Thrilling comeback win for Timberwolves

Two defensive TDs key Woodcreek win
By: Jon Brines, Special to The Press-Tribune
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Trailing for most of the game, the Woodcreek High School football team battled back to claim a thrilling 31-24 road victory in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff opener Friday night against the Oak Ridge Trojans. Oak Ridge started the game with a 12-play drive that ended with a one-yard rushing touchdown run from senior Brett Thompson. The Woodcreek defense gave the offense one more chance to score only to have the short yardage field goal attempt barely miss the goal post. With just under two minutes to go before the half, kicker Tommy Murphy hit the upright. “We were ticked off for squandering a couple of opportunities in the first quarter,” said Woodcreek coach John Hildebrand. “We mixed the run and the pass and tried to do our thing.” Oak Ridge answered with a well executed sideline passing drive down the field to finish with a one yard touchdown pass to Brett Thompson making the score 14-3 at the half. The Oak Ridge defense opened up the third quarter with midfield steal. Woodcreeks fumble would lead to a two-play drive for the Trojans and a rushing touchdown by Ben Gallagher. Down 21-3 with 10 minutes left in the third period, Woodcreek quarterback Tommy Murphy lead an impressive seven play drive spreading the ball to James Nunley, Xavier Ellis and sophomore receiver JJ North, who was brought up to the varsity for the playoffs. North caught a 10-yard pass into the end zone to bring the score within 11 points. With just over a minute and a half to go in the third quarter, Woodcreek defensive lineman Darius Woods picked up a quarterback fumble and took it back for six points. Oak Ridge pulled further ahead with a field goal, taking a 24-17 lead with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Woodcreek offense responded one more time, spreading the ball around and getting back to the red zone with 1:11 to go in the game. Then Murphy threw a 12-yard pass to Thomas Sandoval at the pylon for a game-tying touchdown extra point combo. Another defensive touchdown by the Timberwolves then provided the margin of victory as Tevin Tyus grabbed an interception and took it back 42 yards for the last score of the game. “Every time you get a defensive score its surprising,” Coach Hildebrand said. “Two scores, 14 points, Darius Woods and Tevin Tyus went long distance. Huge praise, by huge players.” Tyus was just as surprised the defense scored twice. “I’m glad I caught it,” said Tyus. “Honestly I thought we were going to hold them on defense and our offense was going to win the game.” Hildebrand is excited about the possibility of their upcoming semifinal game at Grant, a 22-19 winner over Granite Bay on Friday night. “We’ll enjoy this one for the night and work on Grant tomorrow,” he said. “It’s always fun to play Granite Bay but we’ve never been here, so we’ll take anyone.”