The Wolverines fumbled the ball three times and committed nine penalties for 90 yards in a 27-10 loss to Kell at Cobb Energy/Corky Kell Stadium.
“I saw a sloppy game as well,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said. “There were penalties all over the place, and (Kell) snapped the ball over the punter’s head a couple of times. Then, we match it and do it ourselves. There were just a lot of mental mistakes.”
The loss marked the first time that Woodstock has gone 0-3 to start the season since 2002, when it went winless through 10 games. However, Budde believes that the picture is not a bleak one in spite of the results on the scoreboard over the last three weeks.
“I just talked to the team about the big picture,” he said. “I think we’re improving every week, and I know again that we are going to be there in the end.”
Budde said Woodstock’s mistakes were all correctable, and that many of them were just the result of playing games that are still early in the season.
“It comes from both teams playing with 16-year-old boys that are trying to become young men, and we’re trying to make them into young men,” he said. “They’re going to make mistakes, and (Friday) was one of those nights where both teams made a lot of mistakes.”
Despite the mistakes, Woodstock hung around with Kell (2-0) through much of the game. The Wolverines led 2-0 in the first quarter after the Longhorns’ snapper sent the ball over the head of Kell punter Timmy Murphy. Murphy then squibbed the ball through his own end zone for the safety.
After Woodstock snapped a ball over its own punter’s head two possessions later, Kell soon capitalized with a 15-yard pass from quarterback Matthew McGuigan to tight end Michael Valero to put the Longhorns ahead. Kell scored again late in the first half on a 68-yard run by Jamari Moore to make the score 17-2.
Woodstock drove down the field at the end of the half on an 11-play drive that took 1:33 off the clock. The Wolverines took advantage of a kickoff out of bounds to start the drive, and a 15-yard late-hit penalty on a second-and-long play deep inside Kell territory.
However, with two plays inside Kell’s 10, the Wolverines had an incomplete pass, followed by a 22-yard field goal to make the score 17-5.
At the start of the second half, Woodstock drove the ball down to the Kell 25, running off nearly 5 minutes off the clock. However, quarterback Justin Agner ran the ball 5 yards on a keeper and was stripped by the Kell defense. Longhorns defensive back Julian Burris picked up the ball and ran it 80 yards for a touchdown to put Kell ahead 24-5, a score that served as a backbreaker to Woodstock.
“Offensively, we had a couple of penalties that backed us up,” Budde said. “We turned the ball over a couple of times, because we’re not securing the ball high and tight late in the run. And, I think, there, we just have to find a way to finish drives.”
Woodstock’s platoon at quarterback continued.
Agner continued to see the majority of the snaps, rushing for 19 yards on five carries, while completing one pass in seven attempts for 12 yards. Alex Motsinger carried the ball five times for minus-4 yards, and was 3-for-5 passing for 36 yards. Motsinger was mostly used on the run in the first three quarters, then in the 2-minute drill at the end of the game.
“I thought both of them did a good job in there,” Budde said. “Both of them made their mistakes. That’s what you get with a sophomore quarterback and a (senior) quarterback that only has a couple of starts under his belt. So, they’re doing a good job in there and giving it everything they’ve got. And that’s all I can ask of them.”