DIBOLL – The Westwood Panthers (1-1) travel to Diboll Friday to battle the undefeated Lumberjacks (3-0) in District 9-3A action.
Westwood comes into week four after losing a back-and-forth exchange with the Crockett Bulldogs last week. Big time efforts from quarterback Coy Elton and running back Kylance Parish, along with defensive standout Kameron Savage nearly kept the Panthers undefeated in district.
Elton totaled 214 yards from scrimmage, while Parish added 163 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Savage led the team in tackles (6), while also adding a pair of block field goals. Still, Crockett was able to survive, 46-36, and now has Westwood looking to avoid going below .500.
Record: 3-3, 3-0
Head Coach: Blake Morrison
Key Players: DL Jeremiah Dums, RB/DB Jaylon McMillan, RB James Johnson, LB Landon Dodge, DB Chris Teal, DB Kobe Clark, OL Quincy Coleman, QB Rey Arelano, WR Zach Phipps, OL/DL Bryon Poindexter
Last Meeting: 10/25/2019 – Diboll 55, Westwood 0
The Bulldogs' excel in being a versatile offense. Arelano is a threat to run and pass the ball from the pocket, while their back Johnson remains a big-play threat from the backfield. He highlighted their 47-0 win over Huntington two weeks ago with a 13 carry, 184-yard performance on homecoming.
Wide receiver Jalon Jackson also presents a threat on the outside to take advantage of defenses who choose to load up the box. Against Huntington, he had 10 catches for 106 yards.
While Diboll's offense presents enough problems on its own, their defense is also prime to shut an opposing offense down. They forced six turnovers the last time they took the field. Added to the fact, both units will be fresh since Elkhart had to forfeit its game against the Lumberjacks last week.
Westwood has relied on its one-two punch of Coy Elton and Kylance Parish throughout the season. Both are a force in the run game, while Elton also gives an ability to sling it to his group of reliable pass-catchers. Devonte Downie and Tyler Johnson were the primary receivers involved last week, but Jordan Owens and JaCory Furr have also shown an ability to stretch a defense.
Though Diboll entered the district with a 0-3 record, their defense has quickly adapted to their league schedule. They went from giving up 40 points through non-district to just eight to Trinity and a shutout of Huntington.
Duly noted on the opposite end is Westwood's defense who just recently gave up their highest total of the season to Crockett. Coming into that game they only allowed 25 points per game through five outings.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Lumberjack Stadium in Diboll.