Woodbridge romps 48-12 over Howard in Division II football tourney opener

Delaware State News photo/Marc Clery

GREENWOOD — The high-arcing throw seemed to hang in the air forever.

So Richard Massey had a long time to think about what he would do when it landed in his hands.

“I took off — like I was running the 100-meter dash,” the Woodbridge High defensive back said with a smile.

Indeed, Massey sprinted 95 yards the other way for a touchdown that finally put the finishing touches on the top-seeded Blue Raiders’ 48-12 victory over No. 8 Howard in the DIAA Division II fotball state quarterfinals on Friday night.

Woodbridge (11-0) led 34-0 at halftime only to watch the defending state champion Wildcats (6-5) creep back into the game just a little. The Wildcats had cut the lead to 34-12 and had a first down on the the Raiders’ 25.

But Massey’s TD off the long interception return sealed things for the Raiders, who are in the semifinals for the second straight year. Woodbridge will host No. 7 Caravel, which knocked off second-seeded Glasgow, 21-16, on Friday night.

Next weekend’s schedule won’t be set until today’s other two quarterfinals are played.

Massey said the Raiders could have made things a little easier for themselves in the fourth quarter. The sophomore added another TD on a 20-yard run with 2:35 remaining.

“We had to pick ourselves up, like we were doing in the first half,” said Massey. “Everybody got too comfortable and started playing a little too slow.”

“They were throwing the ball around on us a little bit,” said Woodbridge coach Ed Manlove. “But when we had to make the plays, we made them. That was the key. That’s because they practice hard so they’re prepared. They’re taking every play like it’s the last play.”

Woodbridge scored on its first four possessions to take control from the start on Friday night.

Most of the scoring plays involved quarterback Troy Haynes making a play with his feet. The sophomore scrambled for three first-half touchdowns, scoring on a pair of four-yard runs plus an eight-yard scamper.

Haynes also rolled out and found Antwain Riddick underneath for a nine-yard scoring pass. Two of the Raiders’ first three TDs came on fourth-down plays inside the 10.

“When we spread it out like that, whatever’s there you take it,” said Manlove. “Our offense isn’t rocket science. You take what’s given to you. He (Haynes) is there to make plays. He saw what he had and took advantage of it.”

Haynes completed 7-of-12 passes for 97 yards in the contest while Riddick ran for a game-high 165 yards on 22 carries.

Woodbridge also got a touchdown when Jamon Kane fumbled on a running play from the one but lineman R.J. Thomas fell on the ball in the end zone.

The Raiders’ defensive effort was aided by the fact that Howard fumbled a kickoff before linebacker Kejon Mosley intercepted a pass. The Wildcats had only four first downs in the first half.

Only a blocked PAT kick kept Woodbridge from a 35-point lead at halftime and a running clock to start the third quarter.

Howard, though, kept battling in the second half.

While Woodbridge couldn’t find the end zone, Howard’s offense came to life. Wildcat QB Tyhir Harley threw two third-quarter scoring passes, for 26 and 28 yards, as Howard closed within 34-12.

In the end, though, the Raiders’ big early advantage was more than enough.

“We’ve got to work on it to make sure we stay on the gas pedal,” said Haynes. “But we got after it from the first play of the game. We’ve got a goal and we’re trying to achieve it.”

“Obviously it is a big game, no matter who it is we play,” Manlove said about the semifinals. “But we’ve got to practice just like it’s any other game — because that’s all it really is, in reality.”

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