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Woodbury turns to sub QB, roars to victory

October 6, 2018

Woodbury sports teams are nicknamed the Royals and feature a lion as a mascot.

Gathered around coach Andy Hill after his football team’s 33-15 victory Friday at White Bear Lake, those young lions roared at Hill’s mention of quarterback Charlie Wilson.

A lower-body injury suffered by starter Jake Wenzel on the second offensive series meant turning to Wilson, a varsity wide receiver who quarterbacks the scout team in practice.

But Wilson inspired Woodbury (5-1) to victory with a calm demeanor that belied a fierce running style.

“It took him about a series but then he got into it,” Hill said. “He’s fearless. That’s what I love about him.”

Tied 7-7 at halftime, the teams went different directions in the third quarter, a separation that occurred almost entirely because of special teams plays.

Andrew Kraemer returned the opening kick of the second half 94 yards for a score and a 14-7 Woodbury lead.

A 22-yard field goal from Cade Keesling made it a 10-point advantage. Then a White Bear Lake (4-2) punt snap went out of the end zone for a safety.

Woodbury received the ensuing kick and made it count with Brock Rinehart’s 29-yard run for a score. The Royals’ 19 unanswered points were too much for the Bears to overcome.

Wilson made plays with his legs, rushing for more than 75 yards in the second half. He hurdled defenders and finished runs with his shoulder.

He scored the final Woodbury touchdown on a short run.

“I was nervous the whole first half,” Wilson said. “Before the second half, I calmed down in the locker room and came out and played football.”

Players rallied behind Wilson, elevating their games to ensure victory.

“He’s calm and collected,” Kraemer said. “If there’s a bad play, he just comes back to the huddle and says, ‘OK guys, here we go.’ But his play kicked us up a notch.”

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