By MIKE HOLDER
CROCKETT — CROCKETT - The Westwood Panthers final effort for a 2013 season win against Crockett fell short Friday, as the Bulldogs were able to pull away late and finish their season with a 29-14 win.
“I am really proud of the team for the way they finished the season,” head coach Rogers Mays said. “We played a good game on both sides of the ball and did the things that we were coached to do.”
Westwood received the opening kickoff and was able to move the ball inside Crockett territory, but a fourth down run by DJ Hicks was stuffed for no gain to allow the Bulldogs to take possession at their 31-yard line.
Crockett’s first two running plays were good for only one yard, but on the third down, quarterback Case Robinson connected with receiver Carlton Shirley for 68 yards and a touchdown.
The extra point was missed, giving Crockett a 6-0 lead after only four minutes into the quarter.
Westwood also was able to take its second possession into Crockett territory after the kickoff, but ran out of steam and turned the ball over on downs at the Crockett 45-yard line.
The Bulldogs marched into Westwood territory taking the ball all the way to the Panther 23-yard line where, on third down, Crockett quarterback Robinson rolled to the right side looking downfield when he was hit by a Westwood defender causing him to fumble.
Micah Ellerbe of Westwood scooped it up and raced down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown. Ryan Walters kicked the extra point for the Panthers, who led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with Crockett and Westwood trading possessions.
Crockett’s second turn in the quarter produced a better result with a 78-yard drive that culminated with a 26-yard scoring strike from Case Robinson to Carlton Shirley. The Bulldogs try for two was stuffed by the Panther defense.
Crockett led 12-7 with 4:38 left to play in the half.
The Panther offense, starting at their own 41-yard line ,made the most of its opportunity by driving to the Crockett 18-yard line.
On third down, Westwood quarterback rolled to his right and found tight end Caden Countryman in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown pass. Walters again kicked the extra point and the Panthers led 14-12 with 53 seconds to go in the second quarter.
Crockett could not pull any magic with the time that was left and both teams went to the dressing room to make adjustments for the second half.
The Bulldogs started its first possession of the second half from the Panthers 45-yard line, but the offense was only able to move to the 15-yard line. Crockett’s kicker Arcevar came on to kick a 30-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a one point lead, 15-14, with plenty of time left to go in the third quarter.
Neither Westwood nor Crockett could get things going offensively as both defenses dominated the rest of third quarter. The score stayed at 15-14 going into the fourth.
The fourth quarter started like the third finished with both defenses keeping the offenses at bay.
Westwood’s second possession of the fourth quarter turned out to be the deciding factor as field position gave Crockett a huge advantage.
The Panthers started from their own 2-yard line after a Crockett punt, but could not move the ball out of the shadow of its own end zone and was forced to punt. Ellerbe’s punt was returned to the Westwood 18-yard line where Crockett began its possession.
Five plays later, Carlton Shirley took the Wildcat snap and found the end zone from one yard out. Arcevar kicked the extra point to give Crockett an 8-point lead, 22-14, with 1:52 to go in the fourth quarter.
Westwood’s next possession started from its own 27, but the Crockett defense pushed the Panthers back to the 10-yard line after two sacks. On fourth down, a desperation pass by Cernoch fell incomplete and the Bulldogs took possession at the Westwood 10-yard line.
Crockett took only one play to finish the scoring as Carlton Shirley again finished the drive with a 10-yard run. The extra point made the final score 29-14 in favor of the Crockett Bulldogs.
Westwood was led on offense by fullback Trey Jenkins, with 47-yards rushing on 12 carries. He also had two receptions for 30 yards to lead the Panthers.
Coach Mays praised the efforts of his defense after the game with defensive lineman Trey Campbell and linebacker Colton Frazier receiving accolades from their head coach as well.
Westwood finishes the season with a record of 1-9 and looks forward to an offseason of hard work in preparation for next season.