Redhawks Stay Red Hot

 

Westwood quarterback Nick Leveretter (12) break free from the West Florence defense Friday night. (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – Friday night’s contest was the last of the non-region games on the Redhawk schedule, as Westwood hosted the Knights of West Florence High School, a large and tough team. The Knights came out strong, but the Redhawk defense again proved difficult to overcome as the ‘Hawks prevailed 28-7.

The weather was kind to the teams for the first quarter, but the ominous signs of impending precipitation yielded fruit. By halftime it was a virtual monsoon, which made the homecoming ceremony and the rest of the game a miserable affair. The rain did not slack off until the end of the game, and the field was saturated with standing water for most of the night.

Westwood head coach Rodney Summers said before the kickoff that he hoped the week off didn’t disrupt the team’s tempo.

“We concentrated on staying healthy last week,” Summers said. “I’m hoping our tempo is going to be there and that we don’t come out slow. West Florence has some good linebackers there, and they will test our offense. We can go to the receivers if we have to, but we will stick to being a running team and hammer it if we can.”

All season long the Westwood defense has proven difficult to score upon. Friday’s game was no different as the defense managed to shut the Knights out of scoring. The Knight’s sole score came courtesy of Redhawk special teams and not the defense.

Westwood received the opening kickoff and faced a long field thanks to a clipping penalty against them during the run back. The first Redhawk drive took 14 plays and ran more than five minutes off the clock. The team ran 12 rushing plays, all by Andrew Plante and Nick Leveretter. Receivers Adonus Lee and Willie McConnel added 40 yards to the drive with magnificent flying catches. Westwood got close to the goal line thanks to a pass interference penalty against West Florence. Three plays later, Plante carried the ball across the goal line. Brandon Howard was perfect for extra points all night.

The score evened up after the next Redhawk possession. Before Howard got the punt off, what looked like a missed block allowed linebacker Robert Moses to get in there and block the punt. Trey Cotton was quickly on the ball and ran it in the very short distance into the Westwood end zone.

The kickoff to Westwood was fielded by Montre Miller at the Redhawk 21-yard line, and run back in spectacular fashion to the team’s 44-yard line. A couple of completions to Lee and some short runs gobbled up yardage. From the Knights’ 29-yard line, another penalty proved costly for West Florence. An unnecessary roughness call set the Knights back 15 yards, and placed Westwood well inside the Knight red zone. The second Redhawk score came three plays later as Winslow Powell zipped around the defenders for the touchdown. Along with the score, came the rain.

With a 1:24 to go in the half, West Florence quarterback Bowman Hilliard fired a long one out to Matt Thomas for a 42-yard WFHS gain. Thomas reached the Redhawk 14-yard line before he was downed. A subsequent pass interference penalty against Westwood made things look like the teams would hit the locker rooms with the score tied. With 50 seconds to go in the half, Hilliard tried to connect with Eron Darby near the goal line, but the pass was picked off by Whitney McLeod, ending West Florence’s best chance to finish out the half on an even keel with Westwood.

“We gave them that special teams score,” Summers said at the half. “We should be up 14 to nothing, but that kind of thing happens. This rain is forcing everyone to run the ball, so they will pack them in there in the second half. Hopefully we can keep doing what we are doing. Maybe we can catch the ball in the rain, who knows?”

After the first Knight possession of the second half, the punter gave Westwood a short field, something you never want to do with Plante and Lee lining up against you. Plante was handed the ball just past mid-field and ran through the West Florence defenders to the goal line, 48 yards down field. Not the fastest of runners, the rain and soggy field made chasing and tackling a slippery Plante very challenging. The Knight’s offense apparently had a more difficult time with the heavy rain than did the Redhawks. West Florence went three or four and out for the rest of the game, where the Redhawks moved the ball well.

With 6 minutes to go in the third quarter, the Redhawks began their final successful scoring drive of the game. It was all Leveretter and Plante but for the final carry across the goal line. Winslow Powell got the honors, and ran the ball in from the 10-yard line. Howard completed the scoring with the extra point. By this time, with Westwood leading 28-7, the task of making a comeback in dry conditions would be monumental. In the pouring rain, it proved impossible as West Florence could not find their way to the goal line, or even close enough for a field goal. Westwood’s only task was to run out the clock.

As the game was ending, so was the rain, much to everyone’s relief. Summers was understandably proud of his team.

“The defense played great again tonight,” Summers said. “We wore them down a little, broke some long runs. The line, I can’t say enough about them. We were prepared for situations like tonight, and we just wore them out. We are non-region undefeated, and we will take the region teams one at a time. We’re ready.”

Region play starts this Friday as the Redhawks host Lugoff-Elgin High School at 7:30 p.m.

 

WFHS: 7-0-0-0 – 7

WHS: 7-7-14-0 – 28

 

Scoring

First Quarter

WHS – Andrew Plante 1 run (Brandon Howard kick). 6:51.

WF – Trey Cotton 8 punt block return (Poinsette kick). 2:43.

Second Quarter

WHS – Winslow Powell 7 run (B. Howard kick). 10:38.

Third Quarter

WHS – A. Plante 48 run (B. Howard kick). 7:52.

WHS – W. Powell 10 run (B. Howard kick). 1:26.

 

Team Stats

                                                                WF                                         WHS

First Downs                                        6                                              21

Rushes/Yards                                    23-42                                     56-275

Passing Yards                                     72                                           61

C-A-INT                                             4-19-1                                   4-10-0

Fumbles/Lost                                    1-0                                          2-0

Penalties/Yards                                  4-38                                       8-78

 

Individual Stats

RUSHING: WF – Eron Darby 18-43, Mike Lowery 2-5, Malik Eaddy 1-2, Bowman Hiller 2-(-8). WHS – Andrew Plante 27-164, Jalen Smith 6-39, Nick Leveretter 15-27, Rudy Mitchell 1-20, John Trapp 4-9, Team 1-(-1).

RECEIVING: WF – Matt Thomas 1-42, Kyre Graham 2-27, Romel Hatcher 1-3. WHS – Adonus Lee 3-49, Willie McConnel 1-12.

PASSING: WF – Bowman Hiller 4-19, 72 yards, INT. WHS – Nick Leveretter 4-10, 61 yards.

Speak Your Mind

*