FAIRFIELD — Wood High barreled over host Rodriguez 48-6 Friday night at Coach Ed Hopkins Memorial Stadium to set a school record for consecutive victories.
The Wildcats did it by scoring 48 unanswered points, including 28 in a second quarter where two touchdowns came in a 16-second span.
The win moved Wood to 3-0 in the Monticello Empire League and 7-1 on the season. Rodriguez, meanwhile, dropped to 1-7 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Despite the final tally, Rodriguez held a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. Aaron Short made a leaping catch in Wood territory on a pass from Miles Saunders and churned down his own sideline for a 79-yard score.
“They got on the board with speed,” Wood coach Carlos Meraz said.
Although Rodriguez moved the ball through the air, it struggled with the ground attack, amassing a net total of 1 yard.
The Wildcats didn’t have such difficulty, with five different rushers finding the end zone for a score.
The first was Julian Cendejas, who responded three plays after Rodriguez’s lone touchdown with a 6-yard blast up the gut. After Adam Cunning booted the extra point, Wood took a lead it would never relinquish.
Still, Rodriguez remained within striking distance as the clock rolled into the second quarter. After a roughing the passer penalty against Rodriguez put the ball just more than 1 yard out, Frederick Douglas punched it in to give the Wildcats a 14-6 edge.
The Wildcats moved it to 21-6 after Rodriguez relinquished the ball on a four-and-out drive. This time, Damon Lewis took a sweep and snapped off a 32-yard sprint to pay dirt around the right side. Lewis led all rushers with 79 yards.
Wood pushed its lead to 35-6 at halftime by adding two touchdowns in the final 16.3 seconds of the second quarter.
First, Ryan Nules snagged a 26-yard pass from Tyler Bailey in double coverage at the goal line, and after the Wildcats recovered an onside kick, it was Nules again, this time grabbing an 8-yard toss on the final play of the half.
Bailey finished the game 13-of-22 passing for 187 yards.
The Mustangs used multiple quarterbacks behind center after Saunders lost a contact in the second quarter. Jacob Hurt found the most success, completing 9-of-18 passes for 138 yards with an interception.
While Nules had a pair of touchdowns, it was Wood’s Desmond McIver who led all receivers with six catches for 116 yards.
Meraz attributed the change in the dynamic in the second quarter to playing within the team’s scheme.
“We started playing the way we’re supposed to play,” Meraz said. “We came out with a slow start. We’re a lot faster than that.”
Hutcherson said the difference was Wood executed in the second quarter.
Wood added two more touchdowns in the second half, one in each quarter.
The first came on a third-and-9, when Bailey scooted past the line of scrimmage and pitched the ball to Tyler Beall for a 5-yard TD tote, moving the score to 42-6.
Wood scored on its penultimate possession, with Aaron Herbert in at quarterback. After bobbling the snap, with Mustangs swarming around him, Herbert squirted through the line and turned the play into a 58-yard score.
Officials had difficulty with the clock early in the contest, stopping play several times to reset or add time back.