‘Hawks Hold Off Dogs, Jockey for Playoff Position

In spite of early ball control woes, Christian Brown and the Redhawks recovered to put away Camden Friday. (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – Friday night, the Westwood Redhawks hosted the Bulldogs of Camden High School. Last season’s victory over the Bulldogs was the sole Westwood win last season, a detail not forgotten by the much improved Bulldog football team. At halftime, it looked like the Bulldogs might just pull out a victory to avenge last season’s lost, as they enjoyed a slim 13-10 lead going into the break. But the Redhawks got serious in the second half and took the victory by a score of 27-13.

“This is a good football team. They can do good things,” Westwood head coach Rodney Summers said before the game. “They have guys who can get on the edge and make things happen.”

The Redhawks came out of the gate blazing, as they often do. After a 35-yard kickoff return by Raekwon Geter, Chris Patterson heaved one to Vyncint Smith for a first down on the Redhawk 46-yard line. Another pass to Smith was caught deep in Camden territory and downed on the Bulldog 23-yard line. A pitch from Patterson went to Smith who passed the ball to Adonus Lee in the end zone for the touchdown. The point after kick by Brandon Howard gave the Redhawks the early lead, 7-0.

The first Camden drive ended during their first play when Denzel Martin was tackled on the Camden 30-yard line, fumbling the ball in the process. Antonio Maxwell recovered the ball for Westwood on the Bulldog 29 yard-line. Martin’s fumble was just the first of many turnovers, which would be a hallmark of the first half.

Despite scoring quickly and aggressively during their first drive, the Westwood offense had their hands full during the first half. The Redhawks could not make anything happen, even though they had the ball deep in Bulldog territory. Westwood went four–and-out, turning the ball back over to the Bulldogs on downs.

Camden had no better luck. After some good complete passes from Martin to Alexx Cooke and a few carries by Kendrice Slater, the tough Redhawk defense would not let them past the Westwood 25-yard line. Going for it on fourth down, Martin couldn’t find the intended Dontrell Miller and the ball fell incomplete. The Redhawks ran two plays, both carries by Christian Brown. On the second, Brown fumbled and Jace Stukes recovered the ball for the Bulldogs. Five plays later, Brandon Hampton ran the ball in for a Bulldog touchdown. The PAT kick by Camden’s lady kicker, Jordan Woody, was good, tying the score 7-7.

A huge scoring opportunity for the Redhawks arose when Anthony Douglas blocked a Camden punt. Westwood took over on the Camden 22-yard line. However, the offense again couldn’t make anything out of their good fortune, and on fourth down the Redhawk field goal unit took the field. Howard’s field goal attempt was blocked by Weldon Cauthen as the first quarter ended.

Early in the second quarter, the turnover demons struck on the next three drives. Camden worked the ball down to near the Redhawk red zone, when Hampton fumbled on the Westwood 25-yard line. Maxwell made the recovery again. The Redhawks would do the same on their next possession when Nelson Semple stripped the ball from Brown. The third turnover in three possessions came when Whitney McLeod intercepted a Martin pass.

A sack and a short punt gave the Bulldogs an opportunity late in the second quarter. With five minutes to go in the half, Hampton crossed the goal line to give the Bulldogs a six-point lead. Woody’s kick went low, below the crossbar, missing the extra point. On the final drive of the half, the Redhawks could not pull off the touchdown, but did get into field goal range. Howard’s 23-yard attempt was good, narrowing the Camden lead to 13-10. As nice as it was to head for the locker room in the lead, Camden’s touchdown was their last score of the game.

“We haven’t been fumbling lately and I don’t know why we’re starting now,” Summers said at the half. “Our defense is playing great. Now we need to get the offense to start moving the ball.”

After halftime, gone was the turnover-fest and gone was the tentative Redhawk offense. Westwood scored on a 14-play drive with Brown carrying the ball 11 times. Brown ran the ball over the goal line from four yards out for six. Howard’s perfection from the three continued as he put the ball through the uprights for the extra point. With that score, Westwood retook the lead 17-13.

The final quarter began with Camden in possession. On the CHS 40-yard line, Douglas intercepted Martin’s pass, which was intended for Cooke. The interception ultimately cost the Bulldogs three as Howard put the ball through the uprights from 32 yards out.

Another Bulldog fumble came at high cost when Slater lost the ball to Bradley Carter at the Camden 35-yard line. Two complete Patterson passes to Vyncint Smith brought the ball to the Bulldog 17. A third complete pass to Lee gave the Redhawks the final touchdown of the night with 7:51 to go in the game.

Camden was forced to punt after an unsuccessful drive, unable to get into Westwood territory. After receiving the punt, Westwood ran as much time off the clock as they could in their next drive, turning the ball back over to Camden with 1:29 to go in the game. Camden went four-and-out, and Patterson took a knee to end the game with a score of 27-13, Westwood.

“We ran it in on them in the second half and it seemed to work,” Summers said. “Christian (Brown, after being injured on a play) got back in the game after we wrapped his arm up and he played through the pain. Hat’s off to that young man for what he did in the second half. They started blitzing a lot and we finally settled down and figured out what they were doing and adjusted for that.“

When asked about the upcoming playoffs, Summers added, “Hopefully we will wrap up second place in the region. To succeed, we need to cut down on our mental mistakes on offensive and work on our technique. Defensively, we need to play aggressively like we are doing. We hope the playoffs roll in here (at Westwood).”

Westwood will travel to Eastover on Friday to take on the Lower Richland Diamond Hornets in the final game of the regular season.


CHS – 7-6-0-0 – 13

WHS – 7-3-7-10 – 27

First Quarter

WHS – Adonus Lee 23 pass from Vyncint Smith. Brandon Howard kick. (10:48)

CHS – Brandon Hampton 5 run. Jordan Woody kick. (3:39)

Second Quarter

CHS – B. Hampton 1 run. Kick failed. (2:38)

WHS – B. Howard 23 FG. (0:06)

Third Quarter

WHS – Christian Brown 4 run. B. Howard kick. (0:40)

Fourth Quarter

WHS – B. Howard 32 FG. (9:35)

WHS – A. Lee 17 pass from Chris Patterson. B. Howard kick. (7:51)


CHS                             WHS

First Downs                           14                                18

Rushes/Yards                                    44-145                                    47-179

Passing Yards                                    75                                166

C-A-I                                        7-16-2                         13-21-0

Fumbles/Lost                                    5-2                              3-2

Penalties/Yards                                 5-46                            6-49


RUSHING: CHS – Kendrice Slater 19-83, Hampton 14-56, Alexx Cooke 1-5, Dontrell Miller 1-1, Denzel Martin 9-0. WHS – Christian Brown 25-104, Chris Patterson 15-68, Miquelle Canady 5-8, Jeremy Jenkins 1-2.

RECEIVING: CHS – A. Cooke 5-55, D. Miller 2-20. WHS – Vyncint Smith 6-93, Tyrel Galman 1-4, Raekwon Geter 1-3.

PASSING: CHS – Denzel Martin 7-16, 75 yards, 2 INT. WHS – Chris Patterson 12-20, 143 yards, TD; Vyncint Smith 1-1, 23 yards, TD.

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