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Highlanders Blank Oak Ridge

October 15, 2011
By Austin Staton of The Woodlands High School

SHENANDOAH, Texas – After their streak of 26-straight regular season wins came to a sudden halt last week, The Woodlands made certain that there would not be a similar performance against Oak Ridge.

It took just 84 seconds for the Highlanders to drive 64 yards on just five plays as Randy Cooper carried the ball from four yards out to give The Woodlands a lead that they would never relinquish as they blanked the War Eagles, 52-0, Friday night at Woodforest Bank Stadium.

“It was important for us to hold onto the football tonight offensively and for us to play great defense,” said Highlander head coach Mark Schmid. “We played great defense all night and we had some defensive scores. Offensively we were slow to start but the team gained more confidence, especially in the second half.”

While both offenses struggled for most of the first half, it was The Woodlands (6-1, 2-1) defense that took a stand in the second quarter as Garrett Hope brought heavy pressure on the blitz from the left side and Robbie Goldschmidt picked off Michael Handy’s pass and took it 52 yards to the house to give the Highlanders a two touchdown lead.

With just under a minute to play in the first half, the Highlander defense forced a quick three-and-out and the offense took just two plays to score as senior quarterback Lance Miles found Cameron Klapesky over the middle for a 21-yard touchdown pass.

Miles finished the night 16-of-22 for 216 yards and two touchdown passes.

Offensively, Oak Ridge (1-7, 0-4) could not find any rhythm throughout the night as the Highlanders featured a suffocating defensive attack that was led Lane LeBouef’s seven tackles and forced constant pressure from the front seven.

Continuing where they left off, The Woodlands defense stood strong to start the third quarter as Handy threw his second interception on the night as Thomas Adams returned the pick 30 yards to give The Woodlands a 28-0 lead with 7:59 left in the quarter.

Following a 26-yard field goal from Marshall Bainton, the Highlander defense forced another three-and-out and it took just six seconds as Miles connected with Houston Brown on a 40-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the drive.

On the evening, the first three offensive touchdown drives for The Woodlands took a combined 101 seconds.

“Whenever you have the ability to score quickly, that is always good. Fortunately for us we were able to do that tonight,” said Schmid.

With the game out of hand, The Woodlands reserves saw much of the action in the fourth quarter but the offense did not skip a beat. Set up by an 85-yard run from Ryan Trauffler, backup signal caller Ben Kronshage took the keeper two yards up the middle to give The Woodlands a 45-0 lead.

The Highlanders then capped the offensive outburst with a 19-yard touchdown run from Garrett Harvey with just over seven minutes left on the clock.

“The fact that we got contributions in all phases of the game tonight, that is important,” said Schmid. “It was important for us to get back on a winning note after a tough week at Lufkin. We had all of our kids in the game tonight so it was a great night and I think this will play big for us next week against Kingwood.”

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