Lexington didn’t need a fourth quarter rally this time.
The Wildcats put together their most complete game of the season in defeating previously undefeated Westwood 38-16 on Friday night at Richland District Two Stadium.
Lexington (3-1) had to rally from 14 points down the last two weeks to win, but controlled this one from the beginning.
Slade Carroll scored three touchdowns — on runs of 1, 1 and 23 yards — and rushed for 112 yards against a strong Redhawk defense. Brandon Blake also threw for two scores — a 9-yard strike to Jayson Hopper and an acrobatic 8-yard pass to Jason Rumph. The Wildcats finished with 351 yards of offense.
Westwood (4-1) finished with 370 yards, but only reached the end zone once on offense. The Redhawks fumbled twice and couldn’t convert on two fourth-down plays in Lexington territory.
Lexington host Carolina Forest next Friday night. Westwood has a bye.
Westwood was driving in Lexington territory when Dylan Cripe recovered a fumble at the Wildcats 37-yard line with 3:36 remaining in half. Nine plays later, Jayson Hopper caught a 9-yard scoring strike from Brandon Blake with 1:42 remaining before the break to give Lexington a 21-9 lead.
Brandon Blake: The senior quarterback controlled the Wildcats offense almost to perfection. He finished 16-of-24 for 208 yards and his only mistake was an interception that was returned 50 yards for a score late in the contest.
Kenneth Oliveira: The senior linebacker had 15 tackles for the night. He helped limit the Westwood passing attack to 109 yards.
Rudy Mitchell: Andrew Plante went down with an injury in the first half and Mitchell finished with 103 yards on the ground.
Road Warriors: Because of renovations on their home field, Lexington opened the season with one neutral site game and three true road games. Lexington coach Josh Stepp has to feel pretty good the Wildcats came out of that stretch with a 3-1 record that included winning three in a row.
Bad night: Westwood defense played worst game in two years. The Redhawks made a name for themselves last year with a dominant defense. The did a decent job of containing the Wildcats running game but Blake had lots of time to throw and made them pay for it.
THEY SAID IT
“We had a great week of preparation. I told our kids before the game that we have an expectation to be successful every time we take the field. Tonight was no different on the road against a great Westwood team.” – Lexington coach Josh Stepp
“They made some plays. We’re young and inexperienced and we overran some things. We were out of place a little bit and that led to some big plays. Offense didn’t keep the momentum of drives and that put our defense in a bad situation.” Westwood coach Rodney Summers
“We prepared real hard. The guys up front are doing good and I have some big receivers to throw too. I feel comfortable. We put a full game together and played all four quarters.” Lexington QB Brandon Blake
THREE KEY NUMBERS
31: Number of carries for Slade Carroll. It was tough sledding but he helped move the chains to open up the passing game.
9: Catches for Westwood receiver Montre Miller.
15: Tackles for Kenneth Oliveira to lead Lexington
HOW THEY SCORED
L – Slade Carroll 1 run (Christian Kinsley kick) 5:28
L – Carroll 1 run (Kinsley kick) 2:37
W – Rudy Mitchell 5 run (kick blocked) 11:39
W – Brandon Howard 32 FG 5:40
L – Jayson Hopper 9 pass from Brandon Blake (Kinsley kick) 1:42
L – Kinsley 31 FG 8:07
L – Jason Rumph 8 pass from Blake (Kinsley kick) 4:24
L – Carroll 23 run (Kinsley kick) 9:22
W – Alex Mabalot 50 interception return (Rashawn Green kick) 6:40
Rushing: L – Slade Carroll 31-112, Ervin Greene 13-40, Eric Ricker 1-2, Brandon Blake 2-(-11). W – Rudy Mitchell 13-103, Jalen Smith 15-60, Andrew Plante 5-33, Walyn Napper 3-38.
Passing: L – Brandon Blake 16-24-1-208, Jayson Hopper 0-1-0-0. W – Smith 11-23-0-83, Walyn Napper 1-1-0-26.
Receiving: L – Jayson Hopper 6-86, Tyler Schadewald 1-12, Oscar Ferguson 3-45, Daiquan Wells 3-38, Nick Graves 1-12, Jason Rumph 1-8 . W – Montre Miller 9-78, Malik Griffin 2-26, Jaylen Robinson 1-5.