QB Haynes leads Blue Raiders into Division II tourney again

Quarterback Troy Haynes, shown in action during the 2016 state championship game, has a 35-8 career record at Woodbridge, which includes four trips to the Division II state tournament and a state championship as a sophomore two years ago. Delaware State News file photo

BRIDGEVILLE — Troy Haynes was in this same situation last year.

And the year before.

And the year before that.

A rare four-year starting quarterback, Haynes will look to lead the Woodbridge High football team to another playoff victory tonight. The fourth-seeded Blue Raiders (8-2) host fifth seed Howard (8-2) in the Division II DIAA state tournament first round at 7:30 p.m.

Haynes has a 35-8 career record at Woodbridge which includes four trips to the Division II state tournament and a state championship as a sophomore in 2016.

“He means everything,” said senior wide receiver Gabe Wescott. “When things don’t go right, we look to Troy for the inspiration on the field. He does a great job of keeping his composure and executing whenever his number is called. That’s why he’s such a great asset to our team and such a great quarterback.”

Haynes was thrust into action in the third game of his freshman year at Wilmington Friends on Sept. 26, 2015.

Antwain Holden injured his knee, giving way to Haynes, who has started every game since.

While Haynes’ career started just a bit sooner than planned, Woodbridge coach Ed Manlove said the staff always knew he was the quarterback of the future since he first came to the school in 2015.

Haynes reminded Manlove of another four-year quarterback at Woodbridge, Gabe Wescott’s older brother Logan Wescott, who led Woodbridge to its first-ever playoff victory in 2013.

“That’s what we do here,” Manlove said. “We let kids grow. Logan Wescott was our quarterback for four years and he (Haynes) stepped in. It’s good to have. He’s got two conference titles, four trips to the playoffs and a state championship under his belt. That’s pretty impressive.”
Haynes has been in about every situation imaginable, so when things get tough, the Blue Raiders look to him.

Last week the Blue Raiders were hosting defending Division II champion Delmar with the Henlopen Conference Southern Division title on the line in a rainstorm. Haynes slipped and fell on his first pass of the game, but was rock solid after.

He finished with two touchdown throws and the Blue Raiders won their second Henlopen South championship in three seasons, ending Delmar’s 20-game win streak in the process.

“He keeps his head at all times,” Malove said. “That’s the key. Go make plays and if you make a bad play just get up and go after it again. He’s going to give you everything he’s got on every play.”

“I’m not a hyper type of person,” Haynes said. “That’s not me. I just let my play on the field show what I can do.”

Woodbridge enters the state tournament on a seven-game win streak.

The Blue Raiders lost back-to-back games in weeks two and three to Dover and Wilmington Friends. But they rolled through the Henlopen South for a 6-0 conference record.

“We’ve been playing well the last four weeks,” Haynes said. “The scores have shown. The intensity we’ve taken these last four weeks is going to show in the playoffs as well. The first couple of games, we were feeling sorry for ourselves. We just had to believe in ourselves.”

And Haynes’ experience helped Woodbridge bounce back from that 1-2 start.

“He knows every situation and what to do on every down,” Wescott said. “It’s like having a second coach on the field. He does a great job with that and we couldn’t ask for a better quarterback.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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