Redhawks Dismantle Clover

Mallik Griffin hangs onto the ball as he is brought down Friday by the Clover defense. (Photo/Ross Burton)

Mallik Griffin hangs onto the ball as he is brought down Friday by the Clover defense. (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood Redhawk football team totally dominated Clover High School Friday night, winning by a final score of 42-14. The game was effectively over by the first quarter buzzer, as Westwood led 28-0 at that point.

Last season, Clover almost defeated the Redhawks using their unusual “scrum” offense, as the Westwood coaches call it. Westwood ultimately squeaked by Clover 17-15. Clover would pack the box very tightly and grind out the yardage, 3-4 yards at a time, keeping the ball on the ground most of the time. Their offense would keep the clock going, limiting the opponent to only one or two possessions per quarter.

“They like to hold onto the ball on offense and control the clock,” Westwood head coach Rodney Summers said before the kickoff. “Last year we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities, so it was a close ball game.”

This year, Westwood knew exactly what to expect. With this year’s Redhawk offense, it was a different story. Westwood, with talented running backs, speedy tight ends and receivers, has so many ways to score it’s hard to predict which way they would go on any given play, making them hard to stop.

Westwood took the opening kickoff and moved the chains way downfield when Rudy Mitchell carried the first snap for 50 yards. However, Mitchell’s good start was negated when Jalen Smith’s next throw was intercepted by Noah Lindsey on Clover’s own 15-yard line. Two plays later, Winslow Powell caused Tenshi Her to fumble with Westwood recovering at the Clover 14-yard line. Andrew Plante ran the ball into the end zone for his first of two touchdowns on the night. Brandon Howard split the uprights for the extra point.

The Blue Eagles went three-and-out on their possession following the Redhawk touchdown. Their punter kicked a bad one, only going 10 yards, giving Westwood excellent field position, still in Clover territory. A roughing the passer penalty against Clover pushed the line of scrimmage close to the red zone, and Malik Griffin and Mitchell teamed up for the Redhawks’ second score. Jonathan Dyarmett traded places with Howard for the extra point.

Clover still could not mount the offense that was so effective last season, and they had to boot the ball away again. Again, Westwood got control of the ball in Clover territory. Plante’s run and Smith’s pass to Jaylen Robinson were each good for 20 yards or more and a first down on the Clover 4-yard line. Plante, almost as a formality, punched through for his second score of the quarter. Howard’s kick made it 21-0, Redhawks.

Clover still couldn’t get anything going, but this time went for in on fourth-and-3 from their own 27-yard line. They failed to move the chains, and Westwood took over on downs. From the Clover 34, Smith hit Willie McConnel for the touchdown with no time left in the first quarter. Westwood led 28-0.

The second quarter was business as usual for both teams for most of the remainder of the half. Shane Harkness picked off a Lindsey pass, but the Redhawks couldn’t capitalize on their good fortune. With 4 minutes to go, Westwood had a successful drive, moving the chains four times. Mitchell got his hands on the ball and ran 21 yards for the only score of the quarter. Westwood headed to the locker room with a 35-point lead.

“We finally came out fast,” Summers said at the break. “Defense is getting turnovers, that’s huge. Some starters have to remain, but you will see Rashawn Green and some of the other guys getting reps in the second half.”

The second half was a huge opportunity for some of the non-starting players to show their stuff. As it turned out, they have plenty of stuff to show and demonstrated the great depth Westwood possesses.

With it’s first team still playing, Clover started playing their game. They got the ball first in the second half and ran 10 plays, moving the chains three times in the process, and scoring after Her ran the ball 34 yards across the goal line. Redhawk quarterback Green teamed up with speedy Devon Preston to come right back with a Westwood touchdown.

Both teams mostly kept the ball on the ground in the final quarter, which went by quickly. A turnover late in the game set up the final Clover score. They scored their last touchdown with less than 2 minutes to go, and the game ended with a dominant performance by Westwood.

Westwood (3-0) hosts Kennan High School (2-1) on Friday at Richland 2 Stadium.


CHS: 0-0-7-7 – 14

WHS: 28-7-7-0 – 42



First Quarter

WHS – Andrew Plante 1 run. Brandon Howard kick. (8:36)

WHS – Rudy Mitchell 6 run. Jonathan Dyarmett kick. (5:36)

WHS – A. Plante 4 run. B. Howard kick. (2:11)

WHS – Willie McConnel 34 pass from Jalen Smith. J. Dyarmett kick. (0:00)

Second Quarter

WHS – R. Mitchell 21 run. B. Howard kick. (1:44)

Third Quarter

CHS – Tenshi Her 34 run. Nicolas Sciba kick. (5:42)

WHS – Devon Preston 2 run. J. Dyarmett kick. (3:24)

Fourth Quarter

CHS – B. Cavanaugh fumble recovery. N. Sciba kick. (1:50)


Team Statistic


WHS                            CHS

First Downs                           19                                12

Rushes/Yards                        21-210                        43-179

Passing Yards                          165                             77

C-A-I                                        9-16-1                         6-13-1

Fumbles/Lost                          1-1                              2-2

Penalties/Yards                     8-60                            5-55


Individual Statistics

RUSHING: WHS – Rudy Mitchell 5-80, D. Gallman 7-47, R. Green 2-4, Andrew Plante 7-43. CHS – T. Her 6-51, Hickman 4-33, Hubert 9-29, Tyson 3-22, Wright 3-19, Clark 10-12, Smith 2-7, Harkey 1-4, Jones 2-3, Lindsey 3-(-1).

RECEIVING: WHS – Griffin 3-81, Robinson 3-37, McConnel 1-34, Gallman 1-19, Miller 1-14. CHS – Hubert 2-30, Clark 2-29, Tyson 1-11, Her 1-7, Plummer 1-0.

PASSING: WHS – Jalen Smith 7-12, 132 yards, INT; R. Green 2-4, 33 yards. CHS – Lindsey 5-12, 77 yards, INT; Swink 1-1, 0 yards.

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