Before the season even started for the Triton Regional High School
football team, standout running back Josh Woods said he was full throttle, referring to his knee being healthy enough to carry the load for the Mustangs.
He also said the team, as a whole, was ready to go full throttle.
It turns out, Woods was right on the money.
The senior tailback has been the focal point of a Triton offense that has excelled through two games, helping the Mustangs to a 2-0 record. Even more impressive than the record is the fact that the wins came against defending Group 4 champion Pennsauken and Cherokee.
Over that span, Woods has rushed for 318 yards and three touchdowns.
While Woods never had any doubts that his typical production would be on display early this season, it was impossible for his teammates, coaches or fans to know for sure. Woods missed the final five games of the 2011 season with a knee injury and did not make an appearance during scrimmages in the preseason. Add in a knee brace, and uncertainty surrounded the talented tailback.
Yet, all off those worries have dispersed in two short weeks. Woods is not only back to full speed, but can once again cut on a dime and spin out of tackles.
In other words, he once again a nightmare for opposing defenses.
“My knee is feeling good,” said Woods following the Mustangs opening win over Pennsauken. “It’s not bothering me and it’s not going to slow me down.”
Woods rushed for 186 yards, and scored two touchdowns, including the
game-winning score on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter of last week’s 22-14 upset win over Pennsauken. He followed that up with a 28 carry, 132-yard performance in the Mustangs’ 14-7 win over Cherokee.
The early numbers are on par with his performance last year, when he rushed for 900 yards in just five games. He has also done it against two of better football programs in South Jersey, a feat that can’t be overlooked.
“He’s tough to stop when he gets going,” said Pennsauken coach Clinton Tabb III. “He’s one of those special players that you have to account for every play, because he can make something out of nothing.”
Woods is hardly the only player delivering the goods at Triton. Much credit must be heaped on an offensive line that has created gaping running lanes this season. However, it is the play, and health, of Woods that has the Mustangs looking like serious contenders in both the West Jersey Football League and Group 4.
Up next for Triton is a contest with Shawnee, followed by bouts against Kingsway and Williamstown. The road ahead will not be easy, but Woods knows all about that.
“It was tough not playing for almost a whole year,” he said. “I have been waiting for this.”