Redhawks Rally Past Chester

Rudy Mitchell on one of his three carries Friday night before the game was suspended and Mitchell went down with a hip injury. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Rudy Mitchell on one of his three carries Friday night before the game was suspended and Mitchell went down with a hip injury. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

BLYTHEWOOD (Aug. 20, 2016) – It wasn’t easy. The weather didn’t cooperate. Injuries, turnovers and penalties complicated matters. But Dustin Curtis got his first win as Westwood’s new head football coach, 23-20 over Chester Saturday in a game postponed from Friday night.

“Last night we felt really good about how the game started, so you do hate for it to end the way it ended with Rudy (Mitchell) getting hurt and us not being able to come back out at the same time,” Curtis said. “It’s probably more stress on us as coaches . . . Kids are resilient. . . . I’m proud of them the way they turned the tide when Chester had all the momentum at halftime.”

Mitchell carried the ball just three times Friday for 44 yards before going down with a hip injury. Curtis said he expects Mitchell to be back, hopefully before region play begins on Sept. 30.

When the storms rolled in for good Friday, Westwood had the ball at the Chester 40 and held the momentum. Saturday, the Cyclones seized that momentum, forcing a turnover on downs and fighting to a scoreless first-quarter draw.

A Redhawk fumble on their own 2-yard line at the end of the first set Chester’s Malik Williams up with an easy scoring run and a 7-0 lead to being the second period of play.

Late in the half, Quay Hardin picked off an Elijah Heatley pass at the Chester 4 and returned it to the Cyclones’ 27. Williams led Chester on the march, taking it in himself from 1-yard out with 3 seconds left in the second. The 2-point attempt came up short, but Chester went into the locker room up 13-0.

But in the third quarter, the Redhawks got off the canvas.

Dermonti Romey returned the opening kickoff from his 27 to the 50, giving Westwood the short field. And they made short work of it.

Heatley quickly moved them into Chester territory with a 22-yard pass to Jaylan Graham. Later, on second-and-7, Heatley found Cortes Branham with a 26-yard TD strike. The point after kick by D.J. Fields put Westwood on the board and in the game, now down 13-7.

“The kids on offense just had to come out and execute,” Curtis said. “We knew that Chester was going to bring pressure and they did a great job of doing that. They got us out of rhythm a little bit when we came back out today. The defense really hung in there.”

Chester answered two drives later when Williams stroked a 55-yarder to John Erby with 5:31 left in the third. Erby’s PAT moved the needle to 20-7.

But it would be the last Cyclone points of the game.

On their first play after the ensuing kick, the Redhawks closed the gap. Heatley hit Branham with a tunnel screen near the Westwood 35, and Branham took it to the house. The kick by Fields cut the Chester lead to 20-14 with 5:03 left in the third.

The Redhawk defense put Chester in a bind on the Cyclones’ next drive, pushing them back to their own 5-yard line and forcing a punt on fourth-and-41. Erby, punting from the back of his own end zone, took the snap and stepped out of bounds, opting for the safety. Westwood now trailed 20-16 with 2:26 left in the third.

The Redhawks finally grabbed the lead with 10:42 left in the game when Heatley tossed the screen again, this time to Kaden Briggs from 67-yards out. Fields’ point after made it 23-20, Westwood.

“When teams are bringing five- and six-man pressure and playing a lot of man-to-man, that’s (hitting the screen) something you have to be able to,” Curtis said.

The Redhawks (1-0), host Westside next Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“We know they’re pretty good,” Curtis said. “We know they’re going to be really good on offense and we’ve got to expect another dogfight just like this.”


C: 0-13-7-0 – 20

W: 0-0-16-7 – 23



Second Quarter

C – Malik Williams 2 run (John Erby kick). 11:56.

C – M. Williams 1 run (run failed). 0:03.

Third Quarter

W – Cortes Branham 26 pass from Elijah Heatley (D.J. Fields kick). 10:50.

C – John Erby 55 pass from M. Williams (J. Erby kick). 5:31.

W – C. Branham 70 pass from M. Williams (Fields kick). 5:03.

W – Team safety. 2:26.

Fourth Quarter

W – Kaden Briggs 67 pass from E. Heatley (Fields kick). 10:42.



C                                             W

First Downs                        9                                              12

Rushes-Yards                     36-44                                     27-73

Passing Yards                     164                                         294

C-A-I                                      12-20-0                                 13-27-1

Fumbles-Lost                     0-0                                          3-2

Penalties-Yards                 9-75                                       13-97



RUSHING: C – Malik Williams 17-53, Jaylen Reid 13-33, P. Brown 5-9, John Erby 1-(-3). W – Rudy Mitchell 3-44, Elijah Heatley 7-(-25), Joshua Heyward 9-31, Jaylon Riley 1-(-4), Victor Smith 5-16, Rashawn Greene 2-11.

RECEIVING: C – J. Reid 4-0, T.J. Hollis 3-22, N. Coleman 2-49, P. Brown 1-0, John Erby 2-93. W – Kaden Briggs 5-92, Rashawn Greene 1-11, Lee Goings 2-52, Cortes Branham 3-109, Victor Smith 1-8, Jaylan Graham 1-22.

PASSING: C – Malik Williams 12-19, 164 yards, TD; John Erby 0-1. W – Elijah Heatley 13-26, 294 yards, INT, 3 TD; Isaiah Johnson 0-1.

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