Woodlan back at semi-state for second time in last three years

WOODBURN, Ind. (WANE) – For the second time in the last three seasons the Woodlan football program finds itself just one win away from a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium.

The 2A no. 6 Warriors (11-2) will travel to 2A no. 1 Eastbrook (13-0) Friday night in semi-state action.

Two years ago the Warriors fell 14-7 in the snow at Whiting in semi-state, falling one win short of the 2A state title game.

Woodlan is coming off a 40-26 win at North Newton last Friday in regionals that saw the Warriors play without the program’s all-time leading rusher in Jack Rhoades. Rhoades will return on Friday and will team with Amarion Hicks (who rushed 15 times for 234 yards and 3 TDs versus North Newton in Rhoades’ absence) as the Warriors try to punch their ticket to state.

Friday’s game is a far cry from where the Woodlan program was at when Sherwood Haydock arrived. In 2011 – Woodlan’s first season under Haydock – the Warriors went 1-9. They won three games the next year then took off with an 8-4 record in 2013 and haven’t looked back. In fact, from 2009-2011 the Warriors went just 3-27, going 1-9 each season with the first two of those campaigns under Barry Ehle.