2018 S9 Player of the Year: Amin Woods’ historic playoff run one for the ages

By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider

Running back Amin Woods put up perhaps the greatest postseason performance in Section 9 history to lead Cornwall to the Class A state championship and a perfect season last week.

Woods, a junior, was thunder, lightning and showtime rolled into one for the Green Dragons. He seemed to flip a switch when the playoffs started and went off. What followed made Woods a hero in Cornwall.

He rushed for 1,079 yards in five playoff games, for an average of 215.8 per game, and eight touchdowns. Woods, the 2018 Section 9 Football Insider Player of the Year, culminated his dominance by rushing for 207 yards on 34 carries in a 21-14 win over Buffalo’s West Seneca East in the state title game.

“Woods was explosive, fast and powerful. He was the perfect combination,” said New Paltz coach Tom Tegeler, who watched Woods rush for 257 yards and two touchdowns against the Huguenots in the Section 9 Class A championship game on rain-soaked Faller Field in Middletown. “In the playoffs, he just put the team on his back. He got the hard yards when they needed them. What he and the team did was quite an accomplishment.”

A back-up last year, Woods was pegged by many as a breakout player this season, but still wasn’t the main focus during preseason camp. Much of the buzz surrounded Cornwall’s new quarterback, stud freshman Aidan Semo, and the Green Dragons’ new divisional rivals, Warwick and Minisink Valley. Some wondered if Cornwall would stay on top in Class A.

We all know how that worked out.

Cornwall needed Woods, who is 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, to be a force. His ability to run opened up the offense and took pressure off of Semo. Woods flashed his potential in Cornwall’s season-opener against Class AA Pine Bush, rushing for 192 yards and three touchdowns in a 32-22 win.

He added 100-yard rushing games against Section 9 Class B champion Marlboro and Class AA runner-up Monroe-Woodbury. Then came the playoffs, AKA “The Amin Woods Show.”

Cornwall running back Amin Woods.

“I just knew that I couldn’t let the team down,” Woods said. “I knew that I would be a workhorse in the playoffs and I had that mentality. I was ready to take over wanted to have the game in my hands, but I can’t take credit for everything. I have an incredible line and awesome teammates. What we accomplished together was an amazing experience.”

Here is a look at Woods’ playoff run:

  • Class A semifinals, Cornwall 41, Minisink Valley 0: 23 rushes, 157 yards, one touchdown.
  • Class A final, Cornwall 23, New Paltz 0: 23 rushes, 257 yards, two touchdowns.
  • Class A state quarterfinals, Cornwall 35, John Jay-Cross River: 19 carries, 282 yards, three touchdowns.
  • Class A state semifinals, Cornwall 21, Burnt Hills 20: 35 carries, 178 yards, two touchdowns.
  • Class A state championship, Cornwall 21, West Seneca East 14: 34 carries, 207 yards, one touchdown.

“I’ve never seen quite a playoff run like that,” Cornwall interim coach Eric Holzapple said. “I’ve seen some real good performances from players from schools such as Somers and Yorktown. They’ve had some pretty good kids, but what Amin did was impressive. It wasn’t like I was surprised. Amin came up big for us all season.”

With a big season comes even bigger expectations. Woods is a likeable, soft-spoken and humble young man. However, as we know, he doesn’t shy away from the limelight. Woods seemingly relishes pressure.

So what will he do for an encore next year?

“I need to take over and be the best I can be,” Woods said. “I need to do it again. I will never be satisfied.”

Follow Justin Rodriguez on Twitter at jrods9insider; Email: jrod845sports@gmail.com