THE PIGSKIN PROPHET: Can Woodlan win its first-ever football state title?
Well doesn’t this look familiar.
When it comes to identifying the primary challenge for Woodlan in Saturday’s Class 2A state championship game in Indianapolis, it’s fairly obvious — stop the run.
Last week, many people counted out the Warriors when faced with the seemingly-impossible task of slowing down an Eastbrook rushing attack that averaged 370 yards a game.
Turns out, Woodlan was up to the task in the epic 15-14 victory.
Here we go again.
Southridge is a bigger threat than Eastbrook to throw the ball with dual-threat quarterback Jayce Harter, but let The Pig be real here, the Raiders aren’t winning Saturday without a strong day on the ground.
Which is why your favorite cartoon farm animal likes Woodlan to win its first-ever football state championship on Saturday.
Southridge (12-2) averaged close to 300 yards rushing and a little over 110 yards through the air. Harter commands the wing-T offense out of the shotgun and is a threat with his legs (1,167 rushing yards) and his arm (1,570 passing yards, 13 TDs). Leading rusher Tucker Schank is Harter’s go-to guy and has put up solid numbers (1,251 yards, 26 TDs).
But The Pig just isn’t intimidated by these numbers like he was last week while examining Eastbrook. Southidge is good no doubt, but good enough to beat Woodlan if it’s on its game?
Don’t see it.
One thing that Warriors coach Sherwood Haydock mentioned earlier this week is the uptick in physicality with Southridge as opposed to Eastbrook. That is where the Raiders could have a shot. However, the dominance exhibited by Woodlan defensively against a pretty darn tough Eastbrook offensive front makes The Pig not buy into that threat either.
So, what are we left with here?
Well, we have a Woodlan team on a three-year mission on the biggest stage in Indiana high school football facing a Southridge squad that appears, on paper at least, to be a team that would lose to Eastbrook by two touchdowns.
Raiders coach Scott Buening admits his team has not faced the challenge of skill and scheme that Woodlan presents. The Warriors play fast. They play confident. And boy, do they ever play hard.
If Coach Haydock’s team does those things on Saturday, the big trophy will be headed to Woodburn.
THE PIG SAYS: WOODLAN 30, SOUTHRIDGE 22