Week two of the high school football season is now in the books and it was full of high scoring matchups and come from behind victories!
This week saw an exciting high school matchup between the Wildcats of Woodside and the Cherokee of Sequoia. This rivalry was an absolute barn burner that came down to the final drive. With little time on the clock, Woodside drove the length of the field for the go ahead score. When the final whistle blew, Woodside was victorious with a final score of 35-32. Thanks, in part, to the stellar performance of junior quarterback, Brody Crowley, who completed 24 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns. He also recorded one on the ground making him responsible for four scores and the game winning drive.
"This game was tough, they scored first off of an unlikely fumble from the running back that was picked up by a wide receiver in the end zone," Woodside head coach Justin Andrews said. "We had to answer back and not lose the momentum, and after game planning during the week we knew Brody was going to play a huge roll in our success. Our first drive on offense he completed every pass and capped off the drive with a 25-yard Touchdown pass."
Thanks to exceptional quarterback play by Crowley the Wildcats were able to jump to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter. That didn't last long however. "Sequoia returned a punt for a touchdown, we had some funny bounces that didn't go our way, and Brody threw an interception for a touchdown due to a blown assignment" said Andrews.
It was a tough game for the Wildcats but their competitive spirit was unwavering. "We had a great completion on a hitch route," Andrews said. "Our receiver was fighting tough for extra yards and ended up fumbling, but Brody chased him down and stopped a defensive touchdown from happening." These big plays and turnovers made for an exciting 4th quarter.
At the start of the 4th quarter, Woodside trailed 32-21 with momentum in Sequoia's favor, or so they thought. On the opening possession of the 4th quarter, Crowley threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to a streaking receiver deep downfield. "We were confident in Brody's ability to read the defense," Andrews said. "The corner got beat and he put the ball right on the money."
Now down 32-28, the Woodside defense needed to make a big play, and they did just that! "Our defense came out and had a huge stop for us," Andrews recalled. "We needed them to come through and they answered the bell." This left 60 seconds on the clock and one last drive for a chance to win the game. The only problem was the Crowley and the Wildcat offense had to drive 85-yards to the end zone.
"We were chipping away at the defense all game, running screens and short passes. I knew all we needed was one more shot to be able to run our game winning play. We set the defense up perfectly and the rest was history" Andrews said proudly. "We ran a fake screen with a wheel route and Brody made the right read. The defense over committed to the screen and he threw a perfect ball to his receiver deep downfield." This final play led to an 85-yard touchdown pass, which resulted in a 35-32 victory by the Woodside Wildcats.
When asked about Brody and his leadership style coach Andrews said, "Brody came to all of the summer workouts. That shows me commitment. He had a strong arm already, but he made huge strides with his technique, and really took the time to understand what defenses are doing." This desire to improve would make any coach feel comfortable with their leader "He is very observant," Andrews said. "I feel like he's another coach on the field and he can relay my message to his teammates."
"Realistically, it is the strides Brody made from his Junior Varsity to Varsity year that really surprised me," Andrews said. "He is a completely different quarterback that doesn't only rely on his arm strength. He made huge strides in his mental preparation to the game. Now, when I see him in practice he makes all the right choices, and knows what he is supposed to do with the ball."
Crowley is just as successful off the field as he is on it. He is a star baseball player and excels in the classroom with over a 3.0 cumulative GPA. We are excited to nominate him as the Player of the Week, and can't wait to see how the season turns out for #16!
As the home school of the 49ers High School Player of the Week presented by U.S. Bank, Woodside will receive a $500 grant for their football program from the 49ers Foundation. As part of this award, Crowley will receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field during pre-game. At the end of the season, Crowley will be invited to the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan, will officially present him with his award.