Woodlawn knocks off Natchitoches Central to open Class 5A playoffs

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BATON ROUGE – No. 13 Woodlawn responded to an early challenge to take a 42-14 victory over No. 20 Natchitoches Central in the opening round of the Class 5A football playoffs Friday night on the Panthers campus.

Quarterback Ricky Collins threw three touchdown passes including a pair to Clayton Adams. A 51-yard strike for the Panthers’ first score of the night and a 25-yard connection in the third period that put Woodlawn up 28-14.

The Panthers held a 21-14 lead at the half after a one-yard run from Amani Givens with just four seconds to play in the second quarter.

Natchitoches Central scored first on a 40-yard run by Christian Howard, capping a 7-play, 74-yard drive.

After the ensuing Adams touchdown catch, the Chiefs countered with a 12-play march spanning 72 yards. Caylin Demars finished the drive with a nine-yard touchdown scamper putting Natchitoches Center up 14-8 early in the second period.

“We knew they were gonna have a big surge early in the game and we we’re gonna have to match them,” Woodlawn head coach Marcus Randall. “We always talk about how we start halves and end halves and at the end of that first half we had a great two minute drive to scoring before the half and than we opened it right back up scoring at the beginning of the third quarter and I think that was a big part of the game.”

Woodlawn created more breathing room with a scoop-and-score by Devin Boyd, increasing their lead to 35-14.

“We played well in the first half and didn’t play well in the second half. Uoo many turnovers and you can’t win that way,” said NCHS head coach James Wilkerson. “I’m so proud of these guys (going) from 0-8 (last year) to 7-4 and the playoffs. Not too many people come back from a season like that. I’m proud to be their coach.”

Woodlawn (6-4) moves on to face No. 4 Destrehan on the road while Natchitoches Central finishes their season at 7-4

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