT was missed. Woodland would also start at its own 27-yard line. Can you guess what happened next? Justice Carter ran 63 yards for a score and following the PAT, Woodland had an early 7-6 lead.
Woodland had no trouble driving the entire game but did have some problems finishing. That was never more evident after Rockmart punted and Woodland drove the ball deep into Rockmart territory and faced a 4th and Goal. The Wildcats couldn’t convert and the score remained 7-6.
Following an injury to Carter, sophomore DeMarcus Williams took the load for Woodland and scored on a 15-yard scamper to push Woodland’s lead to 14-6. Again, the Woodland defense stymied the Rockmart offense and Woodland got the ball back. After a bad snap, Brody Williams recovered the ball at the goal line but was swarmed by Yellow Jacket defenders for a safety.
Woodland would get one last chance to put more points on the board before the half would end, but would miss a field goal and would go into the half leading 14-8.
Woodland would not score on its first possession of the second half. Rockmart sought to take advantage of it and scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass to take the lead 15-14. But resilience was Woodland’s formula in 2016 and it continued to be the formula tonight.
After falling behind, Woodland would march down the field and would take the lead on a 30-yard field goal by Michael Campuzano.
Rockmart would score again with just under nine minutes left in the game and would convert a 2-point conversion to lead Woodland 23-17.
The Wildcats would chew up seven minutes of clock, but, more importantly, would tie the game at 23 after a 1-yard score from quarterback Brody Williams. After three penalties, the Wildcats would not convert the PAT and would turn the ball over to Rockmart with two minutes left in the game.
Rockmart took advantage and was in Woodland territory with less than a minute left and was set up to win the game at the last second.
On a deep ball, Woodland would come down with an interception and force overtime with the score knotted up at 23.
Rockmart would get the first opportunity to score in overtime and would do so on the second play.
Trailing 30-23 Woodland would match Rockmart when Demarcus Williams hit pay dirt for the second time. Trailing 30-29, Woodland had a decision to make. After missing a PAT and a field goal, Coach Tony Plott dialed up a play to run for a 2-point conversion.
Titus Jones took the direct snap and found Zach Pinter in the end zone to give Woodland its first victory of 2017 and its first in 17 games.
Woodland will look to build off its win next week when it faces county and region foe Cass at 7:30. That game will be the Johnny’s New York Style Pizza Bartow County Game of the Week and can be heard on Bartow Sports Zone.