8-0 -- and counting

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

CAMILLA -- So how does it feel Westwood? What's it like to be 8-0 and sitting atop the GISA state poll at No. 1? What's this season been like?

"It's been awesome. It's been extraooooordinary,'' said receiver John Vereen, stretching the word out for emphasis.

"Yeah,'' chipped in Jake Edore. "It's been a little extra.''

So has Westwood.

This is feet-off-the-ground, feel-good time in Camilla, where the Wildcats somehow have been able to stay grounded during this magical season that just keeps getting better every week.

They picked up win No. 8 Friday night in front of a big crowd at Centennial Stadium, where they beat Windsor Academy, 35-12, to stay perfect -- and right on track.

"We have a plan and there is no alternate plan,'' said Westwood coach Ross Worsham, who has turned that phrase into a mantra for his team.

It has worked. These kids don't have their heads in the clouds. This was men-at-work stuff Friday. It had to be, because Westwood was playing one of the best ball-control teams in GISA.

Windsor owned the clock, especially in the first half when the Knights camped out on the field. Westwood (4-0 in region) had only two possessions in the entire first half, but that was just enough to produce a 14-6 halftime lead.

That's Westwood -- a scrappy bunch of kids who pretty much do what they have to do. There's nothing flashy about Worsham's blue-collar bunch.

How tough are they?

They stopped Windsor (2-5 overall, 1-2 in region) inside the five yard line twice in the first half, and gave a whole new meaning to the term Orange Crush on the final play of the half when almost the entire defense smothered Windsor's bread-and-butter back Caleb Shipp at the one yard line.

"That's the best game we've played all year,'' Windsor coach Michael Smallwood said afterward. "And they beat us. That's the best (Class A) team we've played all year, and they're right up there with the Class AAA teams we've played. They deserve to be the No. 1 ranked team in the state. They get my vote.''

After that close first half, it was a landslide down the stretch as Westwood took over. Mason Worsham (yes, he's the coach's son) had one of those of those silky smooth nights, completing 9-of-14 passes for 133 yards. Three of those went for TDs.

He opened the scoring with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mason Jones, the first Mason-to-Mason TD connection of the year, and then found Jones again in the third quarter with a beauty -- a 41-yard TD pass that jumped right off his father's blackboard as Jones was wide open on the play that made it a 28-6 game.

"He just makes it E-Z, Pee-Z,'' said Jones, borrowing a line from an Austin Powers movie. Why not borrow lines from Hollywood? It's been that kind of season.

"He throws perfect passes,'' Jones said. "And the line did great job blocking.''

Jones wasn't perfect but he left with one of the rarest stats in football: He had two TD catches and was part of two sacks. Randy Moss has never done that.

Vereen also caught a 4-yard TD pass (on fourth down no less) to lift Westwood to a 35-6 cushion. Vereen has now caught at least one TD pass in seven of the eight games. His streak ended last week when Westwood pounded out 418 yards on the ground against Randolph-Southern.

No mind-blowing stats Friday, just a steady dose of the Edore Brothers. Jake, who gained 54 yards on 10 carries and scored on a 2-yard run to lift Westwood to a 14-6 lead, and freshman J.T. Edore, who gained 72 yards on 14 carries and scored on a 4-yard run to lift Westwood to a 21-6 lead to open the third quarter.

J.T.'s TD (say that fast 10 times) came after Daniel Hays returned the third quarter kickoff 55 yards to set up a four-play, 20-yard drive.

"Those (two stops inside the five) were big because they had controlled the clock and had a chance to go ahead in the first half,'' Ross Worsham said. "Then to open the second half with that kick return and get that quick score was big.''

Another chapter in the Westwood book of doing what they have to do.

It's been like that all year, from some heart-throbbing last-second wins early to rolling through the Region 2-A race at 4-0.

"We haven't peaked yet,'' Mason Worsham said. "We want to peak in the last game of the season, the state title game.''

That's the plan -- and there is no alternate.