By CHRIS BOOTHE
TRINITY — Two early turnovers led to an early 14-0 hole for the Westwood Panthers — a hole they were not quite able to dig their way out of Friday in their loss to the Trinity Tigers, 22-12.
The Panthers would charge back in the second half, but came up just short with just under a minute to play. Keke Hicks would complete a nine-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson with 1:11 left in regulation, cutting the deficit to 10, but that would be as close as the Panthers would get.
The Panthers got off to a good start offensively before their opening drive would stall out. After forcing a quick three-and-out, the Panthers looked to have all of the momentum on their side. Unfortunately, the Tigers defense was able to shut down the Westwood offense early in the game.
Trinity's first touchdown of the night came after a Keke Hicks fumble. From there it would take two plays before quarterback Michael Lewis went up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown run, putting the Tigers on the board.
The second time Trinity would score, it would be after a turnover on downs. Once again, it was a quick strike offense from the Tigers, as it was just a three-play drive before Lewis connected with receiver Steve Alexander for a 63-yard score to put Trinity on top 14-0.
Westwood would put together another drive late in the half, pushing all the way to the Trinity 10-yard line, but were unable to score before the end of the half.
It wouldn't be until the second half when Westwood finally reached the end zone. That score would come on a deep 46-yard pass from Hicks to Chris Thompson down the sideline, cutting the deficit to eight.
Trinity responded with a methodical drive that would be completed with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Alexander to a wide open Pat Ward, pushing the Tigers lead to 16.
Down but not out, the Panthers pushed the ball back down the field, this time scoring on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Hicks to Thompson. The Panthers two-point attempt failed, as did the ensuing onside kick.
Trinity would go on to run out the clock and seal the 22-12 win over the Panthers.
It was a productive night offensively for the Panthers, who piled up 384 yards of total offense, compared to just 197 yards for the Tigers. Hicks accounted for 357 yards alone for Westwood.
Sophomore Thompson led the receiving corps with five catches for 98 yards and both Westwood touchdowns.
The Panthers will return to action on Friday, Nov. 2 when they face the Elkhart Elks at Jerry Ives Memorial Stadium. The Elks are coming off a narrow loss to Teague, and are currently 0-3 in district play.