Mitchell, Hawks Dark and Stormy for Knights

Westwood quarterback Jalen Smith (3) drags a pair of Knights down field. (Photo/Ross Burton)

Westwood quarterback Jalen Smith (3) drags a pair of Knights down field. (Photo/Ross Burton)

FLORENCE — Home-field advantage hasn’t been much of a luxury for West Florence so far in 2015, but playing within the confines of Memorial Stadium for just the second time this season mattered little for the Knights against Westwood on Thursday night.

The Redhawk offense pushed the gas pedal to the floorboard on its first drive of the evening and kept it there all four quarters, amassing 441 total yards while riding a four-touchdown night from Rudy Mitchell in a 47-7 win.

“I thought we stayed the course and got better on offense as the night went on, but defensively we struggled,” said Knights’ head coach Trey Woodberry. “That’s a heck of a football team. Their offensive line is massive, and with a few defensive linemen and a linebacker out for us, it really showed. We just couldn’t slow them down at all.”

The mismatch in the trenches was evident quickly, a mismatch Mitchell took full advantage of over the course of a busy first half. The junior tailback rushed for 189 yards and averaged 16 yards per carry while scoring on four of Westwood’s five possessions in the first two quarters, which included runs from 70, 49, 33 and 2 yards out.

Mitchell’s night ended there, but that didn’t prevent Westwood from building on its 28-0 halftime advantage. Jalen Smith’s 41-yard strike to Malik Griffin widened the gap on the third play of the second half, and Winslow Powell II rounded out the scoring with runs of 5 and 16 yards.

Knights’ Quarterback Bowman Hiller anchored West Florence’s lone scoring drive that cut the deficit to 41-7 midway through the third.

Hiller completed a pair of passes for 51 yards, including a 37-yard throw to Drake Deal, before capping the 69-yard march with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Wyatt Rivers.

Hiller finished with 136 yards through the air, completing 11 of 17 attempts with an interception.

The Westwood (5-1) defense provided little room for the Knights’ ground game, holding W. Florence (1-5) to 106 yards rushing. Mike Lowery led the way with 40 yards, while Eron Darby followed with 36.

The Redhawks were slated to open region play Friday at Lugoff-Elgin. That game has been rescheduled because of the weather. A makeup date had not been announced at press time.


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