Gaston needs to beat Pats, rely on help

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Gaston (5-3, 3-2) at West End (0-8, 0-6)
Last week’s results:
Gaston 42, Ider 7; Sand Rock 42, West End 16
2012 result: West End 28, Gaston 12
Series record: West End leads 23-12-1

By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent

Gaston is playing for a postseason berth and West End is playing for pride in tonight’s Class 2A, Region 7 matchup in Walnut Grove.

The Bulldogs still have a shot at making the playoffs if Westbrook loses to North Sand Mountain.

“We can’t control that part of it,” Gaston coach Swane Morris said of Westbrook. “But we can control what we do. If we go out and take care of business, we’ll know we did our part.”

Short-handed at the start of the season, West End is down to almost no reserves.

“They took a big hit from the injury bug,” Morris said. “When you’re a small school and have a lot of injuries, you start misplacing players from their natural positions and it takes a toll.

“But the kids they have run their system well. Coach (Randy) Hallmark does a great job of teaching the Wing-T and they run it to perfection.”

The clock should go fast in this game, as both teams like to run the ball.

On average, Gaston has rushed for around 250 yards per game and passed for about 70.

The Bulldogs are also scoring an average of about 26 points and giving up around 15.

“I felt like our special teams played their best game of the year,” Morris said of last week’s win.

The highlights of the special teams were a kickoff returned for a touchdown and a botched extra-point snap that was converted into two points.

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