AC Flora rallies past Westwood

BLYTHEWOOD – A rested Westwood football team jumped out to a 33-21 lead on A.C. Flora early in the second half Friday night at Memorial Stadium.

But a victory was not to be.

Aiden Mosely powered the Falcons offense the rest of the way, scoring two of his three rushing touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to send the Redhawks to defeat 36-33 in both teams’ Region 5-4A opener.

Mosely’s effort nearly offset Westwood’s rushing tandem of Antwan Nelson and Quentin McGill Jr. The two combined for 349 rushing yards and all five Redhawks touchdowns on the night.
Mosely had 227 yards and four touchdowns on the night, which came down to whether the Redhawks (1-5, 0-1) could stop the Mosely train in the fourth quarter, and push one more score in toward the end to seal a win.

“That’s definitely something that we’re going to do, we’re going to fight all the way,” Westwood head coach Robert O’Connell said. “I’m proud of them for that. We just needed one more play on each side of the ball and we get a win. We’ll learn from it and get better.”

Through three quarters at least, the Falcons (3-3, 1-0) could hardly contain Nelson and McGill. Nelson finished with 186 yards and two TDs on 26 carries and McGill had 163 yards and three scores on 19 attempts.

“We came in with some fresh legs and Antwan and Q did a great job,” Westwood head coach Robert O’Connell said. “That’s something that we talk about a lot. We want to run the football a lot and I think we did that well tonight.”

Mosely, who missed much of the season with an eligibility issue, provided all of Flora’s rushing attack, and gave sophomore quarterback Roper Wentzky some relief.

“He’s a really good football player and had some eligibility issues that had to get resolved and we’re really glad to have him back,” Falcons head coach Ken Floyd said.

The junior running back made sure people remembered he was present.

Mosely broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run to cut the Redhawks’ lead to 33-28 at the 5:07 mark of the third quarter, then powered an 80-yard scoring drive in the closing minutes of the game. His score from two yards out gave A.C. Flora a 34-33 lead, and Wentzky’s pass to Kendall Byrd had the Falcons on top 36-33 with 3:10 left.

From there the A.C. Flora defense finally clamped down on the Westwood rushing attack, forcing a turnover on downs with less than two minutes to go. One first down and two Wentzky kneel downs later, and the Falcons notched a region-opening win.

“Our guys persevere through tough times. One thing I learned about toughness from living in Winnsboro is that you grind your teeth and you don’t flinch,” Floyd said, referring to his upbringing as a player on the Fairfield Central football team in the 1990s. “You push through, and that’s what we’re trying to instill in this young group of kids, to keep fighting, keep pushing through.”

Mosely also had four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Wentzky finished the night 15-for-21 for 199 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions. The sophomore had some shaky moments, but Floyd pointed out that Friday’s game was a big learning experience for him.

“The night taught him some things,” Floyd said. “You’ve got to take what they give, you can’t force the ball where you aren’t comfortable throwing it, you’ve got to make good decisions. And the good thing about him is that I’m confident that he’s going to learn those lessons. He threw two picks tonight, but I have the utmost confidence in him, he’s a good quarterback.”

Both teams punted on their first possessions of the game, and that was about it for both teams’ kicking games.

Flora scored first on Wentzky’s 7-yard pass to Tripp Van Vlake.

The Redhawks opened their rushing attack soon afterward. McGill’s 22-yard TD run tied the game at 7 with 2:09 in the first, but Flora moved up 14-7 with Wentzky’s 42-yard TD pass to Mosely.

Nelson closed out a 72-yard Westwood drive with an 11-yard TD run at the 8-minute mark of the second tied the game again 14. 

The Falcons made it 21-14 just 23 seconds later. A 48-yard Wentzky pass to Kendall Byrd set the Falcons up at the 9, and Mosely rushed in from 9 yards out for his first score of the game.   

Westwood’s Ako Taylor intercepted a Wentzky pass at the halfway point of the second quarter, which led to Nelson’s 1-yard TD run that evened the score at 21-21with 3:22 left in the half.

The game was tied at 21 at halftime, and when play resumed McGill broke free for a 72-yard touchdown run that gave Westwood a 27-21 lead.

A Falcons fumble on a 19-yard pass play gave the Redhawks the ball back near midfield, and they methodically ran the ball right back at Flora until McGill scored again, this time on an 18-yard run.

Carrington Carter’s 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete, but Westwood’s 33-21 lead with its power running seemed insurmountable at the time.

That is, until Mosely’s late-game efforts came into play.

“He’s a really good player and they had a lot of good people in front of him blocking,” O’Connell said. “That combination is always real tough.”

Flora is at Richland Northeast (3-3, 0-1) and Westwood is at home against Lugoff-Elgin (1-5, 0-1) Friday. 

Westwood – 7-14-12-0 – 33

A.C. Flora – 14-7-7-8 – 36

First Quarter

F – Tripp Van Vlake 7 pass from Roper Wentzky (Grant Hill kick) 3:44 

W – Quentin McGill Jr. 22 run (Cullen Henderson kick) 2:09

F – Aiden Mosely 42 pass from Wentzky (Hill kick) :19

Second Quarter

W – Antwan Nelson 11 run (Henderson kick) 8:00

F – Mosely 9 run (Hill kick) 7:37

W – Nelson 1 run (Henderson kick) 3:22 

Third Quarter

W – McGill 72 run (kick failed) 10:59

W – McGill 18 run (pass failed) 8:02

F – Mosely 48 run (Hill kick) 5:07

Fourth Quarter

F – Mosely 2 run (Kendall Byrd pass from Wentzky) 3:10

                                                WHS              Flora

First downs                          19                   19

Rushes-Yards                     51-368          29-227

Passing yards                      12                   199

Att-Com-Int                        9-2-1             21-15-2

Fumbles-lost                       1-0                 1-1

Penalties-yards                  6-50               7-70

Punts-Avg                           2-43.0           1-43.0



W-Antwan Nelson 26-186, Quentin McGill Jr. 19-163, Carrington Carter 3-13. F-Aiden Mosely 25-227, Roper Wentzky 2-0.


W-Carrington Carter 2-9-1. F-Roper Wentzky 15-21-2.


W-Miles Grant 1-7, Sean Goddard 1-12. F-Kendall Byrd 6-51, Aiden Mosely 4-72, Braxton Murray 1-19, Tripp Van Vlake 1-7, Heath Moser 2-49.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]