VIDEO: Football: War Eagles can't contain Woodard, Cyclones

ROGERS -- Russellville running back Josiah Woodard did a little bit of everything Friday during the Cyclones' 43-20 win over Rogers Heritage at Gates Stadium.

The senior ran, caught and even passed his way to 230 yards of total offense and four total touchdowns, a game-high for the evening.

Russellville 43, Rogers Heritage 20


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First Quarter

Hert – Qualls 78 run (Arrue kick), 11:36.

Russ – Thomas 60 pass from Adkins (Talley kick), 6:48.

Hert – Gall 12 from Kitterman (Arrue kick), 3:14.

Russ – Woodard 30 pass from Adkins (kick failed), 2:33.

Russ – Woodard 24 run (Talley kick), 2:16.

Second Quarter

Hert – De la Rosa 62 pass from Kitterman (kick failed), 6:47.

Russ – Woodard 1 run (kick failed), 4:22.

Third Quarter

Russ – Woodard 61 run (Talley kick), 7:06.

Russ – McGee 3 run (Talley kick), 1:25.

Fourth Quarter

Russell – FG Talley 27, 7:24.

"He's got some speed," Rogers Heritage coach Tony Travis said. "He's got the ability to make people miss. That's what makes him so good, he makes people miss."

Woodard's explosive night was what Russellville coach Jeff Weaver and his coaching staff hoped would happen after they moved Woodard to running back from wide receiver.

"We struggled to get him the ball; he's such a dynamic player," Weaver said about Woodard's lack of touches in last week's loss to Morrilton.

Weaver said moving Woodard over to running back was just to make it easier for him to get the ball. The 6-foot Woodard finished the night with 15 touches, but he made the most of his time on the field.

Woodard set the tone early for the Cyclones after he scored three of his four touchdowns in the first half. He also ran for 20 or more yards four times during the half, which paved the way for Weaver to have more play-calling options, he said.

The threat of Woodard breaking a long run out of the backfield allowed Weaver to call more run-pass option plays, which utilized more of Russellville's playmakers like receivers Ryan Talley, Seth Plummer and Greg Thomas, who all had their own big plays Friday.

Run-pass option plays are used when targeting a specific defender, Weaver said. A run and pass play will be called toward the direction of the defender and depending on how he reacts, whether he drops back into pass coverage or attacks the run, the offense will go with the opposite play call of his actions.

"That's a tough combination because if you take away the pass then good luck tackling (Woodard) because if he hits a crease, he's gone," Weaver said. "We're hard to defend when we can spread the ball out and spread it around a little bit. "

Rogers Heritage struggled to contain Woodard and Russellville's offense, giving up multiple big plays, including Woodard's 61-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

"We got to do a better job of tackling in space," Travis said. "A lot of times we had him in space and he would make somebody miss and would get yards in."

The run was Woodard's first and only touch in the second half, which was dominated by the Cyclones offensively and defensively. Russellville's defense took advantage of Heritage playing from behind and having to throw the ball more by pressuring the War Eagle quarterbacks until the defense either forced an incomplete pass or recorded one of its many second-half sacks.

"Overall, we're disappointed with the scoreboard," Travis said. "That's the bottom line."

Sports on 09/08/2017

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