The first win in Westwood football history also kept the Redhawks in the running for a Class 3A state playoff berth heading into Friday’s regular season/Region 4-3A finale.
Rodney Summer’s fledgling team closed out an eight-game losing streak on Friday with a convincing 27-7 region road win over Camden, setting up a potential state playoff clinching showdown with Lower Richland this week at home. Though the Redhawks are 1-8 overall, they are 1-3 in the region and a win over the Diamond Hornets would all but assure a postseason invitation. Westwood would then have the tie-breaking edge over Lower Richland in a case of a two-way tie. If the Redhawks beat LR and Dreher falls against top region seed A.C. Flora there would be a three-way tie. The deadlock will broken by a points system. In that case, Westwood’s tough non-region slate against its four Class 4A District 2 foes could turn out to be very favorable as compared to Dreher’s weak non-region schedule that included just one 3A team and no 4A clubs. Wedstwood’s losses may prove more valuable that Dreher’s early wins.
“It’s great for the kids that we got the win and still have a shot at making the playoffs, but we all know we have to win on Friday at have a chance,” said Summers.
The big difference at Camden was Westwood was able to do some things it has not done well all season. The Redhawks ran the ball effectively and stopped the run on defense. Westwood piled up a season high 210 yards on the ground, and averaged 4.9 yards on 43 attempts. The defense limited Camden to a meager 78 yards rushing on 26 carries.
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Christian Brown was the offensive headliner with 133 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. Linebacker Raymond Hall was the defensive star with eight solo tackles and four assists, one sack, two tackles for loss two pass break-ups, one quarterback pressure and two forced fumbles. The Redhawks built a 13-7 halftime lead, courtesy 23-yard scoring pass from Davis King to Adonus Lee, plus two field goals and a PAT by freshman Brandon Howard. Westwood put it away in the third quarter, compelling two three-and-outs by the Bulldogs while putting together scoring drives on offense. Brown had a 25-yard scoring run and Miquelle Canaday added a 1-yard TD run capped by Howard kicks.
“Sometimes it was hard for the kids not to be discouraged, but for the most part they stayed positive and kept working things out in practice,” said Summers. “Last week was the payoff for all the hard work. It helps a lot of have a positive outcome, and we have a chance to reach one of the big goals of the season this week.”