‘Hawks Bowl Over Blazers

Westwood’s Shanard Stokes puts the wraps on Tripp Grooms. (Photo/Ross Burton)

WHS-49, RVHS-18

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood Redhawks (8-0, 2-0) continued their assault on class 4A and tightened their grip on the top spot in Region IV with a 49-18 drumming of the Ridge View Blazers (2-6, 0-2) Friday night at District 2 Stadium in Blythewood. Although he only played a quarter and a half, Andrew Plante’s 130 rushing yards and three touchdowns catapulted the Redhawks to a 42-6 halftime advantage and ultimately, the victory.

After the game, Westwood head coach Rodney Summers told The Voice he was pleasantly surprised by the success of the Redhawks’ ground game Friday night.

“Really and truly I thought this was going to be a tough game,” he said. “They’re (Ridge View) so big up front and we didn’t know if we could run the ball.”

Westwood moved the ball with ease on their opening drive. Adonus Lee opened things up with a 14-yard reception. Plante followed that up by carrying the ball three straight times before bulling his way up the middle, carrying a Blazer defender on his back and crossing the goal line.

“I think that set the tone,” Summers said after the game while discussing the opening drive. “I told the offense they could set the tone on the first drive and they went out and drove it right down the field.”

On the ensuing kickoff, Marcus Reaster-Glover juked and jived his way 44 yards to set up Ridge View’s offense at midfield, which allowed the Blazers to counter with a seven-play, 46-yard scoring drive of their own. Utilizing the play action bootleg, Tre High rolled out to his right and connected with Tyreek Wilson for a 7-yard passing touchdown. The point after was pushed wide left and the Redhawks held on to a 7-6 advantage 5 minutes into the contest.

Ridge View picked up three first downs on that scoring march, but would not manage another first down the entire first half.

“I just think our defensive guys woke up and started to play,” Summers said. “They realized it wasn’t going to be easy and they actually started to play.”

Westwood’s stingy defense came to life after that first drive and went on to hold Ridge View to just 139 yards of total offense and only 32 yards on 30 carries. The Redhawks are only allowing 8.25 points per game and are highly regarded as one of the top defenses in not only the Midlands, but the entire state.

“Our defense is outstanding and without them we wouldn’t be 8-0 right now,” Summers said. “Our staff does a great job of having our guys in the right spots. It seems to be a group effort and I think that we’re disciplined. Our defensive coordinator also does a great job teaching form tackling.”

That 1-point deficit was as close as the Blazers would get, because the Redhawks would rattle off 35 unanswered points.

After three straight touchdowns by Plante, the Westwood special teams unit got involved halfway through the second quarter when Richard Hall scooped up a blocked punt and rumbled 20 yards for the score.

Already leading 28-6, Westwood reached into its bag of tricks and pulled out a wide receiver screen pass that went for a touchdown. Jalen Smith caught a screen and then lofted a perfect ball 29 yards down the right sideline to find a wide open Lee in the end zone.

With less than a minute to play before the break, John Trapp put an exclamation point on a near perfect first half when he stretched a sweep play 13 yards over the right pylon to establish a 42-6 lead at the break.

“We want to put that perfect game together,” Summers said. “We know were not going to play perfect each and every day, but that is something we strive to do.”

Next up for Westwood is a team that plays just 4 miles away, the Blythewood Bengals, and Summers made no bones about the hype around “Spirit Week” and preparing to play their cross-town rivals.

“A lot of our guys are from Blythewood and we took it on the chin that first year,” he said. “But those guys are really looking forward to this week and we hope to show up and play as well as we did against Ridge View.”

The Bengals will be looking to bounce back after suffering a 56-14 loss at Dutch Fork Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Blythewood High School. Fans can follow live game updates by visiting The Independent Voice of Fairfield County and Blythewood’s Facebook page.

WH: 14-28-7-0 – 49

RV: 6-0-0-12 –18

Scoring

First Quarter

WH – Andrew Plante 9 run (Brandon Howard kick). 10:49.

RV – Tyreek Wilson 7 pass from Tre High (Nick Goff kick fail). 7:23

WH – Andrew Plante 11 run (Brandon Howard kick). 4:15

Second Quarter

WH – Andrew Plante 2 run (Brandon Howard kick). 7:08

WH – Richard Hall 20 punt block return (Brandon Howard kick). 5:32

WH – Adonus Lee 29 pass from Jalen Smith (Brandon Howard kick). 1:58

WH – John Trapp 13 run (Brandon Howard kick). 0:39

Third Quarter

WH – John Trapp 18 run (Brandon Howard kick). 8:06.

Fourth Quarter

RV – Tre High 9 run (Tre High pass fail). 4:33

RV – Damani Staley 49 fumble return (Tre High rush fail). 0:47

Team Stats

WH                RV

First Downs                    18                    8

Rushes/Yards              42-314         30-32

Passing Yards                 118             107

C-A-INT                       6-9-0            12-20-2

Fumbles/Lost                 3-3              0-0

Penalties/Yards                5-43        4-40

Third downs                   1-5              3-11

Fourth downs                   1-2             0-2

Individual Stats

RUSHING: WH – Andrew Plante 15-130, Rudy Mitchel 5-73, John Trapp 5-44, Jalen Smith 6-29, Winslow Powell 4-22, Nick Leveretter 4-10, Rashawn Green 3-6. RV – D’MonShae Chandler 9-22, Tre High 9-11, Darius Dantzler 3-2.

RECEIVING: WH – Adonus Lee 4-94, Malik Griffin 2-24. RV – Tyreek Wilson 6-61, Marcus Reaster-Glover 3-39, Darius Dantzler 2-22.

PASSING: WH – Nick Leveretter 5-7, 89 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, Jalen Smith 1-2, 29 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. RV – Tre High 12-20, 107 yards, 1 TD 2 INT.

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