Unheralded Guthrie Center shocked Woodward-Granger with a quick touchdown in their Class A District 7 opener Sept. 13, but once the Hawks recovered they steadily pulled away for a 47-7 victory.
Guthrie Center fell on a Hawk fumble on the second play of the game at the W-G 28 yard line and promptly marched to the end zone on five plays, with Austin Laabs bulling over from four yards out for the touchdown. Dylan Newbury’s kick gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead just 130 seconds into the game.
The hosts finally moved the ball down the field late in the opening quarter, with Cole Ashman hitting a leaping Marshall Nieland for a 26-yard gain to the Tiger seven-yard line. Ashman hit Tanner Canova on a fourth-and-goal play from the seven for a TD, but the PAT boot was blocked, leaving the Tigers in front, 7-6.
The hosts scored twice in the second quarter, with Michael Connor diving in from a yard away and adding the conversion run for a 14-7 Hawk lead before Nieland dashed in from eight yards out for a 20-6 lead at the break.
The Tigers, playing their third consecutive road game to open the season, were still in the contest early in the second half, but Race Brant returned an interception 28 yards to set up a five-yard TD run from Connor. Ashman ran in the conversion and the lead swelled to 28-7.
Canova made it 34-7 with a 31-yard TD return of a fumble, with Dylan Garland sprinting 60 yards and Nieland adding the PAT kick for a 41-7 bulge in the fourth frame. The scoring was capped later in the period when Canova pulled in a 19-yard TD strike from Ashman.
Ashman was 8-10-0 for 124 yards and two TDs in the air, with Nick Squires connecting with Kaleb Noel on his lone toss for 10 yards.
Canova caught three passes for two scores and 32 yards, Nieland three balls for 49 yards, Alex Bodermann one pass for 38 yards and Connor one for five yards.
The Hawks ran for 226 yards, with Nieland (19-93) and Garland (7-86) leading the way.
Canova had a sack and 12 tackles along with his fumble return TD, with Connor making 11 stops. In addition to Brant’s interception return, Ashman had a pick return for 32 yards and Kaleb Noel one for 20 yards.