In Week 1, Woodmont fell behind 21-0 in the first half and came up short against Wren.
In Week 2, the Wildcats led Mauldin at the half, but a four-minute onslaught in the third quarter enabled the Mavericks to cruise to a victory.
This past Friday, Woodmont put the first two weeks behind, cashed in on its offensive chances and posted its first shutout in seven years in defeating Riverside 32-0.
“In both the Wren and the Mauldin game, we got down to the red zone a couple times and came away with no points,” Woodmont coach Ned Cuthbertson said. “When you’re in those competitive games in which either team could win, if you don’t step up and punch it on in, it’s going to cost you.
“Obviously we were able to do that a little better against Riverside, and hopefully we’re going to keep growing from that.”
Cuthbertson said it’s especially important that the Wildcats score touchdowns when down deep because they are playing without an actual kicker. Dawson Henis, who kicked fopr Woodmont last year, moved out of the district and outside linebacker Preston St. Martin is handling both the punting and the kicking.
One advantage the Wildcats have in the red zone — and everywhere else on the field — is junior running back Deonte Luster, who carried 16 times for 193 yards and a touchdown against Riverside. The 6-foot, 195-pound Luster has surpassed 100 yards each of the first three weeks and has gained 433 yards in all.
“This past offseason he worked his tail off,” Cuthbertson said. “He had a daytime job, and he also came to workouts over the summer, so he gained a lot of strength. Any time you have someone who’s gaining strength, their confidence is building.
“It matched up well with our offensive line, which is doing the same thing, developing, growing, getting stronger. They’ve been opening up some pretty big holes for him.”
Woodmont (1-2), which will try to even its record when it travels to Wade Hampton (1-3) Friday, had not shut out an opponent since defeating West-Oak 28-0 in Week 7 of the 2008 season.
Leading the way defensively for the Wildcats was junior Davonne Bowen, a 6-1, 210-pound end who had nine total tackles, five sacks, two tackles for loss and three hurries.
“He’s a little raw from the standpoint of defensive line play, because I don’t think he’s played that his whole life,” Cuthbertson said. “But he’s the fastest guy on our team, and he’s one of the strongest guys on our team. That speed and strength make him a force.”