1A No. 3 Woodward-Granger takes battle of unbeatens on Rebels' Homecoming
By TRAVIS HINES - Sports Writer
GLADBROOK - There just wasn't anywhere to go for the Gladbrook-Reinbeck football team.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s Parker Bolt (15) and Mack Wheeldon (52) combine to bring down Woodward-Granger’s Andrew McCune. The Hawks defeated the Rebels, 24-0, on Homecoming.
Whether on the ground or through the air, Woodward-Granger was there to stop any thoughts of progress.
The Hawks held the Rebels offense in check all night, earning a 24-0 victory Friday night on Homecoming at The Pit.
G-R (3-1, 1-1) managed just 12 yards rushing on the night and finished with 113 yards of total offense while also turning the ball over four times.
"(Woodward-Granger) is a good defensive team. They put a lot of pressure on you," said Rebels head coach John Olson. "They're bringing six guys all the time, and we prepared for it all week and, to be honest with you, they beat us up front."
The Class 1A No. 3 Hawks (4-0, 2-0) also put a hurt into the Rebels defense as well, running the ball 43 times on the night, with 6-foot-1, 235-pound bruiser Andrew McCune toting it 26 times for 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck had its best chance of finding the end zone late in the first half when Mack Wheeldon recovered a W-G fumble on the Hawks' 28 yard line with 1:24 before the break.
The Rebels worked their way inside the 10-yard line, but Parker Bolt's toss to Cobren Bird in the end zone was intercepted by Cory Cralovich to thwart the chance.
Trailing 16-0 in the fourth quarter, the Rebels appeared to have picked up some momentum when they blocked a Hawks punt, but the ball was then touched by a G-R player and then recovered by W-G to retain possession with a new set of downs.
The Rebel defense kept the Hawks from scoring, however, when Brady Billerbeck intercepted Taylor Ashnon's pass at the 2-yard line.
But that positive was soon made negative when on the next play G-R running back Ryan Strohbehn was tackled in the end zone for a safety that made it a three-possession game.
The Hawks returned the ensuing punt all the way to the G-R 25 and McCune pushed pass the goal-line six plays later to put the final score on the board.
Ashnon threw for 129 yards on the night, completing 14-of-16 of his attempts after completing his first 13 throws to start the evening.
Cralovich had seven catches for 73 yards while Jacob Musser had five for 56. Musser was also 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, with all three coming from 30 yards or longer.
Bolt was 8-of-21 passing for 87 yards before leaving the game late with an injury. His favorite target, Billerbeck, tallied four catches for 70 yards on a night that saw G-R go 1-of-13 on third down.
Andy Meyers made 13 tackles for the Rebels while Billerbeck recorded 11 stops.
The Rebels had just one run over 10 yards, and that came on their first play from scrimmage when Strohbehn ran for 13. G-R had 12 plays go for a loss or no gain on the night.
"Tonight we played a better game than we've played all year," said Olson, "but we saw some mistakes based on how good (Woodward-Granger) played."
G-R will host South Hamilton in a 7 p.m. tilt in Gladbrook.