HAMPTON — For the second time in 14 days, Woodside coach Danny Dodson stood in the winner's circle at Darling Stadium. And this one was just as big, if not bigger, as the history-making victory against Phoebus two weeks earlier.
The Wolverines polished off their first undefeated regular season and Peninsula District championship with a 30-20 win over Bethel on Thursday night. Woodside (10-0, 9-0 PD) secured no worse than the No. 2 seed in next week's Eastern Region Division 6 quarterfinals behind Jalil Moore's 132 yards and three touchdowns.
"I kind of like this place," said Dodson, whose team beat Hampton, Phoebus, and Bethel at Darling. "Maybe we'll stay here."
Instead, the Wolverines will likely open at Todd Stadium Friday night against the No. 7 seed, which at the moment appears to be Bayside. There's a chance it could be the Bruins, which would create a rematch Dodson undoubtedly would rather avoid.
Moore, who had 18 carries, shouldered most of the load for the Wolverines. Also huge was Chris Moller, who kicked three field goals to raise his season total to a PD-record 13. Defensively, the Wolverines held Bethel's passing game to 50 percent accuracy and 152 yards.
The result was a 10-0 season by someone other than Phoebus and Hampton. That hasn't happened in the Peninsula District since Heritage ran the table in 2000.
"It feels great," Moore said. "Awesome. We put four goals on the board: To have an undefeated season, to win district, to win regionals, and to win state."
The Bruins (7-3, 6-3) took a 14-10 lead on Frank Brown's 7-yard run with 2:08 left in the second quarter. But in what turned out to be the key sequence, Woodside was able to get in field goal range thanks largely to two late hit penalties on Bethel.
Moller's 37-yarder as time expired made it a one-point game at halftime. Woodside then took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and went 74 yards in five plays to take a 20-14 lead. Moore, a 200-pound bruiser, ran for 44 of his yards on that possession, including the final six for the touchdown.
"We've been talking about (using Moore) more and having (Jay'Quan) Lassiter at the halfback position," Dodson said. "That was the game plan today, but I didn't expect to stick with it as much as I did. He was having such a great day, so we had to stick with it."
After trailing 14-10, Woodside reeled off 20 unanswered points until Brown's 20-yard pass to Willie Davis made it 30-20 with 1:09 remaining. The two-point conversion failed, and the Wolverines' Donnell Lewis recovered the onside kick.
Bethel hurt itself with 13 penalties for 123 yards, often at critical times. A horse collar aided the Wolverines' touchdown possession to start the third quarter. An interference penalty helped set up Moller's third field goal, which made it 23-14 with 9:20 left in the game.
Woodside, the PD's least-penalized team, was flagged seven times for 55 yards in the first half. But the Wolverines had only a five-yard penalty the rest of the way.
"We put it all together in the locker room," Moore said. "We said we had to pick it up and turn it up if we wanted to go 10-0. That was our goal, and that's what we had to do."
WOODSIDE 30, BETHEL 20
Woo—Moore 6 run (Moller kick), 7:26.
Bet—W. Davis 9 pass from Brown (Shover kick), 3:22.
Woo—Moller FG 26, 7:52.
Bet—Brown 7 run (Shover kick), 2:08
Woo—Moller FG 37
Woo—Moore 6 run (Moller kick), 9:43.
Woo—Moller FG 20, 9:20
Woo—Moore 20 run (Moller kick), 6:23.
Bet—W. Davis 20 pass from Brown (pass failed), 1:09.