Chris Auth's 16-yard touchdown pass to Keith Miller with eight seconds remaining in the first half proved to be the winning points as ninth-ranked McNamara took a two-touchdown lead and held off 14th-ranked H.D. Woodson, 13-7, in a match of Metro Conference and Interhigh League powers yesterday at McNamara.
Despite managing 125 total yards and losing its first game of the year, the Warriors (1-1) slowly trudged away from the Mustangs' field feeling they were the better team. McNamara, winner of 16 of its last 19 games, would dispute that fact and would win the argument. In what was expected to be a bruising battle of two defense-oriented teams, McNamara enjoyed success running between the tackles and completing short passes. McNamara had only 165 total yards but 108 of those came on the two touchdown drives.
Auth completed 9- and 19-yard passes to Russell Jones and Steve Busky, respectively, before DeBraie Meekins (23 carries for 83 yards) scored from a yard to culminate a 52-yard, eight-play drive. The kick failed and McNamara led, 6-0, with three minutes left in the first period.
"Woodson's linebackers played off the line and we ran straight at them," said McNamara two-way lineman Elbert Ouzts. "We wanted to run, use ball control. We did that."
McNamara took over on downs when the Warriors failed to score after getting a first down at the host's 8. Two running plays netted zero and two Henderson Mosley passes were incomplete. Starting from the 16, Auth took his team the distance. Woodson committed two penalties and Auth completed two short passes before finding Miller alone in the end zone for a 16-yard score. Bernie Tull's kick made it 13-0 as the half ended.
Led by defensive linemen Ouzts and Keith Byrd, the hosts bottled up the Warriors' running game and kept pressure on Mosley.
"We knew he was a good passer and scrambler," Ouzts said. "We wanted to put pressure on him so he couldn't set up and pass."
Mosley completed only two of nine for 45 yards but one of the catches covered 26 yards to Jeffry Taylor and enabled the Warriors to cut the deficit to 13-7 with less than four minutes to play in the third quarter.
Despite trailing in the final 15 minutes, Woodson threw only one pass, that one falling incomplete, as Henderson rarely had time to set up.H.D. Woodson (1-1) 0 0 7 0 7 McNamara (3-0)
6 7 0 0 13
M -- Meekins 1 run (kick failed)
M -- Miller 16 pass from Auth (Tull kick)
W -- Taylor 26 pass from Mosley (Mosley kick)