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Woodbury football: Royals slammed at Homecoming (W/VIDEO)

A sinking feeling clouded the Woodbury bench in the fourth quarter in the Royals' 46-6 Homecoming loss to White Bear Lake. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker2 / 3
Woodbury running back Quran Al-Hameed is chased down Friday by a White Bear Lake defender. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker3 / 3

The Royals spent much of the week toiling over its struggles on extra points. That turned out to be the least of their problems Friday in a 46-6 Homecoming thumping at the hands of White Bear Lake.

The loss - Woodbury's most lopsided of the 2012 season - left the team with a 2-3 (2-3 Suburban East Conference) record and what its coach described as a palpable sense of being set adrift.

"We've got to do some soul searching," Royals coach Andy Hill said after the game, which he said was consumed by "a lack of execution."

The Royals now fall into the middle of the pack in the hunt for the SEC title, behind Mounds View, White Bear Lake and Stillwater - all locked at 4-1 - along with Cretin-Derham Hall and East Ridge, both at 3-2.

Woodbury never found a rhythm in the Homecoming game, allowing multiple turnovers on offense and special teams. Meanwhile, the Bears moved the ball with apparent ease and seized on Woodbury's miscues.

"They ran everything they wanted to run and we just didn't get off the ground," Hill said.

The Royals' lone touchdown came on a Keyshawn Lee interception he returned to the end zone. The score presented a first in the history of Woodbury High School football: the Royals turned to Lisa Huska, a player on the girls varsity soccer team, to attempt the extra point. The play made her the first female player to ever attempt an extra point for the boys varsity football team.

Her attempt clanged off the crossbar, foiling her shot to become the first-ever female to record an extra point for Woodbury.

It would be the only attempt she got all game.

Huska said that, while disappointing, it was good to get the first kick of her football career out of the way.

"Everyone made me feel a lot better after," she said.

White Bear Lake built a comfortable 14-0 first-quarter lead, which lasted until the Lee touchdown.

After that, it was all Bears. The visiting team scored again on a passing touchdown with 2:32 left in the quarter, enough to give White Bear Lake a 21-6 halftime lead.

Woodbury came out of the break looking to pass, but senior quarterback Sawyer Moon threw an interception on a fourth-and-12 play that set up the Bears' next touchdown - a play that seemed to sap Woodbury of any momentum it had been trying to establish.

Down got worse on the ensuing drive, which began with a mishandled kickoff return by Lee - his second special teams miscue of the game - though Woodbury recovered the ball.

Later in the drive a Moon pass was tipped and landed in the hands of White Bear Lake's Tyler Hubman, who returned the pick for a touchdown. Woodbury found itself down 34-6, after blocking the Bears' extra point attempt.

"We really really out of synch," Hill said, reflecting on the difficulties on offense. "We normally sustain drives."

The Royals gave away two fumbles and two interceptions against White Bear Lake.

The game was Moon's worst of the season. He completed six of 23 passes for 66 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns.

The Royals spent most of the second half without standout running back Quran Al-Hameed, who was seen limping off the field early in the third quarter. Team officials said the injury didn't appear to be serious for Al-Hameed, who finished with 72 rushing yards against the Bears.

White Bear Lake later converted a on a fourth-and-one play that led to its sixth touchdown and a 40-6 lead. The Bears scored their final in the fourth quarter.

Woodbury will need his services next week when it faces SEC foe Roseville on the road. Hill called the Roseville game one of "absolutely critical mass"

"We need to take a deep breath and figure out who we want to be," Hill said, saying the upcoming game will be "huge for momentum."

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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