A.C. Flora overpowered first-year Westwood 52-6 on Thursday at Memorial Stadium to set up what could be a showdown for the Region 4-3A championship next week at Lower Richland.
The Falcons, who stand at 7-1 overall, 3-0 in region matters, have won 16 regular-season games in a row against South Carolina opposition and are riding an 11-game conference winning streak dating to 2010.
“I’m very pleased right now because we are a much better football team than we were five-six weeks ago,” Flora coach Dean Howell said.
“I’m especially pleased with the improvement we’ve made on defense.”
The wake-up call for the defense and coaching staff came in an 84-51 win against Camden in the region opener. It was a game that saw the Bulldogs burn the Falcons for seven touchdown passes.
“We went back to square one after that,” Howell said. “We weren’t really doing anything well on defense at that point and we decided we had to reassess what we were asking of our kids. We simplified things, and stay in a lot more base packages. The kids have responded well because we’re not asking them to process as much.”
In the two games since the switch, Flora has surrendered one touchdown. Westwood (0-8, 0-3) finished with 156 yards, netting two yards on 16 running attempts.
Offensively, the Falcons were as efficient and productive as ever — rolling up 523 yards with 409 coming on the ground. The first-team offense scored on eight of nine possessions before retiring at the end of the third quarter.
“Our offensive line isn’t big, but we have a bunch of smart seniors up there who can execute, and we have talent and depth in the backfield,” Howell said.
Aven Pollard, Keith Goss and R.J. Joyner were the offensive headliners. Pollard piled up 105 yards on six carries and scored three touchdowns — all in the first half. Goss closed with 108 yards and two scores on eight attempts. Joyner gained 82 yards on eight carries.
Quarterback Jake Lewis was 10-for-15 passing for 114 yards and one touchdown.
Westwood’s standout was receiver Adonus Lee, who caught six passes for 122 yards and one touchdown.
ACF – Lewis 1 run (Jack Grady kick), 8:59
ACF – Keith Goss 4 run (Grady kick), 1:47
ACF – Aven Pollard 46 run (Grady kick), 11:32
W – Adonus Lee 29 pass from Davis King (kick failed), 9:11
ACF – Pollard 8 run (Grady kick), 7:14
ACF – Pollard 7 run (Grady kick), 3:16
ACF – FG Joseph Carlton 37, 0:03
ACF –Goss 7 run (Grady kick), 9:39
ACF – Schroder Carlton 9 pass from Jake Lewis (Grady kick), 2:21