Game Five – October 4, 2013
W.T. Woodson vs. Oakton @ W.T. Woodson
Oakton 21 – W.T. Woodson 6
By The Dunn Family
Friday night was Homecoming for the W.T. Woodson Cavaliers at Pat Cunningham Stadium in Fairfax, where they played host to the Oakton Cougars.
The pre-game festivities, including a parade, food and fun at the “Pig Out” and a performance by the Marching Cavaliers Band all set the stage for what Cavs fans hoped would be a homecoming win.
In the end, however, despite the festive atmosphere surrounding the game, the Cavs ultimately came away disappointed as the Cougars spoiled the evening by beating Woodson 21 – 6.
Coming off last week’s fine outing against T.C. Williams, Woodson entered the Oakton game hoping to grab its first win of the season. And at the outset, things went Woodson’s way, when Jonathan Knight recovered a bobbled Oakton fair catch on the opening kickoff.
The turnover set up the Cavs’ offensive in good position at the Cougars’ 41-yard line, and they quickly moved into scoring position behind Brian Smiga’s strong running, including a 10-yard gain on fourth down.
Woodson was first on the scoreboard moments later when quarterback Patrick Riley connected with Jimmy McLaughlin on a 26-yard touchdown pass. McLaughlin pulled in the catch despite double coverage to give the Cavs the early 6 – 0 lead.
The Cougars roared right back, marching quickly downfield aided by Alek Schultz’s long run into Cavs’ territory. Later on, the drive to a four-yard touchdown pass from Michael Ficarra to Cory Harris put Oakton up 7 – 6.
After the score the Cavs and Cougars traded punts before Oakton struck again. This time, Schultz handled the scoring duties on a one-yard touchdown run with just over four minutes to go in the first half to give Oakton a 14 – 6 lead.
Late in the first half Woodson used runs by Smiga and a completion from Riley to China Moon to move into Oakton territory. The Cavs then pulled off a wide receiver screen option pass for a 28-yard gain to Oakton’s 20-yard line. On the play Riley first passed laterally to McLaughlin, who then tossed downfield to Will Cogan for the big gain.
The Cavs’ drive stalled there, however, when Woodson missed on a 38-yard field goal attempt with just over a minute to go in the first half.
Woodson opened the second half on offense and used six minutes to again move deep into Oakton territory. The drive was halted, however, when the Cougars intercepted a deflected Riley pass to give Oakton possession at its 23-yard line.
Late in the fourth quarter, hoping for a score and two-point conversion to tie the game and force overtime, Woodson mounted its final drive into scoring position.
With the clock winding down, the outlook seemed bright for the Cavs, when Riley connected with McLaughlin in the end zone for an apparent touchdown.
Woodson’s celebration was short-lived. An offensive pass interference penalty negated the score, and the Cavs’ drive was stifled.
Oakton added a late score on long interception return, and the final score settled at 21 – 6 in Oakton’s favor.
Although the contest was far more competitive than the final score might indicate, the loss nonetheless drops Woodson to 0 – 5 on the season, while the Cougars move to 4 – 1.
Next up, the Cavs go on the road to face undefeated and highly-ranked Lake Braddock on Friday, Oct. 11.
Were you at the game? Tell us in the comments below.
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