The Woodville football team dropped a Class 1A Region 7 matchup with visiting Valley Head Friday night.

The game began with Woodville sophomore Sam Peek connecting with senior Justice Archer for a 54-yard pass. After reaching as close to the 8-yard line on first and goal, the Panthers would find themselves at fourth and goal on the Tigers 25-yard line after a sequence of a negative passing play, a sack and another negative run stalled out their first drive.

In the second quarter, another pass from Peek to Archer, this time for 29 yards, set up the Panthers in the red zone, at the Valley Head 16-yard line. Woodville again got up to the 8-yard line before a pass intended for Archer in the end zone was batted up and intercepted by the Valley Head defense. While Woodville struggled to consistently move the ball on offense, the Tigers took a 34-0 lead into halftime, off the back of six touchdowns in just 17 plays in the first half.

In the fourth quarter, a scuffle broke out that led to several ejections for both teams. After the ejections were announced and the game resumed, Woodville quickly generated a stop on defense to get the ball back and looking like they scored on a 91-yard touchdown run from Peek. However, a block in the back penalty wiped the touchdown, though still positioned the Panthers past midfield. Woodville (0-4, 0-2) would cash in on this opportunity, with Peek scoring on a 11-yard touchdown run five plays later.

“We’re young, we have to get better at everything. Like I said, there were some improvements. I think we had the most yards we’ve had all season,” Woodville head coach Matt Sanders said. “We have to work on finishing drives, that was one thing we talked about at halftime and it didn’t work out for us until we scored there at the end but that was nothing. We just have to work on finishing drives. On defense, we have to compete more. Run to the ball, our linebackers are backpedaling too much, we have to get downhill. We’re going to go back, watch some film.

“I’m proud of my kids for still competing. We played basically the second half with 10 kids, so it is what it is. We’re going to get back and try to get better at us. I told my guys at halftime that we had the ball inside the red zone three times which is an improvement from the earlier part of the season, so we just got to keep grinding with these young kids.”

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