By Deunte Marshall/Sports Correspondent
West End notched its first win of the year last Friday (Oct. 26) against Class 2A, Region 7 rival Gaston, 28-12.
“It’s a great win, and I’m proud of our kids,” said West End head coach Randy Hallmark. “The first one is a great one.”
West End junior quarterback Weems had big night with four touchdowns – two in the air and two more on the ground. He rushed eight times for 87 yards and passed for 80 more.
Weems called his own number on the first play of the game, going the distance for 67 yards to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead with 11:44 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldog defense looked to have stopped West End on a third down and goal on the Gaston 1, but Weems muscled in for the touchdown with 4:23 remaining in the first quarter.
“The line blocked really well for me and all the other backs, which is a big part of the Wing-T offense,” said Weems. “We just run the ball down the field and eat the clock.”
The Bulldogs (0-9, 0-7) were not ready to go down without a fight, however, as Gaston drove down the field to score a one-yard touchdown by Jordan Douglas with 10:45 left in the half. The drive was highlighted with a 21-yard pass from Douglas to Jackson Bogle.
The two-point conversion was no good, leaving the score at 14-6 in favor of the Patriots. The Bulldogs clawed their way back into the game when Jackson Bogle scored from two yards out with 4:02 remaining in the half.
The slim margin didn’t sit well with West End (1-8, 1-6) so the Pats scored with 54 seconds left before the half on Weems’ third touchdown of the night, in this case a 10-yard pass to Rhett Lister to give the Patriots the 21-12 lead going into the half.
West End added one more score for insurance, with Weems 16-yard TD pass to Tristan Garmany with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
Shortly after a 50-yard pass play from Douglas to Dustin Pollard, Gaston’s final drive was halted by interception by Dalton Goodwin.
“They out executed us tonight and played hard,” said Gaston head coach Josh Averett. “Our guys played hard tonight, but it just wasn’t our night.”
Douglas completed 12-of-25 for 225 yards, while Jackson Bogle had five receptions for 88 yards.
Both team finish out their seasons this week. West End hosts Good Hope, while Gaston entertains Pleasant Valley.