You might think all those two-way starters in Woodstock North's lineup would just fall down from exhaustion in the second half of football games.
No such thing, evidently.
After a scoreless tie following one quarter in Grayslake, the Thunder used a pair of those two-way players to pull away from the Rams and at the same time become playoff eligible.
The Thunder (5-2, 3-1) scored 27 unanswered points and beat Central 39-7 on Friday night.
"We got the momentum and started putting together drives,'' said running back/defensive back Adam Haimbaugh. "I'm used to playing both ways and it's always been like that since I was young."
Haimbaugh (15-115) scored the game's first two touchdowns for the visitors but just before halftime, the Rams answered back. And in the process, Central ate up seven minutes of clock on the 12-play drive. Running back Jourden Swopes carried six times on the march and scored from 2 yards out, pulling his Rams (2-5, 1-4) within 5 points of North. Swopes, a senior, was a busy back on this night.
"We asked him to switch positions,'' said Central coach Ben Ault. "And he literally ran with it."
Seemingly, the game was headed to halftime with North nursing a 12-7 lead.
Instead, the Thunder used all of 27 seconds to score from 65 yards out.
Woodstock quarterback Brian Loftin threw only three times the whole night, yet his 29-yard touchdown pass to Shane Zeiman was good with 11 seconds to spare.
"Woodstock has some nice plays," Ault said. "They run a nice offense and are very solid on defense."
If there was still some hope for the Rams at the start of the third quarter, it was quickly doused when Woodstock back Ryan Wade dashed 61 yards on the third play from scrimmage. He's another one of those players who also plays defense.
"Every one of us seniors plays both ways,'' Wade said. "It's tough but it makes us better."
It was an all-Wade show in the second half. The senior scored every touchdown of the second half and closed with scores from 42 yards out and another one from the 1.
"We played better in the first half,'' Ault said. "It was kind of a snowball effect. When you are 2-4, it's easy to get down. But our kids still played hard."
The Rams were hurt by several penalties but got spirited play from quarterback Tyler Gustke.
"Tyler is not a great passing quarterback,'' Ault said. "But he has really
improved the last two weeks."