By MIKE HOLDER
Westwood came into Groesbeck looking for momentum into district and they may have found it but the first quarter didn’t go as planned as Westwood fell behind 23-0 and ultimately lost the match 30-13.
Westwood coach Roger Mays took the blame for Westwood’s weak first half.
“I’ll take the responsibility for coming out flat in the first quarter after the bye week,” Mays said. “I feel like we did what was right for us as a team but that first quarter our kids were not ready to play. “I feel like we outplayed them the next three quarters but we can’t take moral victories we need to play a complete ballgame.”
Groesbeck started the scoring in the first quarter with a 3-yard run by Sterling Cable. The extra two points were scored on a run by Jaylon Medlock from the swinging gate formation. Groesbeck led 8-0 at that point.
For most of the rest of the first quarter Westwood and Groesbeck did not get the job done as both teams traded turnovers. Groesbeck did recover enough with 2:15 left in the quarter to go up 16-0 on a 7-yard run by Anthony Ramirez and a two point conversion by the Goats on a pass from Medlock to Cable.
Westwood was able to mount its own drive to the 2-yard line but a fumble by Trey Jenkins set up the Goats for their next possession. Quarterback Sterling Cable connected with Jayland Jackson on 98 yard touchdown pass on its first play from scrimmage. Stephen Featherstone kicked the extra point to make score 23-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“We have got to take what we did in the last three quarters and move forward with it and play a complete game from the opening kickoff,” Mays said. “We have Franklin for our first district game, and they are going to be ready to play. We have to be ready to take it to them from the first quarter.”
Westwood was able to put together its own scoring drive of 63 yards capped off by a 5-yard run by DJ Hicks who had an excellent run of 36 yards which started the drive. The extra point was missed and Groesbeck led 23-6.
Groesbeck started its next possession at its own 36-yard line and nine plays later Anthony Ramirez scored from 2 yards out to bring the halftime score to 30-6.
Westwood received the second half kickoff and played the type of ball they are capable by keeping Groesbeck’s defense off balance and running the clock. Kaigan Baker scored from 3 yards out and with Ryan Walters kicking the extra point the score stood at 30-13. Groesbeck’s offense was only able to run three plays during the third quarter because the Panthers were able to control the clock effectively and move the ball.
The fourth quarter saw both teams move the ball well but neither team was able to score. The final score was 30-13 in favor of Groesbeck.
Westwood finished the night with 258 rushing yards and 291 yards total offense. DJ Hicks was the leading rusher with 88 yards on 12 carries and Kaigan Baker had 65 yards rushing on 15 carries.
Groesbeck had 421 yards of total offense with 228 coming through the air. Westwood’s ability to keep the ball away from Groesbeck’s offense in the second half is key for the Panthers as they enter district.