If this was to be a proving ground, consider the Woodland football team properly vetted.
After Thursday night’s 47-3 blowout of defending Class 1A champion Montesano (2-2) in Aberdeen, there’s little room for argument. These Beavers (3-0 in league, 4-0 overall) are the real deal.
“We’re really excited at what we’re capable of doing,” Beavers head coach Mark Greenleaf. “This is a great win for our program, (Montesano) being the reigning state champions. This is something these kids are going to remember for the rest of their lives.”
No doubt Greenleaf will too.
This also happened to be win No. 100 for the Beavers’ 11th-year coach, who received a Gatorade shower at the conclusion of the game
“I can’t be more proud of our coaching staff, the support of our community and what our kids have been doing all season,” said Greenleaf. “It felt pretty good.”
Eli Whitmire continued his torching of Southwest Washington defenses with 264 total yards and four touchdowns, one on a 71-yard punt return, to put his season TD total at 13.
The junior running back/returnman had 112 yards on nine carries and 152 on five receptions. Two of those catches were swing passes from quarterback Hunter Huddleston that went for TDs of 55 and 73 yards.
“He had a monstrous game,” Greenleaf said of Whitmire. “It wasn’t just that he outran people. There was some great blocking by his teammates. It was a total team effort.”
Huddleston added two scoring runs of his own and finished with 168 yards on 6-of-7 passing.
The Beavers scored four touchdowns by the end of the first quarter — the first two from Whitmire — and were up 34-3 by halftime.
By the time Whitmire ran in his fourth-quarter punt-return touchdown, his second punt-return TD this year, the Beavers had triggered their fourth straight running clock in as many games this season.
This time, against the ninth-ranked team in 1A — one that beat the Beavers 49-7 in Woodland a year ago en route to the 1A title.
“We had some great efforts by a lot of people on this team,” said Greenleaf, whose team racked up 333 total yards to Monte’s 227.
“This game was the barometer of where we could possibly go, and the kids really stepped up. I’m so proud of my kids. We jumped on them early and we didn’t let up.”
Beavers 47, Bulldogs 3
Woodland 28 6 0 13—47
Montesano 3 0 0 0—3
W — Eli Whitmire 55 pass from Hunter Huddleston (Dillan Beckwith kick).
M — Anthony Louthan, 21 FG.
W — Whitmire, 73 pass from Huddleston (Beckwith kick)
W — Hunter Huddleston, 10 run. Beckwith kick.
W — Hunter Huddleston 11 run. Beckwith kick.
W — Trevor Huddleston, 97 interception return (Kick failed).
W — Whitmire 54 run (Beckwith kick).
W — Whitmire, 71 punt return (Kick failed).