Woodbridge’s defense steps up in 16-0 win over Laurel

LAUREL — If it is possible to have a better defensive performance than a shutout, Woodbridge High might have found one on Friday night.

Not only did the Blue Raiders hold Laurel High scoreless, they prevented the Bulldogs from earning a single first down.

“Holy smokes,” said Woodbridge coach Jed Bell. “Wow, That’s big time.”

Woodbridge’s defense carried the Blue Raiders to a 16-0 victory in Henlopen Conference Southern Division action Friday. Woodbridge remained unbeaten, improving to 4-0 both overall and in the Henlopen South.

Laurel (3-1 Henlopen South, 4-2 overall) had the ball eight times and the closest it got to a first down was a third-and-two situation on its first drive plus a fourth-and-three scenario on its second drive. Both times the Bulldogs came up short as Woodbridge did not allow the chains to move all game.

“In the flow of the game, that’s not something I knew but I knew we had a heck of a defensive effort,” Bell said. “Those guys work really hard. We had a great week preparing for these guys. We made some adjustments to the way that we do things that’s not typical to the way we usually line up and play. Some guys had some different assignments.”

Woodbridge’s first touchdown of the contest came when Woodbridge fumbled on a play from the Laurel one-yard line. It rolled into the end zone where the Blue Raiders pounced on it amid a swarm of bodies.

Quarterback Jordan Evans doubled the lead with a 27-yard scramble for a touchdown, turning what looked to be a sack into a score. The Blue Raiders went two-for-two on two-point conversions behind the rushing of Jaden Bacon and Kenny Newton.

The Blue Raiders relied on their defense from there.

They held Laurel to a total of 27 yards on the night. Laurel’s longest play from scrimmage was a seven-yard rush in the waning moments of the first half before the whistle blew for half time.

Woodbridge stymied the Bulldogs’ triple-option attack, often taking out the fullback behind the line of scrimmage — something the Blue Raiders worked hard on during the week of practice..

“We basically called it kill the fullback all week,” Bell said. “They were smashing down hard and making sure that was taken away then our outside backers had them contained on the edges. That’s a really good football team and a physical football team so that’s a testament to the work we put in during the week.”