Nathan Mollat/Daily Journal
SHP’s Andrew Segre, left, is escorted down the sideline by Alex Castro for a 26-yard
touchdown on a screen pass. It was the first of four touchdowns on the night for Segre, who rushed for 156 yards and caught three passes for 117 more in a 42-2 win over Woodside.
About the only advantage the Woodside football had going for it as it hosted Sacred Heart Prep Friday night is the fact Wildcats coach Josh Bowie was a former assistant with the Gators before taking over the Woodside job last season.
That gave him a bit of insight in how Sacred Heart Prep likes to do things, especially offensively.
But it’s one thing to know what’s coming and it’s another thing altogether to stop it.
The Wildcats did a good job of taking away the Gators’ fly sweeps, but if a defense takes one thing away, more than likely there is a weakness and Sacred Heart Prep exploited that on its way to a 42-2 win over the Wildcats.
“I thought Woodside had a good game plan,” said SHP coach Pete Lavorato. “They were taking away the sweep … no doubt about it.”
With Woodside (0-4 overall) focusing on the perimeter, Sacred Heart Prep (5-0) found where the defense was soft — and that was right up the middle. Half back Andrew Segre was the main beneficiary as he gouged Woodside on simple dives and off-tackle runs to the tune of 156 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
“[Woodside was] basically wide on both sides (to take away the fly sweep). They were vulnerable in the middle,” Lavorato said.
Segre was not limited to running the ball either. He also caught three passes for 117 yards and two more scores. His two touchdown receptions came on screen passes near the sideline and without a defender in sight and a convoy of blockers, he scored on catches of 26 and 57 yards.
“[Woodside’s defense was] basically committed to the line of scrimmage,” Lavorato said. “We knew we could run screen (plays).”
All told, Segre finished with 273 yards of total offense — more than half of the Gators’ 502 yards they accumulated for the game.
Segre, in fact, had more yards by himself than the Woodside offense did as a team as the Gators’ defense held the Wildcats to just 182 yards of offense and came up with three turnovers.
Woodside had almost as many yards (168) on kickoff returns as it did from the line of scrimmage.
The Gators’ defense was so good, it accounted for the Wildcats’ only points. Woodside was driving deep inside the Gators’ end when Wildcats quarterback Robert Wang hit Mitchell Cockrum with a pass down to the 2-yard line. He turned, took a step and was blasted by defensive back J.R. Hardy, who popped the ball loose. Riley Tinsley picked it and tried to run, going into the end zone as he did so, only to be tackled for a safety.
The Woodside defense started the game fired up and forced a Sacred Heart Prep punt from near midfield on the Gators’ first possession of the game. It forced another punt on the Gators’ third drive but those were the only two punts of the game for Sacred Heart Prep.
The Woodside offense, however, could not muster much and could not sustain anything. So while the Wildcats were down only 7-0 after the first quarter, they ran only eight plays in the opening 12 minutes, compared to 17 for the Gators.
After exchanging punts to open the game, Sacred Heart Prep hit paydirt on a Cole March-to-Segre screen pass that went 26 yards for a 7-0 lead.
The teams exchanged punts again and on the final play of the first quarter, Wang was belted as he threw the ball and SHP’s Andrew Robinson picked off the pass to give the Gators the ball at the Woodside 31.
On the first play of the second quarter, Mason Randall found tight end Andrew Daschbach down the seam for a 31-yard scoring strike and a 13-0 lead.
Two drives later, the Gators put together their best possession of the night, driving 72 yards on 16 plays with Ricky Grau capping the drive with a 1-yard run. A 2-point conversion gave the Gators’ a 21-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, it was more of the same. SHP scored on its first drive of the third quarter, a 2-yard touchdown run from Segre, who then went 57 yards for a score on a screen pass on the Gators’ next possession. Following the safety, Segre capped his night with a 35-yard scoring run.
Wang struggled all night with SHP’s defensive pressure. He connected on just 10 of 29 passes for 151 yards. Josh Holman was his favorite target, who finished with five catches for 77 yards.
Holman was equally dangerous on kickoff returns, bringing one back 57 yards to the SHP 28 late in the game.
The game was delayed about 45 minutes with five minutes left in the second quarter following an injury to SHP lineman Mike Murphy, who was taken to a local hospital with what was reported as a broken leg.
“It was a weird game,” Lavorato said. “That injury threw me for a loop. It was really hard (to get back into the game).”