Turnovers Sink Blazers

Rudy Mitchell (34) cuts his eyes to his left as he avoids a shoestring tackle Saturday. (Photo/Ross Burton)

Rudy Mitchell (34) cuts his eyes to his left as he avoids a shoestring tackle Saturday. (Photo/Ross Burton)

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood Redhawks hosted the Ridge View Blazers Friday night at Richland 2 Stadium for a region football game. With Ridge View coming off a victory against the tough Dutch Fork Silver Foxes, it would seem like the Redhawks would have their hands full of Blazer; but it was not so, as Westwood dominated the game and won by a score of 37-16.

“They are really good on offense; they can throw and they can run,” Westwood head coach Rodney Summers said before the kick. “We don’t know exactly what to expect. We have a test on our hands tonight.”

Things got ugly right after the kickoff return by Deuntrey Gallman. A scuffle broke out among several members of both teams, but the fight was quickly broken up by the coaches and officials. Ridge View paid the price and was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Each team was forced to punt after their first possession. The first of several terrible punts by the Blazers gave Westwood the ball in Blazer territory. Rudy Mitchell rushed for double figures two plays in a row, and Willie Mc Connel caught a Jalen Smith pass for 28 yards and a first-and-goal on the 5-yard line. It was easy business from there for Mitchell to run the ball in for the score. Brandon Howard split the posts for the first extra point. Redhawk special teams were perfect for the night in PAT kicks and field goals. Jonathan Dyarmett filled in for Howard late in the game.

After the ensuing kick, Ridge View didn’t keep the ball for long, as Erricey Canaday intercepted a pass at the Ridge View 46 and ran it 15 more yards. A Smith keeper apparently gave Westwood their second touchdown, but it was called back on a holding penalty. Faced with a fourth-and-12 on the Blazer 14-yard line, the team looked to Howard for the 31-yard field goal, increasing the Redhawk lead to 10-zip.

The quarter ended with the ball in the hands of Ridge View, who were faced with fourth-and-1 on the Westwood 46-yard line. A good shot at a fourth down conversion was made more difficult when Ridge View caught a false start penalty. Notwithstanding, they went for it, and failed to convert. Westwood took over near mid-field.

With 9 minutes to go in the half, a pass by Blazer quarterback D’Marco Zeigler almost ended up in the hands of Canady, who tipped the ball high in the air as he attempted to intercept it. Malik Griffin was right there and intercepted the tipped ball and made it 47 yards downfield. Smith was sacked once and Mitchell was well covered, so the Redhawks had to settle for another Howard field goal, this time from the 38-yard line.

With 4:29 to go in the half, each team traded fumbles with recovery by the other team. Fortunately, the second recovery was by Redhawk Brian Horn.

The key plays of the Westwood drive were a 36-yard pass from Smith to Gallman, and a 15-yard personal foul assessed against Ridge View. The drive was finished off with an 8-yard touchdown run by Smith with a little over a minute to go in the half.

Westwood headed to the locker room with a not-quite-comfortable 20-point lead.

“Our defense is playing outstanding, giving us some turnovers,” Summers said at the break. “Brandon is giving us some field goals. We hope we can keep it up and run out the clock. Ridge View has shown they can come from behind. They have done it time and time again, so our lead isn’t enough.”

Ridge View took the kickoff to begin the second half. Their initial drive took 10 plays, but they couldn’t manage to get into Westwood territory. Westwood did little better once they got possession of the ball, but by the time Howard punted it away, 7 precious minutes had run off the clock.

With a couple of minutes to go in the third quarter, Smith hit speedy Montre Miller for the only score of the quarter. At the end of the quarter, the teams traded turnovers, similar to the twin fumbles earlier in the game. Smith’s pass was intercepted by Marvin Marshall, and on the next play, D’Marco Zeigler’s pass was intercepted by Isiah Johnson.

Westwood charged down the field, moving the chains three times until they reached the Blazer 26-yard line. With 9 minutes to go in the game, Mitchell scored the final Redhawk touchdown, to lead 34-0.

Ridge View finally got on the scoreboard when Tre’ High fired one off to Bernard Porter who covered 33 yards on the way to the goal line. Not strong in the kicking game, the blazers converted on the ground for 2 points. With only 6 minutes to play, it was pretty much in the bag for Westwood. Each team would score again, with Dyarmett kicking for three and a last minute touchdown by Ridge View against Westwood players with clean uniforms.

“We came out and played our brand of football,” Summers said. “We showed that we can hang with the best. This was a good football team and we showed we are a good football team too. Our guys believe in our system, and I hope we can carry this momentum against Blythewood. The rest of the season is only going to get tougher. We are focused on a region championship, and the only way to get there is week by week.”

Westwood hosts cross-town rival Blythewood on Friday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

 

WHS: 10-10-7-10 – 37

RV: 0-0-0-16 – 16

 

Scoring

First Quarter

WHS – Rudy Mitchell 5 run (Howard kick). 6:39.

WHS – Brandon Howard 31 FG. 3:35.

Second Quarter

WHS – B. Howard 38 FG. 7:08

WHS – Jalen Smith 8 run (Howard kick). 1:24.

Third Quarter

WHS – J. Smith 26 pass to Montre Miller (Howard kick). 1:53.

Fourth Quarter

RVHS – Porter 33 pass from High (Kelley Run). 6:32.

WHS – Jonathan Dyarmett 21 FG. 2:18.

RVHS – High 2 run (High run). 0:44.

 

Team Stats

 

WHS                RVHS

First Downs                           15                    12

Rush-yds                                40-174            29-63

Comp-Att-int                          5-11-1             11-20-3

Pass yds                                 107                 160

Fumbles-lost                          1-1                  1-1

Penalty-yds                            9-70                4-40

 

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: WHS – Miller15-115, Gallman 6-33, Rashawn Green 4-14, Smith 14-11, Griffin 1-1. RVHS – Kelley 10-34, High 8-14, Ronald Brown 5-13, Shemar Hinson 1-2, Zeigler 5-0

PASSING: WHS – Smith 5-11-107. RVHS – High 3-3-88.

RECEIVING: WHS – Miller 2-46, Gallman 1-36, McConnel 1-28, Jaylen Robinson 1-minus 3.  RVHS – Justin McCrae 3-61, Porter 2-52, Kelley 2-35, High 1-8, Cam Napper 2-5, Elijah Williams 1-0.