Woodward Academy was the first wing-T offense Columbia has faced this season, and Eagles’ coach Mario Allen is hoping for better results next time.
Columbia was hammered by Woodward’s four-pronged attack that amassed more than 300 yards rushing in a 25-7 loss Friday at Avondale Stadium. The loss dropped the Eagles to the No. 3 seed in Region 5-AAA, Division B. The Eagles (6-3, 4-2) must beat St. Pius (7-2, 5-1), the No. 2 seed from 5-AAA, Division A, next week to earn a berth in the Class AAA state playoffs.
“You’ve got to really be disciplined against that kind of offense,” Allen said. “St. Pius will be the same things next week, and we’ll have to be disciplined and stay focused to have a chance.”
Woodward built a 13-0 halftime lead on a 29-yard run by quarterback Andrew Adams and a 53-yard run by Marcus Polk. A 4-yard run by Polk in the third quarter gave Woodward a 19-0 lead and Ernie Cain padded the advantage to 25-0 on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Columbia kept itself from getting back into the game with penalties and turnovers in the second half. From the last two plays of the third quarter through the end of the game, Columbia was flagged for 85 yards in penalties and fumbled the ball away two times. Columbia committed three turnovers in the game.
Holding penalties nullified a 78-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Keithon Redding and a long run by Kenno Loyal late in the fourth quarter.
“We did some things on offense we don’t usually do,” Allen said. “You can’t lose three fumbles against a team like Woodward and expect to win. We can’t make mistakes like that, and that goes for next week too.”
Loyal came into the game as the leading rusher in DeKalb County with 1,236 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was held to 45 yards with two fumbles in the second half after rushing for 111 yards in the first half. Loyal scored on a 1-yard run with four minutes remaining to erase the shutout.