Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas high school football, Trevor Woods, Katy ISD

Taylor’s Woods a ‘pick-6’ phenom

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 12/12/19

Sometimes Taylor senior linebacker Martin Nowlin will just sit back and watch in awe.

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Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas high school football, Trevor Woods, Katy ISD

Taylor’s Woods a ‘pick-6’ phenom

Posted

Sometimes Taylor senior linebacker Martin Nowlin will just sit back and watch in awe.

He’ll see an opposing quarterback launch an ill-advised throw in the direction of teammate and junior safety Trevor Woods. Any pass within Woods’ reach is a bold decision for any opponent.

And then Nowlin will see Woods leap to snare the ball and race the other way, untouched for yet another game-changing “pick-6,” or interception returned for a touchdown.

“It’s fun watching him,” Nowlin said. “Every time he gets a pick, I like to stop in the middle of the field and throw up my hands. Touchdown. You already know he’s running it back.”

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Woods has been a revelation this postseason for the Class 6A-Division II Region III champion Mustangs, who play Austin Westlake in the state semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at McLane Stadium in Waco. Woods has three interceptions returned for touchdowns in four playoff games, and four overall this season.

He has a pick-6 in each of the last two playoff games—a 38-yarder against Cypress Creek and 92-yarder against Humble—and also had a 33-yarder in Taylor’s first-round playoff win against Fort Bend Elkins.

“It is crazy,” Woods said. “They just keep giving it to me right when I’m in full speed, breaking to the ball.”

Woods’ 38-yard pick-6 against Cypress Creek during last Saturday’s regional final win was a back-breaker for the Cougars. It put Taylor up 24-0 with 2:39 left in the first quarter.

“That actually should have been Braden’s,” Woods said, referring to senior safety Braden Hay. “He (Cougars quarterback Julian Uwadia) saw Braden break on it so quick, he had to change in the middle of his throw and had to throw it to my guy. He stuttered, so it gave me even more time. Braden broke on that really well.”

Taylor coach Chad Simmons saw it coming. Woods gave him a heads-up.

“He told me, ‘If I’m off and they throw that little slant route, I’m picking that off,’” Simmons recalled. “And he did. He just recognizes things.”

Woods, who played varsity as a sophomore last season, had not had a pick-6 until this season. His first was his most memorable, a 100-yard scamper for a score in a 65-34 win over Deer Park on Sept. 14.

It’s no coincidence that the Mustangs are 4-0 in games which Woods returns an interception for a touchdown.

“It’s unheard of,” Simmons said. “Unheard of.”

Players and coaches are in awe of Woods. But Woods credits his coaches and teammates.

Woods said Taylor’s coaches give such a detailed, thorough scouting report each week that “we know what (opponents) are going to do before they do it.”

“We don’t even have to do much,” Woods said. “We know where everything is going to be. When we watch film, we have to know what the play-call is before the ball is even snapped. Coaches test us. All week, we get to where we can perfect it.”

Woods also noted the defensive line of junior ends Marcus Daniels and Jordan Daniels, and junior tackle VJ Bronson and senior tackle Jahmai Edwards as essential to his success. Because of their ability to consistently apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks, Woods and his fellow secondary mates Hay, senior cornerback Lee Davis, junior cornerback Cecil Ivey Jr. and sophomore cornerback Hollis Robinson can feast on rushed, wayward throws.

“It’s not about me,” said Woods, who is far from a one-trick pony with nine tackles for a loss, seven sacks and four fumbles caused this season. “Our entire defense has been flying around to the ball, and it makes my job that much easier. This is the most passion I feel I’ve ever played with, because we’re just so into it. We have this brotherhood that we don’t want to end.”

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