The Woodland Wildcats (2-2) defeated the Pepperell Dragons in thrilling comeback fashion Friday night by a score of 35-28. Woodland trailed 20-7 at the half.
Woodland received the opening kickoff, but the Wildcats were unable to find the endzone on their first drive. Unfortunately, Pepperell did not have that issue, and the Dragons put points on
the board first when they completed a 10-yard passing touchdown to go up 6-0 midway through the first quarter. They failed to make the PAT after this touchdown, though, so the score remained 6-0.
GAMEDAY!!! You have to hate losing more than you love winning.
— Woodland Football (@WHSfootball00) September 8, 2023
Woodland’s offense failed to respond to Pepperell’s first touchdown, and the Dragons made the Wildcats pay, driving down the field and scoring a 1-yard rushing touchdown to go ahead 12-0 late in the first quarter. Pepperell went for two to make up for the missed PAT on its first touchdown, but the Dragons could not convert the two-point conversion. Pepperell was giving Woodland a run for its money at this point, but the Wildcats did not back down. They responded with a strong drive of their own before scoring on a wild play. They had the ball near the goal line and elected to run a play out of a wildcat formation. Jamarion Walker took the snap, fumbled the ball, picked it back up, and found the endzone to make the score 12-7 in the second quarter.
Unfortunately, Woodland’s defense could not restrain Pepperell’s offense on the following drive. The Dragons responded by driving down the field, finding the endzone from eight yards out on a sweep play, and then converting a two-point conversion to go ahead 20-7 in the second quarter.
Woodland couldn’t put any more points on the board in the first half, so Pepperell took its double-digit lead into halftime.
The third quarter was pretty quiet for both teams’ offense, but Woodland completed a touchdown pass to score the only touchdown of the quarter and make the score 20-14 going into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats’ offense stayed hot in the fourth quarter as they completed another touchdown pass to go ahead 21-20 early in the final quarter. This was a massive play, as it gave Woodland
its first lead of the game. Unfortunately, Woodland’s happiness would last too long as Pepperell responded with a 2-yard rushing touchdown and a two-point conversion to go up 28-21 late in the fourth quarter.
Woodland could’ve tapped out at the point, but the Wildcats did the complete opposite, responding quickly with a rushing touchdown to make the score 28-28.
Not only that, they scored a rushing touchdown with under a minute to go in the fourth quarter to go ahead 35-28. This put the Wildcats in the driver’s seat and they did not lose control as their defense stopped Pepperell to secure the victory.
Next Friday, the Woodland Wildcats will take on the Osborne Cardinals at home with a 7:30 PM kickoff. You can stream the game online by listening to Bartow Sports Zone 2.