Westwood star running back and Herald Dynamite Dozen selection JT Edore breaks off a big run Friday night against Sherwood. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY —The scoring came quick and often. The ground game was working and there was no need to fix it.
Westwood’s J.T. Edore and Chason Worsham each took their turns dashing through the Sherwood defense, leading the Wildcats to a blowout victory, 46-14, Friday night at Sherwood.
“We had good field position and executed the offense and scored pretty quickly,” Westwood head coach Ross Worsham said when asked about his team’s fast start. “Our defense shut them out in the first half which enabled us to get the ball in good field position.”
The Eagles, who continue to be decimated by injuries to an already undermanned team, have now lost three straight games and fall to 1-6 on the year and 0-2 in region play.
Edore’s stellar night got started a little more than two minutes into the game when the Dynamite Dozen running back rushed in for a four-yard touchdown.
Two minutes later, after quarterback Ralph Collins set the Wildcats (5-1-1, 2-0) up with a first-and-goal from the one-yard line off an option-keeper, Edore walked in for his second touchdown of the game.
“It all starts with my [offensive] line,” said Edore, who finished with 152 rushing yards and three touchdowns. “We’d been talking to them about stepping up and blocking like they should be and they showed up [Friday night]. Our receivers also had good blocks up the field and allowed me to run like I am suppose to.”
The Wildcats soon regained possession when Collier Baggett picked off Sherwood’s Chris Thomas on a third-and-long play. Taking advantage of a short field Westwood gave the ball to Worsham who put his name in the scoring column with a 17-yard touchdown run, giving the Wildcats a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Eagles began their next drive with a big pass play to Keyshawn Powell for 31 yards. After benefiting from two Westwood personal fouls, Sherwood found itself in the red zone with a first-and-goal. But 10 yards out was as close as the Eagles would get on the drive as they eventually turned it over on downs.
“With all the injuries we had guys out there who weren’t experienced in critical roles so the chemistry wasn’t there,” Sherwood head coach Otis Covington said. “We have a lot of things to overcome, [meanwhile] Westwood is a team that plays hard and what they do, they do well.”
The next play from scrimmage Edore, running as if he was mad at the grass, busted the game wide open with an 89-yard touchdown run up the sidelines. But as impressive as the run was it ultimately fell short of the play of the game.
That play came later in the third quarter courtesy of Chason Worsham.
Up 34-0 at halftime after Worsham added his second touchdown run just before the break, the Wildcats fumbled away the ball away to Sherwood’s Dequan Robinson off a bad snap.
The Eagles started the drive on Westwood’s 12-yard line. After an incomplete pass on first down, Thomas dropped back and launched the ball in the air for his would-be receiver. What came next was Sherwood’s worst nightmare. Worsham ripped away the ball and, with the aid of a cavalcade of blockers, returned the interception 100 yards, leaving Sherwood’s home crowd in utter disbelief.
“I first read the quarterback’s eyes, caught the ball and then followed my blockers up the field,” said Worsham, who finished four rushing yards shy of 100. “I could not have done it without the guys blocking up field for me.”
The play carried some sentimental value for the head coach.
“It seemed like it took forever because the play was so long,” father Ross Worsham joked. “You don’t see 100-yard interception returns that often so it coming from my son was certainly special.”
The Eagles managed to put together a couple of late scoring drives thanks in large part to sophomore quarterback Dylan Evans’ arm and Westwood playing its backups.
Thomas caught a 60-yard touchdown from Evans and Ben Williams followed with a 20-yard touchdown reception.