A slew of untimely penalties stalled Woodlawn High’s attempts to build upon an early lead Thursday until Zachary finally ran away with a big second-half.
The visiting Broncos scored 33 unanswered, led by three rushing touchdowns, to top the host Panthers, 33-6, in the nationally televised matchup.
“I feel like we played our best half of football all season long after that first half,” Woodlawn coach Marcus Randall said. “We didn’t turn the ball over. We moved the ball up and down the field other than getting set back by penalties… Then they got that surge there in the third quarter after we couldn’t get the momentum again because of the penalties just stopping drives.
“We’re moving the ball, moving the ball, moving the ball, then we get a penalty that put us in second-and-long, third-and-long and putting us into situations where there’s only so many plays you can run. And that kept putting the defense out there and at that point it kind of looked like we started to wear down.”
LSU-committed quarterback Rickie Collins and fellow senior Jamarcus Sewell put Woodlawn on the board first midway through the second quarter of a low-scoring first half.
But the Broncos responded the next two drives with rushing touchdowns by junior running backs Kameron Thomas and Ethan Veal to take a 14-6 lead into halftime.
Alabama-committed quarterback Eli Holstein found fellow senior Jalen Wright with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter to extend Zachary’s advantage to 20-6.
And Thomas added his second touchdown just over three minutes later to stretch the margin to 27-6 following the extra point.
The Panthers meanwhile had one seemingly promising opportunity after another lose steam upon miscues that left Randall and company frustrated.
Holstein and junior Tyson George connected in the fourth quarter to put the final exclamation point on the Broncos’ night.
“I thought we played a solid game across the board in a lot of ways,” Randall said. It was one of our better games if you take out some of those plays in the third quarter where we gave up some of those runs. We’ve just got to keep on working, get back to doing what we do and eliminate some of these penalties.”