By James H. Jimenez/For Sand Mountain Reporter
You can’t always stop momentum.
The West End Patriots learned as much in a region loss to the Cold Springs Eagles by a final score of 26-16 last Friday (Sept. 30) in Walnut Grove.
Cold Springs (4-2, 3-0) had won three games in a row coming into Friday after starting the season with two losses. West End (3-4, 2-1) led the all-time series between the two schools at 5-1. The last meeting was in 2011.
“We didn’t execute like we needed to,” said West End head coach Kyle Davis. “We ran the football, ran the football and ran the football and then on third-and-short, we have a bad snap. We haven’t played well in [the red zone]. We gave it away.
“We had two chances inside the 10-yard line and we don’t get it done. Then we had third-and-18 and we let them get to [our] 2-yard line.”
The momentum changed in the third quarter. West End was driving toward midfield when quarterback Payne Stancil executed a play-action pass that tipped off the gloves of Dylan Butler and into the hands of Cold Springs’ Trevor Slayton.
On the next drive, Cold Springs running back Fisher Willoughby ran through the Patriot defense for a score to help the Eagles take the lead at 20-16, which they ultimately never relinquished.
Stanci finished with one passing touchdown to Andre Little and one rushing touchdown.
For West End’s defense, Marcus Strickland recovered a fumble on a kickoff, while Little blocked a PAT.
For Cold Springs, Nicolas Rollo scored the Eagles’ two first-half touchdowns on the ground, while Willoughby ran in for the Eagles’ second-half scores. Slayton grabbed both interceptions for Cold Springs.
West End travels to region rival Falkville on Oct. 7.
“Our coaches are going to get rid of this loss and we’re going to get that win against Falkville,” said Davis.