Westwood’s Dylan Smith, left, escapes the pressure of Sherwood’s Chandler Tabb during Friday night’s region battle in Camilla. Westwood won, 42-0. (Larry G. Williams/Special to The Herald)
CAMILLA — Sherwood quarterback Dalton Todd limped off the field, slowly making his way out of Centennial Stadium.
Sherwood coach Otis Covington wasn’t far behind, looking just as stunned.
“Surprised doesn’t even quantify how I feel about this,” Covington said. “I’m shocked. I’m disappointed. I’m a lot of things right now.”
That sometimes happens when you play the Westwood Wildcats.
Westwood knocked Todd out of the game at the end of the first half, dominated both sides of the ball and celebrated Homecoming in style with a 42-0 GISA Region 3-AA victory against Sherwood on Friday.
“We made a plan to come out pumped up and come out hitting people and doing our best at the beginning,” Westwood running back J.T. Edore said. “And that’s what we did.”
Edore rushed for 156 yards and four touchdowns before he and the rest of the Westwood starters came out of the game minutes into the second half. The junior scored twice in the first four minutes, averaged 17.3 yards per carry and carried his team to its fifth straight win.
“J.T. is a workhorse, and he has been for three years,” Westwood coach Ross Worsham said. “He will be the first to tell you that he can’t do it without his offensive line and those other backs blocking for him. He is consistent and does a good job.”
It was the fourth straight game Westwood has scored over 40 points, but this one came against a Sherwood team that has shown promise this season and expected to compete with Westwood.
Covington, whose Eagles fell to 3-5 overall and 0-2 in the region, wasn’t the only one who expected the game to be close.
“I didn’t expect it to be a game like this. I thought it would be a hard-fought game till the end,” Worsham said. “That was probably the most complete game we played. We haven’t played bad, but we just hadn’t put it all together yet (before Friday). We have some young kids playing in some spots who are growing up, and they played well and got after it (Friday). We will need to be better next week.”
The Wildcats’ victory sets up a region showdown next Friday between Westwood (6-1, 2-0) and Valwood (7-0, 2-0) — a game that Worsham and his players started thinking about as soon as they stepped off the field Friday.
“We’ve been saying that all year, saying that the region championship will come down between us and Valwood,” Westwood sophomore running back Chason Worsham said. “We are ready for them. We aren’t scared.”
The Wildcats came out with no fear against Sherwood, recovering a fumble on the second play from scrimmage and scoring on a 14-yard Edore run two plays later. Westwood forced a three-and-out on Sherwood’s next possession, and Edore punched in his second TD from the 1-yard line, giving the Wildcats a 15-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
And the Wildcats never let up.
Dylon Smith scored on a 28-yard pass from Mitch Good with 3:49 left in the first quarter, Worsham got into the end zone on a 25-yard rush on the first play of the second quarter and Edore close out the half with a 43-yard TD run, sending the Wildcats into the locker room leading, 35-0.
Seconds before the teams headed into halftime, however, Todd was hit in the backfield and stayed down for several minutes.
“It was a late hit to the head,” Covington said.
Defensive pass interference was called on the play, but there wasn’t a flag for a late hit on Todd. Either way, the freshman quarterback sat out the rest of the game, finishing 4-for-13 with 19 yards passing and (minus)-14 yards rushing.
Edore opened up the second half with a 45-yard TD run on Westwood’s second play, ushering in the Wildcats’ second string, which hung right with the Eagles.
Worsham added 114 yards rushing, while backup QB Ralph Collins broke off a 46-yard run in the third quarter and was one Sherwood tackler away from finding the end zone. Good was efficient under center, completing 4-of-5 passes for 64 yards.
Smith led the Wildcats defensively with a pair of interceptions, while Worsham picked off a pass in the final seconds, and Zachary Hembree fell on a fumble in the first half.
Sherwood’s leading rusher was freshman Chaznic Griffin, who had nine carries for 38 yards, while the Eagles were led on defense by Travis Acord, who recovered a fumble and had his team’s only sack.