Frank Woolley stopped trying to avoid tacklers a couple of games ago. As a result, the Ocean City High School senior is running for more yards.
Woolley ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-7 win over Vineland last Friday. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Woolley ran for 207 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-39 win over Middle Township on Oct. 18.
"That's what I should have been doing all year," Woolley said. "I was trying to do juke moves (early in the season). I just had to realize I'm a downhill runner. I need to mow people over and not go around them."
After a 0-4 start, Ocean City has won two straight. The Red Raiders will get a forfeit win over Lower Cape May Regional this week to improve to 3-4. Ocean City plays at Egg Harbor Township (1-5) on Nov. 8.
One play against Vineland typified Woolley's back-to-basics running style. Ocean City had the ball at the Vineland 22-yard-line. Woolley grabbed a handoff and got hit by a Vineland defender at the 19. Woolley kept moving his legs. More Vineland defenders joined the scrum. The pile didn't stop moving until Woolley reached the 5-yard-line.
The 17-year-old, who lives in Upper Township, has carried 169 times for 904 yards and seven touchdowns. He has 2,076 career rushing yards, which is No. 4 in school history. That's not bad for someone who began his high school football career as a lineman.
Woolley wants to play college football and is looking at Division II and Division III schools.
In a telephone interview Tuesday night, Woolley spoke about several topics, including how the Red Raiders persevered through their 0-4 start.
On Ocean City's expectations before the season: We said we are a good team and we could do something. We have a lot of seniors. It's an impressive group, and we're getting things back to where they need to be.
On Ocean City's 0-4 start: We just worked hard. We got past the (losses) and started to win games. It was on the seniors. But we never really got down. We just stuck together.
On the win over Middle Township - Ocean City's first win of the season: That was great. We got some confidence and we got on a roll.
On Ocean City's expectations for the rest of the season: Our goal is to win out and keep playing good football the rest of the season. We're ready to roll. We have confidence and are ready to go.
On being one of the top rushers in Ocean City history: It's one of the best feelings, especially since I started as a lineman. I didn't even think I would get a chance to get to run the ball at the varsity level. I just kept on working. The weight room transformed me. I got better and better, and I can't believe I'm in this position.
On his high school football career coming to an end: It's been a journey. High school football is a once-in-a-lifetime thing to do. Not too many people do it. To be part of a team and being with my boys, that's what I'm going to miss the most.