Undefeated Westwood came into Blythewood Stadium running strong Friday night, and came out on top of the Region 4-4A standings.
A time-sapping rushing attack aided the Redhawks defense in shutting out the Bengals 35-0. Meanwhile, Dutch Fork held off Spring Valley 25-12 to keep the Silver Foxes in a tie for first place with Westwood (9-0, 3-0) with two games left in the regular season.
Andrew Plante led the way for the Redhawks with 191 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.
“He had some good runs tonight,” Westwood coach Rodney Summers said. “The line does a great job, and has done a great job all year.”
Not only did the offensive line spring Plante on several long gains, but also quarterback Nick Leveretter rushed for 99 yards and two scores as the Redhawks accumulated 416 total yards.
The Redhawks controlled the ball 28 minutes and 13 seconds compared with Blythewood’s 19:47. The Westwood defense limited Blythewood (3-6, 1-2) to 62 yards, sacking Bengals quarterback David Isreal three times.
“Our defense did an outstanding job limiting them,” Summers said.
Isreal left at the end of the third quarter with an injury to his right knee.
“Our offense just couldn’t click tonight,” Blythewood coach Dan Morgan said. “We struggled trying to protect David, and the wide receivers dropped a few. But overall, Westwood is a dadgum good football team, and they took it to us and physically beat us.”
Westwood might not have electrified the scoreboard in the first half, but the Redhawks dominated the time of possession with their grinding rushing offense.
After stopping Blythewood’s opening possession, Westwood rumbled 54 yards on six plays, including Leveretter’s 22-yard touchdown run just short of three minutes into the game.
After that score, the Redhawks defense held the Bengals to three first downs, 19 offensive plays, and 16 total yards.
“They’ve got a bunch of guys over there, linebackers and all, who are really good,” Summers said. “We knew they were going to pack the box on us, but we were really fortunate that we could run the ball as well as we did.”
Between Leveretter’s opening score and Plante’s 1-yard TD run with one second left in the first half, Westwood rolled up 239 yards. Leveretter’s 95 yards on 11 carries and Plante’s 94 yards on 19 attempts accounted for most of it.
“Our defense did pretty good in the first half,” Morgan said. “But you look at their offensive line, they’re huge. They’re enormous up front, but our defense played strong in the first half. We just got worn out by the second half.”
Westwood got scores from Leveretter, John Trapp, and Jalen Smith in the second half. Trapp’s score from three yards out, which made it 28-0 Redhawks, came after Plante’s game-long 67 yard rush.
Blythewood attempted a 33-yard field goal to close the game. Placekicker Tucker Smith’s attempt missed, and Westwood had the shutout.
W – Nick Leveretter 22 run (Brandon Howard kick) 9:01
W – Andrew Plante 1 run (Howard kick) :01
W – John Trapp 3 run (Howard kick) 7:44
W – Leveretter 8 run (Howard kick) 1:54
W – Jalen Smith 2 run (Jonathon Dyarnett kick) 6:59
RUSHING – Westwood, Leveretter 15-99, Plante 26-191, Trapp 5-39, Mitchell 3-20. Blythewood, Thomas 15-38, Brunson 3-15, Isreal 9-(-10).
PASSING – Westwood, Leveretter 10-5-1, Smith 1-0-0. Blythewood, Isreal 14-5-1, Brunson 2-2-0.
RECEIVING – Westwood, Griffin 1-3, Lee 4-33. Blythewood, Richardson 3-13, Weber 2-4, Churn 2-2.