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Mary Woodard Named Atlantic Conference Player of the Week (Presented by Commons)

Updated: Apr 15, 2022

By Derek Fleming, Staff Writer, WNFC

In only her second year playing women’s tackle football with the WNFC, Mary Woodard is quickly establishing herself as one of the league's top threats on both offense and defense. In Week 2, Woodard put up impressive stats in all three phases of the game as the Alabama Fire defeated the Florida Avengers 24-6.

Woodard amassed 101-yards on five receptions in the game, scoring two touchdowns, and added 17-yards on two rushes. Woodard currently leads the entire WNFC in receiving yards, receptions, and is tied for first for touchdowns. Her performance is particularly impressive considering that she has never played offense before.

“The way she has worked on her game and her route running and understanding the offense and to be that dominant in a game, it’s crazy,” Head Coach Cedric Lane said. “She is so competitive and her energy is so infectious, she is just the most positive person on the team.”

Woodard, an All-American on defense in her rookie season in 2021 and also plays strong safety, is playing on offense to replace an injured teammate.

“When Rashida Young was injured, we knew someone had to step up and I wanted to take on the challenge,” Woodard said. “To connect with the quarterback this week against Florida, it felt amazing and things are still coming together.”

Coach Lane said that the most impressive aspect of Woodard’s 100+ yard receiving day was that the majority of her yards came after the catch.

On defense, Woodard led the team with eight tackles and two passes deflected. The Fire defense held Florida to only 74-yards receiving and 42-yards rushing, and intercepted two passes.

Woodard contributed on special teams as well, taking a kickoff return for 28-yards.

“Making tackles is more fun because being hit is not that fun,” Woodard said about the difference playing on offense this season.” But you just jump right up and you're like, you know what, I gained some yards. I feel good. Let's do it again.”


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