TONTOGANY - Woodmore and Otsego understood what was at stake in the key Suburban Lakes League battle.
The winner would gain a slight advantage in the race toward the championship.
In a game dominated by the offenses, Otsego maintained its undefeated status with a 42-30 victory over Woodmore.
The Knights relied heavily on sophomore halfback Cody Donald to lead the way. He responded by rushing for 201 yards on 22 carries, including four touchdowns.
Donald, who stands 5-9 and weighs 161 pounds, did most of his damage in the first half to help the Knights take a 28-12 edge into halftime. He scored on runs of 12, 3, 34, and 26 yards and gained 158 yards on the ground before the break.
"I'm glad we had Cody tonight," Otsego coach Dan Cocke said.
The Knights improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the SLL, while the Wildcats dropped to 3-3 and 2-1. Yet, Woodmore didn't go down without putting up a serious fight.
The Wildcats' spread offense, led by quarterback Tyler Rosenberger, kept the contest close.
Rosenberger completed 19 of 37 attempts for 264 yards, including two touchdown passes. He also rushed for 113 yards on 13 carries, including touchdown runs of 5 and 24 yards.
"They can throw the ball and they can run the ball," Woodmore coach Lou Bosh, said of the Knights. "[Donald] is a very nice player.
"That was a battle. Both teams played very well. They just played a little better."
Donald had gained more than 100 yards by his 10th carry. His final carry of the first half was a 26-yard scamper right through the middle of theWildcats defense for a touchdown with only eight seconds remaining in the half.
It came less than two minutes after Rosenberger had connected with Eric McCarthy for a 32-yard touchdown pass that made it a 21-12 contest.
Donald's fourth touchdown capped a five-play drive covering 71 yards in the final two minutes of the half.
"He's a good one," said Cocke, of Donald. "He's just a good athlete.
"I think that last touchdown [by Donald] with eight seconds left before the half took a little steam out of [the Wildcats].
"But I told them at halftime we didn't have enough points."
The Wildcats came out in the second half and outscored the Knights 12-0 in the third quarter. Woodmore's Jeremy Harpel, who rushed for 108 yards on eight carries, scored on a 27-yard run to make it a 28-24 contest with
1:20 left in the third quarter.
However, Otsego came right back and scored again when Chad Henck capped the Knights' fifth scoring drive of the night with a 10-yard run around right end with 10:55 to play.
Henck gave the Knights a 42-24 lead exactly five minutes later when he hauled in a five-yard pass from Otsego quarterback Matt Mills with 5:55 left in the contest. The Knights' final scoring drive was set up by an Eric Zuhlsdorf interception of a Rosenberger pass in Woodmore territory.
"I knew we would have to score points and I knew they could score points," Mills said. "But we knew they could make mistakes and we could capitalize on those mistakes."
Rosenberger, who was intercepted twice and fumbled twice, capped the scoring with his second touchdown run of the night with 4:44 to play.
The game was delayed for approximately 20 minutes after Woodmore wide receiver A.J. Marquis suffered an apparent broken left leg during a kickoff play.
Contact Donald Emmons at:
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