In Tyler Flanagan, Woodland believes it has the ultimate dual-threat.
If you watched the senior amass 540 yards receiving, 243 yards on the ground and 11 combined touchdowns last year, you’d be hard-pressed not to agree.
This year, head coach Mike Woodward has a new challenge for No. 21: play quarterback.
That means replace the graduated Wyatt Harsh, the school’s all-time leading passer who threw for 2,190 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.
Flanagan mulled it over and eventually took to the challenge, texting his coach emphatically, “#21isaQB!!!!!”
His results in spring ball left Woodward — who has historically deployed a pass-happy, read-option offense — aghast.
“We knew he could throw a little because he’s a super athlete, and I’m not kidding you, we went out there in the spring and he was amazing,” Woodward said. “He can put a show on, but he threw the ball much better than expected. … we didn’t feel like it was a running back trying to play QB.”
Lineman Jason Bowman anticipates a more run-happy quarterback will require more power on the line, as opposed to sitting back and protecting the pocket. Bowman, who started as a freshman last season, believes the Beavers will have a more size and more depth, thus a more effective run block.
He’s joined by first team all-league selection Alex Wakefield and seniors Bryce Graham and Austin Clifford, who did not play last year due to injury.
“We went from a smaller, more inexperienced line to, man, this group is fantastic,” Woodward said.
With Flanagan leading the charge, Woodland vies to make a run at the league title after going 5-5 and 4-2 last season, tying for second in league.
Where Woodland lacked in experience last season (five seniors), they now have an embarrassment of riches.
“This group of guys has been together for a long time,” Flanagan said. “We’ll have that good connection with each other.”
3 THINGS TO KNOW
— Field perhaps deepest team in Woodward’s tenure
— Senior WR Alex Bishop caught for 609 yards, 6 TDs last season
— Many of the upperclassmen have played together since youth football
2017 season: 5-5, 4-2, third 2A GSHL. Reached first round of state playoffs
Home games at Beaver Stadium
League games in bold
Aug. 31 Kalama 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 7 at La Center 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Washougal 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 R.A Long 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Hockinson 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 at Montesano 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 Ridgefield 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Columbia River 7 p.m.
Oct. 26 Mark Morris 7 p.m.