CUYAHOGA FALLS: Woodridge had a simple goal for its 2013 football season: to play five home games.
By virtue of a 41-13 win Friday night over visiting Garrettsville Garfield, it appears as though coach Eric Ervin and his Bulldogs (8-2, 6-0) might get that fifth home game after all, hosting a first-round contest in next week’s state tournament.
“It would mean everything to be back here next Friday,” Ervin said. “Hopefully, we did enough to make that happen. We only had four home games this season.”
Senior Dalevon Davidson rushed for 142 yards and a school record, and junior Don Baker added 141 yards on the ground, as the Bulldogs locked up their third state playoff berth in five years and won their first outright Portage Trail County Division title.
“It feels great,” Woodridge junior quarterback Tom Finegan said. “We’re all super close like family.”
Davidson, who carried 19 times and had two first-quarter touchdowns, did not play in the second half as a precaution. His 1,515 rushing yards this season are a Woodridge record.
Baker came on in relief with 21 attempts and two touchdowns.
“The credit really goes to our offensive line tonight,” Ervin said. “Those guys did an awesome job creating lanes for our backs to run through.”
The Bulldogs won two playoff games in 2009 and believe another tournament run is possible.
“We’re not done yet,” said Woodridge junior linebacker Demetrius Tabler, who had three tackles for loss. “We’ve got more to go.”
Woodridge senior defenders Mason Hilling (6-0, 230) and Tom Morehouse (6-3, 225) made it especially tough for Garfield.
The G-Men (5-5, 3-3) came into the game still mathematically alive for a playoff spot.
“That’s a really, really nice team,” Garrettsville coach Mike Moser said when asked about Woodridge. “You look at them on tape four or five times, and they get better every time you look at them.”
Woodridge had a 14-0 lead and 11 first downs before the G-Men picked up their initial first down.
Davidson popped a 21-yard scoring run to cap a 10-play, 74-yard drive at 7:31 of the first quarter. Finegan completed four passes on the drive for 42 yards.
The G-Men went three-and-out and Woodridge took it 79 yards to the end zone on 12 plays. Davidson had a 22-yard run and a 27-yard reception, and finished it with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Woodridge led 21-0 at halftime when Finegan lofted a rainbow scoring toss to senior wide receiver Armad Richey-Conrad, covering 38 yards. Christian Owens kicked his third extra point.
A roughing-the-passer penalty set up Garfield’s first touchdown, a 41-yard strike from senior quarterback Chase Chapman to senior wide receiver Seth Duvall.
Woodridge then went no-huddle and answered quickly with a 9-play, 71-yard march. Baker scored from a yard out.
The Bulldogs made it 34-6 on a Finegan 5-yard touchdown pass to junior Landon Rowland at 2:25 of the third quarter.
The G-Men trimmed the Bulldogs’ lead to 34-13 when Chapman completed three consecutive passes for 69 yards, including a 6-yard scoring pass to sophomore Bob Bissler just before the end of the third quarter.
Duvall had two interceptions to along with his touchdown catch for Garfield.