Westwood Panthers

Westwood QB Lamarion Goodwyn had another outstanding night, anchoring the Panther's 49-40 win over Crockett with four rushing touchdowns.  Photo by Vanessa Goodwyn

 
 

CROCKETT - Rested following a bye week, the Westwood Panthers (2-3) traveled to Crockett (3-3) for a 3A-Div 1 District 9 contest. The Panthers entered Friday’s game as a three-point underdog since Crockett has been consistently strong on offense, posting 40+ points in three of their last four outings.

In the first half, the Westwood defense held the Bulldogs to a single first down, and that one was helped along by penalty flags. Westwood owned the line of scrimmage, with the defense ganging up and forcing punt after punt. Meanwhile on offense, quarterback Lamarion Goodwyn shouldered the Panthers’ ground game, averaging 12-yards per carry for three first-half touchdowns, to lead the Bulldogs 21-7 at the break.

Crockett, however, has proven to be a second-half team this year. That was certainly the case this week, as they amassed 33 second-half points in a valiant effort to salvage a homecoming victory. “The new Westwood” — as Coach Richard Bishop calls this team — had an answer for every Bulldog score. The gritty Panthers held on for the win, 49-40.

Goodwyn finished the night with over 240 yards on the ground and four rushing touchdowns. He passed for another 70+ yards including a 46-yard strike to Samson Oparinde. Senior Tremelle Rhodes sat out the first half but came into the game in the third quarter and contributed over 130-yards on 14 carries, with two touchdowns. Sophomore Brandon Russell scored on a sweep from 12-yards out, and Travis Jones was perfect on PAT attempts, seven for seven.

The defense came up with big plays too: a third quarter fumble recovery by Gerardo Lavin-Fernandez; a blocked PAT kick; and Oparinde came up with a huge stop on Crockett’s two-point attempt late in the game, which kept WHS at a two-score advantage.

The win came at a cost, as Panther safety Jordan Velasquez was injured in the third quarter and left the game on a stretcher.

Coach Bishop was justifiably excited after this one.

"They got it done tonight. I'm so proud of the kids. Super proud of their grit," Bishop said. "We had some key guys go out with injury and some young guys stepped up and made plays. Every time we slipped up and they made a play, we responded right back, and fought through adversity. The O-line played terrific. The D-line played awesome -- this was just an all-around win. Great job by the coaching staff, great support by AD, the admin... Hopefully it's coming full circle and it's just a great place to be."

With the win, the Panthers avenge last year’s 46-36 loss to the Bulldogs, and Westwood takes a 2-0 District record into next week’s game with Diboll at Panther Stadium.

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