Redhawks Flail Flora

Westwood’s Miquelle Canady (20) burns a path through the Flora defense. (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood Redhawks didn’t forget the 52-6 beating they took last year at the hands of the A.C. Flora Falcons and they were out to prove that the 2013 Redhawks were not the same as last season’s team. They did just that Friday night as they outscored the hapless Falcons 34-17. It really wasn’t even that close.

“I will tell you, this is a good football team,” Westwood head coach Rodney Summers said before the game. “They have lost a few players, but it’s a good football team. They have lost a few games by just one or two points. They have led a few games and just lost it right at the end.”

Both teams warmed up their quarterbacks with pass attempts early in the first quarter, but both teams had to relinquish the ball on their first possessions. The Redhawks went to work on their own 21-yard line. On the first play, quarterback Chris Patterson connected with Adonus Lee for a 34-yard pass right at mid-field. A 27-yard run by Christian Brown marked the ball near the red zone on the Falcon 25-yard line. The next five plays were carries by Brown for short yardage, but enough to get him into the end zone for the touchdown. The normally perfect Brandon Howard put the ball between the uprights for the extra point.

The Falcons weren’t able to get out of their own territory after receiving the ensuing kickoff. After six plays, they had to punt. With 2:40 to go in the first quarter, Westwood had the ball, but despite gaining five first-downs could not get past the Falcon 19-yard line. The Redhawks again went to Howard, who delivered a 36-yard field goal to put the team up by 10-zip as the second quarter began.

Spurred on by a 31-yard punt return by Miquelle Canady, the fired-up Redhawks worked the ball steadily down to the Falcon 10-yard line, and were knocking on the door. But Brown lost the ball, which was recovered on the goal line by James Croffie for the touchback. Flora’s luck turned when faced with a fourth-and-2 on their own 19-yard line. They went for the conversion, but Aven Pollard was stopped by Stephen Timmons a yard short of the first down.

On the only play of the next drive, Patterson handed off to Brown who ran the ball in for another touchdown. The consistent Howard gave the Redhawks a 17-0 lead with 4:10 to go in the half. Despite being late in the first half, neither team was done.

The Falcons were able to get across the goal line on the strength of a 23-yard pass from Brendan Greene to Denzel Johnson and a 26-yard run by Pollard. The PAT kick by Jack Grady added the extra point, saving the team from a first-half shutout. With 43 seconds to go in the first half, Westwood would gain back three points with the most amazing play of the game, if not the year.

Brown carried the ball twice, for 27 and 28 yards respectively, with the clock running out fast. With a single second on the clock, Howard booted the ball 48-yards right through the posts for the field goal. It hasn’t been that long since 48 yards was out of reach of most NFL kickers. At halftime, the scoreboard read 20-7 Westwood.

The Falcons took over the football on their own 20-yard line after Howard’s second-half kickoff landed in the end zone. The Falcons started the second half strong by moving the chains five times on their way to the Westwood 6-yard line, where the stingy Redhawk defense would allow them to go no further. The field goal unit took the field and Joseph Charlton added three more points to the Falcon’s score, reducing Westwood’s lead to 20-10.

Both teams had a bit of bad luck on their next possession. The Redhawks did steady work, moving the ball to the Falcon 26-yard line when Canady fumbled and Flora recovered. Two plays later, Greene’s pass was intercepted by Anthony Douglas, who ran the ball the short distance to the end zone. The third quarter ended with the Redhawks leading the Falcons 27-10.

The teams traded possession of the ball for the first nine minutes of the final quarter without any change in scoring. With 3:44 to go in the game, the most controversial play of the game occurred when Greene passed the ball downfield to a receiver who tipped the ball, which was picked up by Flora’s Rion Davis. The ball appeared by many to have hit the ground, but the officials ruled that it bounced off another player’s foot and remained in play. Regardless, Davis took the tip and raced 66 yards for a touchdown. Grady’s kick was again good, pulling Flora to within a touchdown and a field goal.

Flora attempted an onside kick, but the ball was caught by Westwood’s Diamond Williams and returned to the Redhawk 44-yard line. Two plays later, Brown ran the ball 57 yards for the final touchdown of the game. Howard’s PAT made it 34-17, Westwood. A Falcon fumble with 1:12 to go ended their chances, and Patterson took a knee twice to run out the clock.

“It was a great win. When we came out for the second half, I thought we played well again,” Summers said. “We had a lot of momentum from the first half and it kept things going our way.

“I don’t know what we’re doing at half time, but we’re going to keep doing it,” Summers added. “To win the upcoming games, I tell our team that for the rest of the season we need to keep running the ball like we’re running it. If we are able to run it, we will run it. I think we found our niche on offense and we’re going to keep doing it. Our receivers are doing a good job to keep the opponents off balance.”

This Friday, the Redhawks host the Camden Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. in a pivotal Region IV match-up.

 

ACF – 0-7-3-7 – 17

WHS – 7-13-7-7 – 34

 

First Quarter

WHS – Christian Brown 3 run. Brandon Howard kick. (5:20)

Second Quarter

WHS – B. Howard 36 FG. (2:57)

WHS – C. Brown 29 run. B. Howard kick. (4:10)

ACF – Aven Pollard 3 run. Jack Grady kick. (0:43)

WHS – B. Howard 48 FG. (0:00)

Third Quarter

ACF – Joseph Charlton 28 FG. (5:46)

WHS – Anthony Douglas 68 INT return. B. Howard kick. (2:56)

Fourth Quarter

ACF – Rion Davis 66 pass from Brendan Greene. J. Grady kick. (2:58)

WHS – C. Brown 57 run. B. Howard kick. (2:08)

 

WHS                            ACF

First Downs                             19                                15

Rushes/Yards                          47-385                         40-134

Passing Yards                          70                                134

C-A-I                                        3-8-0                            9-21-1

Fumbles/Lost                          4-2                               1-1

Penalties/Yards                       8-85                             6-45

 

RUSHING: ACF – Pollard 21-86, Johnson 4-27, Greene 8-13, Croffie 2-6, Davis 3-2, Botkin 1-2, Simon 1-(-2). WHS – Brown 28-289, Patterson 10-55, Canady 4-20, K. Smith 3-3.

RECEIVING: ACF – Davis 2-64, Johnson 3-34, Pollard 1-22, Aimone 1-12, Kapoor 1-3, Williams 1-(-1). WHS – Lee 2-55, V. Smith 1-15, Douglas 1-68.

PASSING: ACF – Greene 9-21, 134 yards, INT, TD. WHS – Patterson 3-8, 70 yards.

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