Sterling, Va. — Already leading 7-0, the Woodgrove High School football team sent their kicking unit onto the field. Facing 4th-and-16 from the 28-yard line, the Wolverines had complete confidence in senior kicker Kollin Samaha, and like he’s done all season, the lefty counted his steps backwards and to his right, gave a nod, and drilled the 45-yard attempt.
Then, with his team trailing 14-10 late in the third quarter, Samaha again jogged out to his spot, knocking through a 31-yard field goal to draw his team within 1.
But Samaha wasn’t done quite yet.
Trailing 14-13 early in the fourth quarter, the Wolverines once again found themselves in a kicking situation, and Samaha once again delivered, drilling a 33-yard field goal to give Woodgrove the 16-14 lead by which they would defeat Potomac Falls on October 15 in Sterling.
“Two years ago, he had never kicked a field goal,” Woodgrove head coach Derek Barlow said. “Most kickers you leave alone, but he has the mind of a linebacker. We get the ball to the 40, and he’s in my ear telling me he’s good; I’m like ‘Kollin, it’s a 57-yarder,’ but that’s just his mentality.”
Not only does Samaha take the pressure off his offense, but he also gives his defense 80 yards to defend after each score, going 5-for-5 on touchbacks on the night.
“He’s a defensive weapon, because we normally start at the 20. He’s an offensive weapon, because we know if we get it near the 30, he’ll get us 3 points,” Barlow said. ‘He definitely took a lot of pressure off us tonight and bailed us out.”
While Samaha’s kicking gave the Wolverines the edge they needed, it was the Woodgrove defense that stepped up big in the second half to hold the Panthers scoreless.
Leading 14-13 with less than three minutes to play, the Panthers took over at their own 24-yard line. Like he had done throughout the night, senior quarterback Matt Graham started moving his team downfield.
“Every time we play them, it comes down to the last possession,” Barlow said. “We played a little sloppy the first half, which is what you worry about because they have a great scheme. They do a lot of things on offense which got us sometimes.”
Graham hit senior receiver Jalen Jackson with a 13-yard completion then senior tight end Owen Copeland with another 13-yard completion to get Potomac Falls to midfield. On the very next play, Graham hit junior running back Steven Riveros with a 12-yard connection to move the Panthers into Woodgrove territory.
They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides—especially their defense—which has rarely happened to us. They really don’t have any weaknesses. They’re tough. We’re lucky to get away with one tonight.
—Woodgrove Head Coach Derek Barlow
From there, Graham turned to his legs, where he picked up 14 more yards on the next two plays to eventually set up Potomac Falls at the Woodgrove 22 yard line.
With the clock winding down, the Panthers sent out senior kicker Davion Moore who had plenty of leg but pushed his attempt wide left as the Wolverines held off Potomac Falls, 16-14.
“Our kids just kept fighting,” Barlow said. “This is our third win that has come down to the last play of the game. The kids like making my hair gray.”
To open the season, Woodgrove picked up one-score wins over John Champe and Forest Park, and most recently held off Riverside, 38-17, on October 8, so the Wolverines (6-1, 27.143) are trending in the right direction, but they have the behemoth of Stone Bridge (7-0, 32.571) standing in their path on October 22.
“I’ve unfortunately seen film on them, and they don’t have many weaknesses,” Barlow said. “I’m going to sleep on it before worrying about the beast we have in front of us.”
|1Q||8:55||Woodgrove||Tyler Payne to CJ Schaeffer, Jr. 3-yard TD pass (Kollin Samaha PAT)||7-0|
|1Q||0:40||Woodgrove||Kollin Samaha 45-yard field goal||10-0|
|2Q||8:38||Potomac Falls||Matt Graham 1-yard TD run (Davion Moore PAT)||10-7|
|2Q||3:44||Potomac Falls||Steven Riveros 1-yard TD run (Davion Moore PAT)||10-14|
|3Q||4:41||Woodgrove||Kollin Samaha 31-yard field goal||13-14|
|4Q||11:48||Woodgrove||Kollin Samaha 33-yard field goal||16-14|