The inaugural First National Crosstown Challenge ended in victory for the Blue Streaks, as they took down the Thunder 34-6 Oct. 14 at Woodstock North.
The win was the first for Woodstock High School over WNHS since 2009.
The Streaks looked strong from the beginning, scoring on their first possession, a 27-yard run by running back Amari Wade.
WNHS’ only points came on a second-quarter touchdown followed by a blocked extra point. Holding on to their lead, the Streaks didn’t let go for the rest of the game.
Both teams struggled to establish a passing game and fought out the game on the ground. Behind a great performance from the offensive line, WHS’ Wade carried 23 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns and junior fullback Sean Doyle carried 12 times for 94 yards and a touchdown. Three other rushers contributed and brought the Streaks’ total to 281 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.
“Defensively, we just focused on reading our keys. There were a couple times in the game, we kind of slipped up in the passing game and dodged a bullet with the incomplete passes they had. But I thought our defense played great, I thought we ran the ball hard,” said Streaks head coach Tommy Thompson.
Doyle, who also contributed heavily on defense, summed it up concisely: “This win means a lot. Our varsity [team] hasn’t beaten the Thunder in a long time.”
Looking to next week, Doyle continued, “Even though we hit a down streak with a few losses, we can play to a better potential than other people perceive.”
The Blue Streaks face Richmond Burton at home Friday, Oct. 21, for their last conference game of the season. A win would make them eligible for the playoffs.
The Thunder host Rock Falls at home Oct. 21, a senior night game designated as a “Pink Out,” where spectators will be encouraged to wear pink. The Thunder secured their spot in the playoffs with their win against Burlington Oct. 7.
Thompson likes the Streaks’ chances next week.
“Richmond-Burton runs a similar style offense. They’re a little bigger up front than we are. Hopefully, we’ll just do the same thing we did this week. Adjust a little bit here and there offensively, but I think we’re ready to go and we’re looking forward to it,” Thompson said.
First National Bank hosted and coordinated an event along with booster clubs from each school. Before the game, there was a parade of athletes from all high school sports and other community organizations. About $10,000 per school was raised for the booster clubs.