Westwood's Caleb Morrell caught six passes for 126 yards and one TD, returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and kicked six extra points in Saturday's 48-7 romp against Covenant in the first round of the GISA Class A state playoffs.
CAMILLA -- Caleb Morrell says he runs faster without his tooth.
If you don't believe him, just take a look at that 95-yard kickoff return he had Saturday night to help Westwood race past Covenant, 48-7, in the opening round of the GISA Class A state playoffs.
It could have been worse.
The Wildcats lost a couple of fumbles at the end of deep drives early in the game, and there was a running clock in second half that helped keep the score respectable against a Covenant program that is in its fourth year and ended its season with the school's first winning record (6-5).
But no one seems to be able to slow down Westwood's Wildcats, who are on a 24-game winning streak dating back to last year and have romped in every game this season, all while averaging more than 50 points a night.
"I don't think we've peaked yet,'' said Morrell, who lost a tooth just before the fourth game of the season and has been playing without it since. He has a temporary implant, but he doesn't wear it during games. He will have surgery after the season is over, but in the meantime, Morrell has a unique smile during the games.
He had a lot to smile about Saturday.
Morrell caught six passes for 126 yards, including a brilliant and innovative 56-yard TD when he came back for the ball, then looped around three Covenant tacklers, circling past the block of Douglas Nobles on what would have been the play of the night. But that play came later when Morrell zipped his way to the 95-yard kickoff return. He also kicked six extra points.
"He's a playmaker,'' said Westwood quarterback Mason Worsham, who completed 10-of-18 passes for 188 yards and also ran for 59 yards on four carries, including a 43-yard TD run. "Big-time players make big plays, and he's a big-time player.''
Worsham and Morrell sounded like a recording afterward when both said Westwood has yet to play its best game.
"We haven't peaked yet,'' Morrell said. "We want to peak in the last game -- the state championship.''
That's the idea for the Westwood Wonders (11-0), who have left most wondering if they will lose again. They won their 24th game in a row Saturday, and are two wins away from winning back-to-back state titles.
"We knew this game would be tough. They have unbelievable athletes, and they're well-coached,'' Covenant coach Shane Self said. "And they haven't lost in two years.''
So here's the trivia question for everyone in Camilla: Who was the last team to beat Westwood?
Don't know? Ask the Westwood kids. They all know. It was Thomas Jefferson two years ago in the playoffs.
Now guess which team Westwood plays Friday night in the state semifinals back at Centennial Stadium in Camilla?
Bingo! Thomas Jefferson.
"We've talked a little bit about it,'' Mason Worsham said. "They beat us when I was a sophomore.''
Mason's father and head coach, Ross Worsham, will remind his kids of that Thomas Jefferson loss this week at practice, and he will remind them of the fumbles Saturday.
"We can't make mistakes like that against a team like Thomas Jefferson,'' he said. "We were sharp in some areas but not sharp in others. We've got to improve.''
Westwood had to wait 15 days (the Wildcats had a bye week at the end of the season) to play Covenant, but the coach said the wait didn't hurt his kids.
"We've done it for the last two years,'' he said. "It gave us some rest and a chance to catch our breathe after playing 10 in a row.''
No one has caught Westwood in the past two years, and the Wildcats looked unstoppable when the first team was on the field Saturday.
J.T. Edore scored three touchdowns in the first half and finished the night with 94 yards on only 12 carries to set the tone for the running game. Nobles threw key block on his first TD run and also had the big block on Morrell's TD catch. Nobles also picked off a pass after Jamey Davis blocked the throw. And Nobles had two receptions for 27 yards.
Ross Worsham used his second- and third-teams in the second half, and Covenant scored on a 63-yard pass from Reece Freel to Joel Walters in the fourth quarter for its only points.
And that brings about another amazing stat: Westwood's first-team defense has not given up a touchdown since opening night against Class AA Southwest Georgia Academy.
We need to improve,'' Ross Worsham said. "The games are getting bigger, and the teams are getting better.''
So is Westwood.