Redhawks Skin Gators

 

Westwood’s Whitney McLeod (21) jars the ball loose from River Bluff’s Pat Bagwell. (Photo/Ross Burton)

LEXINGTON – The Westwood Redhawk football team, in its third year and its 4A debut, came onto the field Saturday and showed no mercy. Despite the team’s youth and relatively small school size for a 4A team, they demolished the Gators of River Bluff High School, 46-0.

Fortunately for the teams, the prior game didn’t end until about 8 p.m., and the sun had gone down, cooling the stadium somewhat. Despite that, the temperature was still warm, and the air very humid.

The first and only score of the first quarter came as a result of a 13-play Redhawk drive, highlighted by a 21-yard completion and a keeper by Redhawk quarterback, Nick Leveretter. Two plays later Andrew Plante carried the ball in for six. The PAT kick by Brandon Howard was good, ending the quarter with a score of 7-0 Redhawks.

The second quarter was all Redhawks. Due to the excellent running by Plante and John Trapp, coupled with ability of Leveretter to connect with Diamond Williams, they could not be stopped. On the other hand, the Gators ended each drive with a punt and only one first down. The one instance when Westwood had to punt, the punt returner fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Anthony Douglas, and the Redhawks could continue their drive.

Twenty-seven seconds before the halftime clock ran out, Howard put the ball through the uprights for the field goal. In all, Westwood’s second quarter added two touchdowns and the field goal to the scoreboard. They headed for the locker room leading 23-0.

Suggesting that the 23-0 score made the game a done deal, Westwood head coach Rodney Summers disagreed.

“It’s never a done deal,” Summers said at the break. “We have to stay as loose as we can and stay hydrated. Don’t relax, we can’t relax and let these guys get back in the game. We hope to get a few more scores so we can get some reps for the second team guys.”

Things just got worse for River Bluff in the third quarter. After receiving the second half kickoff, quarterback Steven Kight was sacked twice for a total of 21 yards lost. A third-down run for only one yard caused the team to have to punt from deep in their own territory. The punt was caught by Malik Griffin and returned 27 yards to the RBHS 34-yard line.

It was a simple matter for Westwood’s Winslow Powell to race to the end zone in two running plays. Howard missed the extra point, but the team was far ahead and not looking back. By this time the Redhawk second team was getting their reps. Powell replaced Plante; Jalen Smith had replaced Leveretter; Dominic Corbitt replaced Diamond Williams; Montre Miller was in; and Jonathan Dyarmett had replaced Howard.

Despite the second team’s presence on the field, the Westwood score-fest continued. Smith led the team in a 13-play drive, all running plays but one, ending in a Dyarmett field goal. Shortly after regaining possession, a Kight pass intended for Robbie Barrett was intercepted by Richard Hall who ran the ball in for a Redhawk touchdown. Dyarmett’s kick was good for the extra point.

On their next possession, Smith kept the ball five plays in a row for a total of 46 solo yards gained against the hapless Gators. The next play, a handoff to Devon Preston, resulted in the last touchdown of the night. Dyarmett’s kick was again good.

To make matter worse for RBHS, if that’s possible, with 1:11 to go in the game, Kight fumbled the snap for a 15-yard loss. The final play of the game, he kept the ball for a loss of seven more yards. The final buzzer sounded with the scoreboard showing 46-0, Westwood.

A happy Summers was optimistic that the team still had more in it.

“We need to learn from this game,” Summers said. “We will go back and look at the film and correct some mistakes. We will get better and better.”

Next will be the Redhawks’ first 4A home game against the school from where many of the coaches and players began their careers, Richland Northeast High School. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at Westwood.

“Stepping up to 4A is huge,” Summers said. “We can’t wait to take on the Cavaliers.”