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In Thursday night football action, the Bulldogs bounce back against the visiting Cubs in lopsided win

The Woodburn football team found its way back into the win column on Thursday, Oct. 7, in dominant fashion. The Bulldogs ran away with a 44-7 victory over the visiting Newport Cubs.

It was an answer after the team got handled thoroughly the week before, dropping its road matchup against Cascade 64-0. Woodburn takes pride in its ability to play physical, but they were outmatched in terms of size, according to head coach Ken Mace.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Woodburn senior Tomas Veliz was a force on the ground, providing a lot of offensive firepower for the Bulldogs in the 44-7 win over Newport.

"There's some things that you can't fix in a week," Mace said. "There's some things, as far as being in a weight room for an offseason and doing some of that stuff, it was pretty apparent. We were out-weight-roomed last Friday night. Those are things where it's like, 'Dang, our kids are getting to the right spot and working as hard as he can work. That kid is just stronger and faster.' Looking at our stuff, position-wise, each position graded out really, really well. It just comes down to weight room."

After a shortened week of practice and kids redoubling their efforts on the sleds and in the weight room, the home team came out and exorcised demons against a game Newport team.

The first quarter saw Woodburn's special teams come up big and set the tone for the game to come. At the 9:36 mark of the first quarter, Newport's long snapper sent the ball over the punter's head and into the end zone. Woodburn swarmed and blocked the frantic punt with the result a safety for the home team. Now up 2-0, it wouldn't take long for the offense to kick into gear.

In just three plays, Woodburn senior quarterback Kaleb Robles brought the ball into the Cubs end zone on a one-yard-run up the middle, with senior kicker Santiago Roque putting the extra point through. Woodburn led 9-0.

Newport answered back quickly. In a three minute, eight-play drive, the Cubs marched down the field and scored on a pass over the middle from Newport quarterback Markus Everitt to receiver Kaden Bruns. After the extra point, Woodburn led 9-7.

Newport tried for an onside kick on the following play, but the ball was scooped up by junior Ian Metzger in a play that coach Mace called "huge."

"You're not going to see it in the stats, (but) Ian Metzger's recovery of an onside kick right after they scored to steal momentum back because it got us offense in great field position (was big)," Mace said. "He recovered two tonight; that was huge. We made sure to tell him that, those were darn good plays, and they were huge to keep momentum on our side. When we can grab momentum and we can keep it, we're a pretty good ball club. We're learning how to steal it back from teams. That's the next step in our evolution."

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Woodburn senior Tomas Veliz was a force on offense and defense, getting two interceptions while playing corner. Woodburn beat Newport 44-7 on Thursday, Oct. 7.

That onside recovery led directly to another Woodburn touchdown, this time at the hands of senior running back Tomas Veliz who took it to the right side of the field from six yards out to score. Another Roque extra point and the Bulldogs led 16-7.

After forcing a 3-and-out, Woodburn marched 65 yards down the field in the second quarter and scored at the 8:18 mark. Robles connected with Veliz for a 10-yard touchdown pass, and Woodburn sophomore Carter Pickett punched the ball in for the two-point conversion. Woodburn now led 24-7.

Newport got the ball back with 8:10 on the clock, and marched from its own 25-yard line in 10 plays all the way down to Woodburn's 11-yard line. On the 11th play of the drive though Woodburn's Veliz came up big as a corner, picking off Newport's quarterback in the end zone with a little less than two minutes to go in the half.

From there Woodburn took the ball 80 yards down the field and scored on a three-yard run courtesy of junior Ty Beyer. Another extra point and Woodburn led 31-7 going into the locker rooms at half. All the momentum was in Woodburn's favor, and little changed in the second half.

Newport tried another onside kick coming out of the half, but once again Metzger collected the ball and gave his offense some quality field position to work with.

From their own 45-yard line Woodburn moved the ball down to the Newport five-yard line mostly on the back of sophomore Carter Pickett, who ran the ball nine out of 11 plays on the drive. That included the five-yard touchdown run at the 7:59 mark of the third quarter. Woodburn now led 37-7.

"Carter has really stepped it up the last couple weeks and established that physicality," Mace said. "He's a sophomore, big kid. We talked to him about being the big, dominant kid and this week at practice … we established him a little bit at that school up the road when we played them, and he was running physical there. It's really added that third dimension to our offense. You're worried about Tomas, you're keeping your eye on Ty, now you really got to pay attention to our fullback too."

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Woodburn junior Ty Beyer was part of a three-headed attack for the Bulldogs, alongside fellow running back Tomas Veliz and fullback Carter Pickett (No. 40).

The final score of the game was once again set up courtesy of a Tomas Veliz pick on defense, his second of the game. Giving Woodburn the ball at 5:03 of the third stanza, Veliz ultimately scored on a nine-yard run after navigating through traffic. Roque put the ball through the uprights, and Woodburn led 44-7.

The fourth quarter was a war of attrition, and the Woodburn defense managed to handle the Newport offense, ultimately collecting the Bulldogs fourth win of the season.

Woodburn (1-1 in league, 4-2 overall) will take to the road next week when they face off against Stayton (1-4 overall) on Friday, Oct. 15.

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