Redhawks Stumble in Opener

Westwood's Adonus Lee (5) hauls in the touchdown pass from Davis King in the second quarter.Redhawks' quarterback Davis King takes the snap and looks down field.

Friday night was a night of firsts for the Redhawks of Westwood High School: their first football game, their first road game, their first first down, their first touchdown. And, unfortunately for the ‘Hawks, their first loss, 34-7 to the Fairfield Central Griffins.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” Westwood head coach Rodney Summers said. “It was no mystery. We were playing a pretty good team.”

Both teams suffered a bit from the opening night jitters in the early going, with Westwood particularly plagued by snaps from center that were off the mark.

“We had a little adversity this week with the center who had to be pulled out and we had to put another kid in that hadn’t gotten hardly any snaps until Thursday,” Summers said. “You could see that in the first half. Cost us a couple of bad snaps, but he got better as the game went on.”

The ‘Hawks spilled the ball on the turf five times Friday night, losing one fumble and giving up a safety on a high punt snap.

“If we don’t turn the ball over and don’t have some of those bad mistakes, I think we compete with them tonight,” Summers said.

The first bad mistake came on the Redhawks’ second possession, when a snap from center sailed over the head of quarterback Davis King. Raheim McDaniel recovered the fumble for the Griffins at the Westwood 36, making way for a drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Damien Bell.

“We knew (McDaniel) was a heck of an athlete,” Summers said. “He was all over the field and we were real concerned with where he was all night.”

McDaniel and the Griffin defense pestered the Redhawks all night, holding them to 32 yards on the ground and 163 yards in the air.

On the next Redhawk possession, another errant snap sailed over the head of punter Raymond Hall who was chased to the goal line by Antonio Lewis and Nick Goins. Hall wisely pitched the ball out of the back of the end zone for the safety, giving the Griffins an early 8-0 lead.

Fairfield Central took the free kick on the Westwood 33 and overcame a flurry of penalties to drive the ball down to the Redhawk 5. From there, Bell drove the ball home once more and Compton Walker added the kick to put the Griffins up 15-0 with 1:43 left in the opening quarter.

The Griffins had run their lead to 21-0 on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Keith Workman from DeAndre Belton before the Redhawks’ offense slowly came to life. The ‘Hawks took the ball from their own 16 and, guided by the arm of King, cut through the seams in the Griffin secondary as the first half clock ticked down. Westwood had worked the ball down to the Fairfield 11 with only 30 seconds left in the half before hitting pay dirt on a touchdown strike into the corner of the end zone from Davis to Adonus Lee. Brandon Howard nailed the extra point to cut the Griffins’ lead to 21-7.

But it would be the only numbers put on the board by the Redhawks. After a scoreless third quarter, the Griffins tacked on two more touchdowns in the final frame, one a 3-yard run by Damien Bell and another a 29-yard burst from Larry G. Bell. The latter came on the first snap by the Griffins after a failed fake punt attempt by the Redhawks, gambling on fourth-and-14 from their own 37.

“We just said ‘go ahead and try it’,” Summers explained after the game. “We saw something on film that they were doing. They kept dropping the right-side guy in coverage, and not looking, and I think the person who was supposed to block the guy who was coming off the edge didn’t block him and if we had blocked him we had the seam. We didn’t have to get far, we said what the heck. Now the other team has got to prepare for it.”

For Westwood, the “other team” is Richland Northeast next week in the Redhawks’ home opener.

“It was a night of firsts,” Summers said. “We’ll celebrate the firsts and we’ll get better next week.”

 

FCHS – 15-6-0-13  34

WHS – 0-7-0-0    7

First Quarter

FC – D. Bell 2 run. Kick failed. (4:45)

FC – A. Lewis 9 safety (3:01)

FC – D. Bell 5 run. C. Walker kick. (1:43)

Second Quarter

FC – K. Workman 9 pass from D. Belton. Kick failed. (4:27)

WHS – A. Lee 11 pass from D. King. B. Howard kick. (:30)

Fourth Quarter

FC – D. Bell 3 run. Kick failed. (9:19)

FC – L.G. Bell 29 run. Walker kick. (7:38)

Records: FCHS: 1-0/0-0 WHS: 0-1/0-0

Team Stats

FC                           WHS

First downs         12                           13

Rushes/Yards    40-323                   19-32

Comp/Att/Int    10-16-0                 23-41-0

Pass yards           56                           163

Fumbles/Lost    3-1                          5-1

Penalties/Yds    14-120                   5-25

Individual Stats

RUSHING – FC: D. Bell 18-132. D. Belton 8-66. C. Jones 1-34. R. Goodwin 1-(-3). L.G. Bell 6-68. WHS: M. Canady 11-30. T. Gallman 5-21. D. King 3 (-22). J. Jenkins 1-3.

PASSING – FC: D. Belton 10-16. 56 yards. 0 INT. 1 TD. WHS: D. King 23-41. 163 yards. 0 INT. 1 TD. D. Williams 0-1. 0 INT.

RECEIVING – FC: C. Jones 2-11. T. Cook 5-16. J. Cook 1-9. J. Neal 1-8. K. Workman 1-9. WHS: V. Smith 9-76. T. Gallman 3-33. M. Canady 1-3. D. Jackson 2-11. A. Lee 4-37. J. Jenkins 1-2.