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Westwood wins in rout, advances to GISA Class A state title game; Terrell Academy tumbles

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

CAMILLA -- John Vereen said he's never been to Savannah.

He and the Westwood Wildcats will get the grand tour thanks to the Camilla Cats' magical ride that continued Friday in a 54-13 thumping of Briarwood Academy in the semifinals of the GISA Class A playoffs.

Twelve teams have lined up with Westwood this season and 12 have gone home sore and beaten. One more remains next Friday in Savannah -- Memorial Day, a 37-22 winner against Terrell Academy in the other half of the Final Four playoff bracket.

The state title will match the two teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2 for the majority of the season.

"We've got to finish it," said Vereen, a senior who caught four passes for 70 yards Friday. "There's no second opportunity. This is it. As seniors, this is the last chance we get. We've got to make the best of it."

Memorial Day School (10-2) hasn't lost to a Class A team this season, and dropped down to Class A this year after winning the GISA Class AA title a year ago.

Westwood won't be intimidated, though. They've beaten teams from every classification this year and showed their domination Friday against a battered Briarwood team playing without its starting quarterback and all freshmen on the right side of the offensive line due to injuries.

The Wildcats (12-0) never punted and rolled up 437 yards of offense, 335 of which came in the first half. Jake Edore ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half, to help Westwood build a 41-0 lead at halftime.

"We've said all season we wanted to get a little better each week and peak at the right time," Westwood head coach Ross Worsham said. "I think, so far, we've done that. We've got one more week to get a little better."

It's hard to imagine these Wildcats can get any better. Briarwood head coach John Osborne, for one, is a believer after witnessing Westwood in person.

"I would be very surprised if Memorial Day beats Westwood," said Osborne, whose team fell to Memorial Day, 42-0, in the regular season.

The Buccaneers (7-5) moved the ball on their first possession before a fumble near midfield killed the momentum and started a snowball effect that only got worse.

"We didn't give them any hope," Vereen said. "Our offensive line probably had one of its best nights. We're peaking at the right time."

Vereen was on the receiving end of Mason Worsham's hot hand, which completed 8-of-14 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

Worsham, who was intercepted once, threw 33- and 45-yard touchdown strikes to Douglas Nobles and J.T. Edore, respectively. The junior quarterback also ran for two scores, breaking off 27 and 41-yard scoring runs, to finish with 62 rushing yards. J.T. Edore also had 62 rushing yards and a touchdown and Daniel Hays added a 15-yard touchdown run for good measure.

Briarwood was led by Ryan Pritchett's 77 yards rushing, while Michael Kent finished with 60 yards and a touchdown.

Now comes Memorial Day, which has reeled off 10 consecutive wins after starting the season 0-2 with losses to two Class AAA teams. The Blue Thunder are considered by many to be the fastest team in GISA Class A.

"Our kids will go over there and expect to win," Ross Worsham said. "We've got an opportunity to play for (the state title) and that's all we want. One more. We gotta finish the drill."