Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
West End’s season came to an abrupt halt on November 4 at Aliceville, as the Patriots (7-4) fell to the fourth-ranked Panthers, 62-13, in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs.
The game marked West End’s first postseason appearance since 2016, as well as the program’s first winning season since 2015. West End also went unbeaten at home, a first since 2001, according to ahsfhs.org. The Patriots last totaled seven wins in 2007.
West End held an early 6-0 lead following Tyler Jones’ 23-yard touchdown pass to Thad Pearce at 6:58 of the first quarter. The Yellow Jackets (10-1) proceeded 56 straight points to put the game out of reach. Rock Sainsbury’s five-yard touchdown run and Evan Stancil’s PAT with under five minutes remaining in the game cut the Patriots’ deficit to 56-13.
Aliceville finished with a 681 to 178 edge in total yards, including a 412 to 137 advantage on the ground.
For West End, Tyler Jones (pictured above at center) was 3 for 10 in passing for 41 yards. He also ran for 41 yards on 19 carries.
Sainsbury (pictured above at left) rushed 19 times for 61 yards, while Thad Pearce caught three passes for 41 yards.