PHILADELPHIA >> Archbishop Wood has not hit its stride offensively through its first six games as a young team with high expectations.
Saturday afternoon featured the return of halfback Raheem Blackshear who was limited in last week’s win over Archbishop Ryan. The senior ran the ball 10 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s 28-7 win over Father Judge.
“I thought we had a pretty good defensive (game),” Blackshear said. “Our defense was locking people down. It was good today. We’re going to advance from today and I think we’re going to get better.”
With a healthy Blackshear in the backfield, the pairing with fellow senior back Shawn Thompson makes for a difficult 1-2 combination. Thompson contributed 16 carries for 92 yards and a score with another through the air to the Wood offense.
“We’re both good backs so we can have a 1-2 punch,” Blackshear said. “Its hard for people to stop that. Shawn can get his rhythm, so that’s touches on his part, I get touches on my part so it’s much easier.”
“Raheem’s got that explosiveness, Shawn’s got the shifty moves, he’s tough. Its like two different running styles,” said Wood coach Steve Devlin of the Vikings backfield. “They’re both great high school backs and I’m glad both are on my team.”
Over the past couple of weeks, Wood has been stellar putting offensive drives together as it notched 15 first downs Saturday after picking up 19 the previous week. Wood, however, has been just a little bit off hitting explosive plays in its offense.
With the number of weapons, the Vikings have offensive it is hard to imagine this trend lasting too much longer given their backfield depth and one of the best receivers in the state in Mark Webb.
“When you drive you want to score, you want to put points on the board and you don’t want to settle for field goals,” Devlin said. “We’re a young team and we’re coming together and we’re getting better at that.”
Despite the offense not living up to their standard, the Vikes defense has been dominant. The defense was on display yet again Saturday afternoon as Wood held Judge to less than 120 yards of total offense with much of the yardage and Judge’s one score coming in the fourth quarter with the game no longer in doubt.
“Our focus was to get after them on defense and defense create our offense,” Devlin said.
If the Vikings continue to play defense and run the ball the way they currently are and can start to connect on some more explosive plays there is no reason to think another deep playoff run isn’t in the cards.