AUDUBON — A pair of third quarter touchdowns helped lift Audubon to a 15-12 win over Woodward-Granger in Class A District 7 football Sept. 20.
The Hawks had a 12-0 lead and control of the tempo until a poor snap on a punt cost set up the Wheelers deep in W-G territory. Audubon quarterback Trevor Smith scored on a five-yard play shortly after the miscue, with Oscar Feifel’s PAT boot cutting the deficit to 12-7 and changing the momentum of the game.
“They were not getting anything against our defense and then we go and give them the ball in great position,” W-G head coach George Ashman said. “That gave them some energy and then when they scored suddenly the momentum had changed.”
Marshall Nieland had given W-G (2-2, 1-1) a 6-0 lead on a 23-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, with Seth Noel’s 36-yard interception return setting up a Michael Connor three-yard TD plunge in the second frame to put the hosts ahead, 12-0, at the break.
Audubon (2-2, 2-0) took the lead for good in the fourth quarter when Smith hit Lucas Smith-Petersen with a 17-yard scoring strike. The Wheelers opted to go for the two-point conversion (and a three-point lead) and appeared to fail until a late flag flew for pass interference, moving the ball to within inches of the goal line. Riley Jones added the short run, setting the score at 15-12, where it remained unchanged over the final 15 minutes.
W-G struggled on first down plays throughout the game, resulting in second-and-long and third-and-long situations, for which the Hawk offense is not best attuned.
“We dropped some passes at big moments and we not good on first down,” Ashman said. “That put us in situations we did not want to be in. We also failed to convert on some fourth-and-one plays; I cannot remember the last time we could not get a yard when we needed it.”
Nieland had a busy game, carrying the ball 35 times for 124 yards and catching two passes for 23 yards. Connor had 49 yards on 13 rushes and Cole Ashman 12 yards on four carries while Race Brant ran once for a yard.
Cole Ashman was 3-10-1 for 36 yards in the air, with Tanner Canova’s 13-yard reception the other completion for the Hawks.
Jones (16-43) and Smith (18-35) led the Wheelers, who ran for just 82 yards on 39 attempts. Smith was 7-19-3 for 117 yards in the air, with Smith-Petersen leading the way with four snares for 92 yards.
Noel (1-36), Connor (1-27) and Alex Bodermann had interceptions for W-G, with Connor making 15 tackles, Jimmy Harney 11 and Dyllan Rosenbaum 11. Dylan Nixon had a sack and a tackle for a loss, with Connor making four stops for negative yardage and Rosenbaum three, with Canova, Harney and Lane Kooiker also making tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Jones led the Wheeler defense with 12 tackles.
W-G will host homecoming on Friday, with Martensdale-St. Marys the opponent. The game will start at 7 p.m.