H.D. Woodson, The Washington Post's top-ranked high school team, presented Coach Bob Headen a birthday present 24 hours early yesterday at RFK Stadium.
Nathaniel Cary followed his huge offensive linemen for 147 yards and four touchdowns to lead Woodson to a 33-0 victory over Coolidge in the Interhigh League championship game before an estimated crowd of 12,000.
"I'll take this present early," said Headen, whose team finished 10-1. "Last year, we won the championship (beating Theodore Roosevelt, 7-6) on my birthday. This game was a little different because we were able to do everything we expected to do. We wanted to run the ball straight at them and we did. There was no reason to do anything else."
Woodson's offensive line had no problem doing what it has done all year -- move people.
Cary has scored nine touchdowns in the last two games, five against Eastern on Nov. 12. Cary, who had 26 touchdowns entering the game, simply picked the direction he wanted to run and went through holes cleared by tackles Anthony Lyde (6-foot-6, 275 pounds) and Lamont McCreary (5-10, 270); guards John Burns (6-2, 225) and David Carter (6-1, 210); center William Little (5-10, 230) and tight end Joe Person (6-2, 185).
On the third play of the game, Cary, the game's offensive MVP, ran 68 yards on an off-tackle play for a touchdown. McCreary's kick made it 7-0 and the Warriors had all they points they would need.
"The coach told us to jump on them right away and they would start remembering the first game (Woodson won, 43-0)," said Lyde, who also led the defense. "We were just much bigger and stronger."
Because the Warriors were able to control the line of scrimmage, quarterback Kenny Jones threw only seven times. One of his two completions came on Woodson's next possession, a 25-yard pass to Herbert White gaining a first down at the Colts' 11.
Three plays later, Cary, following Lyde and Carter over the right side, scored from a yard out to end the 63-yard drive. The Warriors led, 13-0, with 43 seconds left in the first period.
Coolidge (8-3), the West Division winner, could do little right against the Warriors. Tailback Ronald Miles (17 touchdowns) rushed for 73 of his team's total of 117 yards--67 of which came in the final seconds against reserves. Quarterback Courtney Adams completed only two of 10 passes for 19 yards, threw two interceptions and was sacked five times.
Coolidge got to the Woodson 35 and 37 in the first half but was stopped each time. After Woodson's second score, a Woodson penalty following a 25-yard return by Colt kick returner Edward Clark moved the ball to the 37. But Adams' first-down pass was intercepted by Otis Pollard, selected the game's defensive MVP. The second threat, late in the second period, ended when Adams was sacked twice.
"Woodson just overpowered us," said Chris Bullock, Coolidge's first-year coach. "There was nothing we could do. What else can I say?"
Woodson loosened up considerably in the second half, scoring on its first three possessions. After a short punt, Cary, who had 12 of his 19 carries before intermission, scored on a five-yard run that completed a 41-yard drive and made it 19-0 midway through the third period.
"It didn't make any difference which way I went," Cary said. "The holes were there. Everyone blocked for me."
After another short punt, Woodson went 39 yards for a touchdown. Cary went in from a yard out on the first play of the last period, and McCreary's kick made it 26-0.
"We weren't as conservative the second half," said Headen, pleased at his team's eighth shutout of the season. "The defense played very well. We felt we could stop Coolidge from running the ball and we did."
Jones, who missed three wide-open receivers, two of whom would have scored, in the first half, threw a 46-yard pass to Person for the final touchdown with 4:37 remaining in the game.
A wonderful birthday present, indeed.