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Russellville shifts Woodard, reaps rewards

ROGERS -- Russellville running back Josiah Woodard did a little bit of everything for the Cyclones during his team's 43-20 victory over Rogers Heritage on Friday in Gates Stadium.

The senior ran, caught and even passed his way to 230 yards of total offense and 4 touchdowns.

"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 results were what Russellville Coach Jeff Weaver envisioned when the Cyclones moved him to running back from wide receiver for the Friday game. Weaver said the move was to ensure he touched the ball more often.

[HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD: Full results + recaps, photos and more]

"We struggled to get him the ball," Weaver said. "He's such a dynamic player."

Woodard finished the night with 15 touches, but he made the most of his time on the field.

He set the tone for the Cyclones by scoring three of his four touchdowns in the first half. He also ran for 20 or more yards four times during the half.

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 such as 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 the actions.

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've 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."

That run was Woodard's only touch in the second half, which was dominated by the Cyclones offensively and defensively. Russellville's defense took advantage of Heritage having to play from behind and throwing the ball more by pressuring the War Eagles' quarterbacks.

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

Sports on 09/09/2017

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