After the second-ranked Trojans had gotten used to rolling up first-half points, the Wolverines put a stop to that by mixing up their blitz packages and playing solid man defense.
But with the game still up for grabs going into the fourth quarter, Lassiter scored twice — the second an interception return — to pull away and prevail 30-7 in a Region 5AAAAAA game at Frank Fillmann Stadium.
“Sometimes, we would pressure one (against Lassiter’s offense), and sometimes we would pressure six,” Woodstock coach Brent Budde said.
Lassiter (5-0, 2-0) remained undefeated and will host Walton next week in a rematch of last year’s Class AAAAA state semifinal.
Woodstock (0-5, 0-2), meanwhile, is still looking for its first win.
Lassiter quarterback Eddie Printz, presented before the game with his jersey for January’s Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, threw for 233 yards and a touchdown, but the Wolverines’ secondary often made it difficult for him to find open receivers.
It also didn’t help that Printz was missing injured receivers Juwan Dickey and Ryan Jenkins. But Willie Police came through with 97 yards receiving and scored a rushing touchdown.
While it wasn’t the finest offensive performance for Lassiter, its defense rose to the occasion by keeping Woodstock off the scoreboard in the second half. Lassiter made the Wolverines punt four times and stopped them on fourth down twice more before Patrick Levandoski ended their final drive with an interception return for a touchdown.
“We didn’t execute well on offense,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “Luckily, we played well enough on defense. We have guys banged up, but we’re still expected to execute (on offense).”
Woodstock’s best scoring opportunity came late in the third quarter, when it began a drive at its own 7-yard line, trailing 16-7.
The Wolverines’ push began with a 38-yard pass from Alex Motsinger to Josh Kuza, as Motsinger narrowly avoided a safety. That followed with a 24-yard run by Jean Boureau to put Woodstock on Lassiter’s 31.
Andrew Lenhart followed with a 5-yard run to put Woodstock inside the 30, but his next two carries only went for 1 yard, and Lassiter stuffed him for no gain on fourth down.
Once Woodstock’s offense began running out of time late in the fourth quarter, the Trojans stepped up and secured the win with 1:53 left when Blake Wilson ran a reverse for a 25-yard touchdown.
“(Woodstock) always gives you enough looks, and you have to fight tooth-and-nail,” Irwin said. “You just have to execute well, and we didn’t do that.”
An early highlight for Woodstock was a first-quarter interception by Max Keeton in the Lassiter red zone, which ended an eight-play drive.
Even though Lassiter scored first and missed the extra point, Woodstock stepped up on its next drive and took the lead when Motsinger connected with Sharrone Gates for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 5:53 left.
That score capped a 13-play drive that chewed up 6 minutes.
Lassiter then took a 9-7 lead in the closing seconds of the first half when Luke Hardin redeemed himself of a missed extra-point attempt to nail a 44-yard field goal.