by Michael Leonard
Streetsboro -- The old saying "The best defense is a good offense" got turned on its head Oct. 11 when Woodridge visited Streetsboro at Glinatsis Stadium.
On this night, Woodridge's defense was its best offense.
The Bulldogs' defense forced seven turnovers (four fumbles and three interceptions) and scored three touchdowns on the Rockets.
That led Woodridge to a 41-7 win.
Woodridge improved to 5-2, 3-0 in the Portage Trail Conference County Division, while Streetsboro dropped to 4-3, 2-2 in the County Division.
Woodridge coach Eric Ervin said his defense's performance was "awesome."
"It sure helps when you get [seven] turnovers," Ervin said. "Streetsboro is a good offensive football team. I've said it all year, we're going to have to rely on our defense and they have stepped up."
Rockets coach John Arlesic said the miscues made it impossible to win.
"No one wins a football game turning the ball over seven times," Arlesic said. "When you have the ball, you have to make plays. Effort and all that is great, but until our execution catches up with that, we have to work on it."
In the first quarter, the Bulldogs' defense did all the scoring.
After the Rockets completed a 52-yard pass play on a fake punt, the Bulldogs struck back when Brandon Williams jumped an out route and returned the interception 85 yards for a touchdown.
On the next Streetsboro drive, a blown handoff resulted in Woodridge's Demetrius Tabler scooping up the loose ball and returning the fumble 27 yards for a touchdown.
Streetsboro blocked the extra point, but the Bulldogs led 13-0 without earned a first down on offense.
Streetsboro's offensive woes were just starting, as the Rockets lost another fumble and tossed another interception early in the second quarter.
Woodridge took advantage of the second miscue, as quarterback Tom Finegan hit Thomas Pyle in the end zone with a 20-yard pass. Finegan then competed a pass to Anthony Thurman for the two-point conversion, making 21-0 with 8:43 left in the half.
Streetsboro finally got its offense going with a 38-yard scramble by quarterback Jerry Judd. That set up a nine-yard sweep by running back Jonathan Williams into the end zone with 5:20 left in the first half.
Despite the four first half turnovers, Streetsboro was still in the game at 21-7 at halftime.
However, Streetsboro's turnover issues didn't end at the half.
The Rockets fumbled on the first play of the second half and Woodridge's Dom Baker recovered at the Rocket 38.
Four plays later, Brandon Williams ran in a 21-yard touchdown run.
Then, with Streetsboro driving, the Rockets fumbled inside the Bulldog 10-yard line. Jackson Taylor scooped up the ball and ran 95 for the touchdown with 9:31 left in the third quarter.
Woodridge's final score also was set up by a turnover, when Joe Novak intercepted the ball early in the fourth quarter and returned it to the Rocket 15.
Three plays later, Finegan ran a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown, completing the scoring at 41-7 with 10:36 left in the game.
Arlesic said his team simply had to get better on offense.
"Being a young team is no longer an excuse," Arlesic said.
Streetsboro was set to travel to Kent Roosevelt Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.