Woodlawn defense sets tone early in first win of the season

By SCOTT ANDERSON, Journal Sports 

Woodlawn’s defense gave the offense an early lead and the confidence it needed to dominate the rest of the game as the Knights beat Booker T. Washington 38-8 in a District 1-4A matchup Friday night at Independence Stadium. 

The Knights stifled the Lions on the first drive of the game. On third-and-13 from the 2-yard line, the Lions fumbled the snap, and De’Shawnee Snow recovered the ball in the end zone for Woodlawn. A two-point conversion gave the Knights an 8-0 lead 32 seconds into the game. 

“It gave us the confidence in the beginning of the game,” said Woodlawn head coach Thedrick Harris. “It gave us the lead. It gave our defense a boost. And it took a little pressure off our offense.” 

With the pressure off, the offense took advantage of good field position to control the game the rest of the way. 

Quarterback Isaiah Kennedy hit receiver Jaiyon Allen for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 1:21 left in the first quarter. Another two-point conversion pushed the lead to 16-0. 

The Knights (1-3 overall, 1-0 in District 1-4A) scored twice in the second quarter. 

The first was a 70-yard strike from Kennedy to Brian French just over a minute into the quarter. Brandon Henderson scored on a three-yard run with seven minutes left in the half, and the Knights went to the locker room with a 32-0 halftime lead. 

“Any time you can win the field-position game, and any time you can score on defense, statistics say that you will win the ballgame,” Harris said. 

The Knights scored once more in the second half when Quintin Wilson ran the ball in from 15 yards with 2:53 left in the third quarter. 

The Lions (0-4, 0-1) used a strong return on the ensuing kickoff to set up on the Knights’ 47-yard line. That launched a 10-play drive, capped off by Kendrick Pratt’s 3-yard touchdown run for the Lions’ only score in the game. 

Kennedy finished 6-of-11 passing with 111 yards and two touchdowns. 

“I am very proud of him,” Harris said. “He’s had some injuries and some things he’s had to battle through. I am proud of the way he battles back. He carried this team.” 

Wilson finished the game with five rushes for 33 yards, including the touchdown. 

Harris was glad his team could get its first win of the season on homecoming. 

“It feels good,” he said. “I felt like we should have had a couple more before now. I am happy for those kids. They kept working. They kept the faith. They really worked hard all this time. It’s good for them for that hard work to pay off.” 

Contact Scott at scooter.anderson@gmail.com 

Score by quarters 

BTW  | 0 | 0 | 0 | 8 | — 8 

Woodlawn    | 16 | 16 | 6 | 0 | — 38 

Scoring summary 

W — De’Shawnee Snow fumble recovery in end zone (2-pt conversion good) 

W — Jaiyon Allen 29 pass from Isiah Kennedy (2-pt conversion good) 

W — Brian French 70 pass from Kennedy (2-pt conversion good) 

W — Brandon Henderson 3 run (2-pt conversion good) 

W — Quintin Wilson 15 run (2-pt conversion failed) 

BTW — Kendrick Pratt 3 run (2-pt conversion good) 

Individual leaders 

Rushing: BTW — Kendrick Pratt 22-83, 1 TD; W — Quintin Wilson 5-33, 1 TD; Brandon Henderson 1-3, 1 TD.

Passing: BTW — Le’Devin Jackson 6-17, 65 yards; — Isiah Kennedy 6-11, 111 yards, 2 TDs.   

Receiving: BTW — La’Darrius Frierson 1-88; W — Josh Dotson 1-70 yards, 1 TD; Jaiyon Allen 1-29, TD.