Some of the Greyhounds might be new to the starting lineup, but it was a patented Atascadero High performance in the season opening football game Friday night at home against Woodbridge.
The defense was stifling, the offense was methodical, and Tommy Carr made the most of his long-awaited debut under center, throwing for 217 yards and scoring four total touchdowns as the Greyhounds wore down the Warriors in a 33-13 victory.
“We opened up with a lot of passes, which opened them up,” junior running back Marc Martin said. “Once halftime started, we were like ‘OK, let’s play some Atascadero football and pound it down their throat.’ ”
Atascadero (1-0) won the battles at the point of attack, racking up 457 total yards and 24 first downs to 203 and 9 for Woodbridge (0-1).
Carr, a senior who backed up three-year starter Robbie Berwick last year, hit Jason Goossens on a 44-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, Karson Block for a 36-yard score on a fourth-and-6, and also scored on a pair of 1-yard sneaks.
“Tommy managed the offense really well,” Atascadero coach Vic Cooper said of Carr, who finished 9-of-17 passing. “He put the ball on the money and, probably most impressive, we finally ran a couple good quarterback sneaks.”
Martin, another new starter, spearheaded a bruising rushing attack that — behind a line that only returned one starter from a year ago — ran for 240 yards and averaged 6.3 yards per carry.
Martin finished with 112 yards on 18 carries, putting the finishing touches on the game with a 2-yard score to make it 33-6 with seven minutes to play.
“We’re a running team,” Martin said. “That’s what we do. We have a young line, but they’re good.”
The defense controlled the line of scrimmage, too, holding the Warriors’ pistol offense to just one second-half first down until the final drive of the game, which featured all backups.
Goossens finished with three catches for 89 yards — all in the first half — and fellow senior Cooper Kuhnle gathered 85 yards receiving and 35 more rushing on a pair of end-arounds. The Greyhounds’ offense hit its stride in the second quarter, putting together a pair of scoring drives thanks to hard running up the middle by Martin and Carr connecting on four straight passes.
The first of those completions was the prettiest, when he led Goossens away from the defense down the right sideline. Goossens looked the ball into his hands and waltzed into the end zone for the first score of the game.
“They set up some situations where it really forced us to throw,” Cooper said. “That opened things up.”
Following a three-and-out by the Atascadero defense, the offense got right back to work on the next drive, with Kuhnle rushing 20 yards to the Woodbridge 39. Carr hit Cole Mueller and Kuhnle on consecutive slants before the 6-3, 220-pounder called his own number from 1 yard out for the first time to go up 13-0.
Atascadero outgained the Warriors 262-124 in the first half, collecting 13 first downs to Woodbridge’s four. Three of those came on the Warriors’ scoring drive, which saw Pritchett go 4 for 4 on the drive and hit Kennedy on a fade into the left corner of the end zone.
Kennedy jumped up to corral the ball, and the 17-yard score brought Woodbridge within seven going into halftime.
It was all Atascadero from there, holding Pritchett without a completion in the second half. “In the second half, we were able to establish the identity we wanted to,” Cooper said. “That’s running downhill and trying to be a little smash-mouth.”