By Deunte Marshall/Sports Correspondent
Westbrook defeated Gaston, 52-12, in a Class 2A, Region 7 game last Friday at Jack Osborne Memorial Stadium in Rainbow City.
The Warriors (4-2, 2-2) relied on superior speed and a blistering defense to halt the Bulldogs.
“Our emphasis was to start early,” said Westbrook head coach Tony Osborne. “Other than their scoring drive, we played great. Our offensive line played great, and our backs ran the ball well. If the offense is executing, then we are really hard to stop.”
On the second play of the game, Westbrook’s Noah Hunt stripped a Gaston ballcarrier and recovered the fumble to give Westbrook an opportunity.
The Warrior offense took advantage of the turnover, turning it into a one-yard Jonathan Ford TD run with 6:52 remaining in the first quarter.
The Westbrook defense made another play as Tyler Dillashaw recovered a Bulldog fumble. The Warriors again used the legs of Ford for a score, this time from 18 yards out with 5:50 remain in the quarter.
Ford threw his first touchdown pass to Devernon Marshall for 19 yards with five minutes remaining in the first half.
Gaston (0-6, 0-4) showed some life, as quarterback Jordan Douglas connected with Albert Douglas on a 60-yard pass that set up a five-yard TD run by Braxton Collins 4:06 to go before halftime.
Westbrook then drained almost every second of the second-quarter clock, as the Warriors organized an eight-play drive highlighted by a 30-yard run from Jordan McCartney. The possession ended with a seven-yard scoring toss from Ford to Logan Goforth for a 21-0 lead with 40 seconds before halftime.
Westbrook needed three plays to reach the end zone on a 27-yard Clay Templeton rushing score with 10:40 left in the third quarter.
The Warrior defense made yet another big play, as Devernon Marshall intercepted a pass and returned it to the Bulldog 33.
Reserve quarterback Matthew Reaves threw a laser on the right side to Noah Hunt for a 33-yard touchdown with 8:46 in the final quarter.
Westbrook increased its lead with a 40-yard field goal from Chris Underwood with 6:50 remaining in the game.
On a Gaston fourth down inside the Warrior 5, Francisco Lopez busted through the Bulldog line and blocked a punt. Dustin Padgett fell on the ball in the end zone to end the scoring for the night.
“We didn’t play well at all,” said Gaston head coach Jason Averett. “There were too many turnovers, and we felt pressured all night.”
Ford was 6-for-11 in passing for 82 yards. Jordan McCartney finished with 68 rushing yards on six carries.
Both teams continue region action this week. Westbrook travels to Sand Rock, while Gaston hosts No. 3 Fyffe.