Vikings Edge Redhawks

Westwood’s Deante Drakeford (10) and Anthony Douglas (24) bring down Spring Valley’s John Miller. (Photo/Ross Burton)

COLUMBIA – The injury-plagued Westwood Redhawks took on the Vikings of Spring Valley High school on Friday night at Harry Parone Stadium in Columbia. The greatly improved Redhawks have done themselves proud so far this season against mostly 4A schools, even coming off victorious against the Richland Northeast Cavaliers at this same venue. However, facing a 4A school like Spring Valley, ranked 11th in the state, was a daunting proposition. Un-intimidated, the Redhawks took on the challenge with very respectable results, losing by only 10 points, 24-14.

Several key Westwood players didn’t participate because of injury. Two key linebackers were sidelined, as well as running back Miquelle Canady. Starting quarterback Chris Patterson injured his hand in practice and was expected to play at least some of the game, but Nick Leveretter ended up with the quarterback duties.

Westwood head coach Rodney Summers did his homework and expected a tough game.

“It will be tough. You know they look really good on film,” Summers said before the game. “They don’t throw the ball much, but when they do, they make big plays. They run that option, so if we aren’t disciplined on defense, they could run the ball up and down the field on us.”

The first quarter was dominated by the Vikings. To be more specific, one Viking: John Miller. The Redhawks won the toss and elected to receive. On the very first play of the game, Westwood quarterback Nick Leveretter’s pass, intended for Vyncint Smith, was intercepted by De’marqus Musgrove on the Spring Valley 38-yard line. The resulting Viking drive took 11 plays; resulted in four first downs; and ended with a handoff to Jordan Williams for the touchdown. The point after kick was good and the Vikings led the Redhawks 7-0. John Miller carried the ball six times during that scoring drive.

The Redhawks’ second possession was little better than their first. An incomplete pass and two running plays for a loss of seven yards forced the Redhawks into a punting situation. Brandon Howard’s punts are always good, and this one went for 30 yards.

The Viking’s second scoring drive was nearly as successful as their first. On the second play of the drive, Miller snatched the ball from quarterback Chris Adams and wove his way through the Redhawk defense before being stopped 32 yards later by Whitney McCleod on the Westwood 21-yard line. After Miller’s run, the Spring Valley momentum was stalled a bit and it looked like a punt or a field goal would be coming. However, a costly facemask penalty gave new life and a first down to the Vikings. The Redhawk defense would have none of it, as they held Spring Valley to only a single yard in the next three plays. Spring Valley brought out the field goal unit and Cooper Gresham kicked the ball to the left, but just made it between the goalposts. The score stood at 10-0, Spring Valley.

Things took a turn for the better for the ‘Hawks late in the first quarter and into the second. Leveretter started finding his receivers as he hit Terrance Anderson once for 19 yards; Smith once for 8 yards; and Adonus Lee, twice for 14 yards. The Redhawk luck ran out when the team was knocking on the door with first-and-goal on the Spring Valley 8-yard line. Leveretter, on a keeper, fumbled the ball in the end zone for a Viking touchback.

Spring Valley’s Miller was involved in every play of the next drive with three carries and two first downs. On second down, Adams pitched the ball to Miller who passed the ball to Williams. Westwood’s Deante Drakeford was right there for the interception. Drakeford ran the ball back 27 yards to the Viking 44-yard line. On the next play, Leveretter fired the ball 31 yards to Lee on the Viking 13-yard line. On the next play Christian Brown ran the ball into the end zone for the touchdown. Howard’s kick was good, cutting the Spring Valley lead to 10-7.

Spring Valley’s Miller, who had been dominating the game’s offense, had his best play of the night when he took the handoff and ran for 74 yards and another Viking touchdown on their next possession. Gresham’s kick was good, upping the Viking lead to 17-7 going into halftime.

The Vikings came out of the break intending to take no prisoners. On the opening possession, they moved the ball steadily down field via one complete pass and 10 running plays, usually by Miller. Spring Valley caught a break on the Westwood 25-yard line when the Redhawks were called offsides. The next play was a textbook Miller handoff, which resulted in the Viking’s third touchdown. Gresham’s kick again was good, and Spring Valley took a 24-7 lead.

With 51 seconds to go in the third quarter, Spring Valley’s Adams fumbled on his own 47-yard-line. Isaiah Johnson recovered the ball for the Redhawks in great field position. Between successful quarterback keepers by Leveretter and rushing by Brown, the Redhawks scored again with 8:18 to go in the game. Howard put the ball between the uprights for the extra point, whittling the Viking lead down to 24-14.

The following Viking drive lasted 13 plays with four first downs, but was stopped when Tyriek Bell recovered a Viking fumble. The game ended with the Redhawks in possession, but without enough time to score again.

“You know, I’m a little happy that it wasn’t a blowout, but still, offensively, we have to move the ball,” Summer said. “Defensively, we were down two linebackers. It was going to be a challenge and for those guys to go in there and do what they did. I thought we did a really good job.”

This Friday, the Redhawks host Ridge View in their final test before region play. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

 

WHS: 0-7-0-7 – 14

SVH: 10-7-7-0 – 24

 

First Quarter

SV: Jordan Williams 8-run. Cooper Gresham kick. (7:53)

SV: C. Gresham 26 FG. (2:43)

Second Quarter

WH: Christian Brown 13 run. Brandon Howard kick. (7:38)

SV: John Miller 74-run. C. Gresham kick. (6:26)

Third Quarter

SV: J. Miller 16-run. C. Gresham kick. (6:29)

Fourth Quarter

WH: C. Brown 14-run. B. Howard kick. (8:18)

 

SV                           WH

First Downs                        27                           14

Rushes/Yards                    64-464                   28-131

Passing Yards                     36                           104

C-A-Int                                 2-6-1                      11-21-1

Fumbles/Lost                    2-2                          3-1

Penalties/Yards                                7-67                       4-27

 

RUSHING: WH – Christian Brown 17-99, Nick Leveretter 11-32. SV – John Miller 27-274, Adams 15-77, Williams 6-41, Lee 6-23, Glover 2-20, Koon 5-16, Wells 3-13.

RECEIVING: WH – Adonus Lee 4-48, Vyncint Smith 5-40, Terrance Anderson 1-19, Christian Brown 1-(-3). SV – R. Lee 1-19, Foster 1-17.

PASSING: WHS – Nick Leveretter 11-21, 104 yards, 1 INT. SV – Christ Adams 2-4, 36 yards; John Miller 0-2, 1 INT.