Team rallies, falls in season-opener
Woodstock North football rallied after a tough start, but ended with a 28-20 loss Aug. 25 in the Thunder’s season-opener at home.
The Falcons of Westosha Central, Wis., scored first on a 27-yard touchdown run with 5:23 left in the first quarter. The team added another 7 after a touchdown pass and began the second quarter up 14-0.
Junior Eddie Flores answered for the Thunder, running two yards for the team’s first touchdown with 6:17 left in the half, getting his team within seven points of the Falcons.
Westosha closed out the half with a 21-yard passing touchdown, leaving the score at halftime 21-7 Falcons.
With 8:24 left in the third, Flores fired up the crowd with another touchdown run for three yards, bringing the score to 21-14.
The Thunder scored again on a 30-yard run by senior quarterback Collin Mergl, but a blocked extra point prevented a tie. At the end of the third, the Thunder trailed 21-20.
With 10:20 left in the game, Westosha delivered another touchdown and extra point, but the Thunder were unable to answer. The game ended in a 28-20 Falcons victory.
Thunder head coach Jeff Schroeder said he has high expectations for the season and noted the returning experience will serve as the team’s greatest asset.
“We turned the ball over — that is uncharacteristic for us. We have to improve that. We had three turnovers to one, and we lost by a score. If we can change the turnover ratio in our favor, that’s going to benefit us a great deal,” he said.
Schroeder noted Thunder junior Cade Darling’s speed and effort was a standout in the opening game.
“He made a few really nice runs. I was really impressed with his ability on offense,” Schroeder said.
The Thunder play their next game away against nonconference opponent Antioch Friday, Sept. 1. The team will return home Sept. 15 to face Marengo.
“I think we can benefit more as a team in the future from this loss than playing a school we would easily defeat. A game like this one, and Antioch next week, really sets us up for conference play,” Schroeder added.
“We made some first-game mistakes that cost us. We still feel good about who we are and can compete at a high level.”