By Stan Veitch/Sports Correspondent
West End High had almost everything working right on Friday (Sept. 18) in a 34-0 victory over Class 2A, Region 7 foe Section in Walnut Grove.
Things went right from the beginning for West End (2-2, 1-2), as Hunter Grant connected with Hunter Tarvin for a 71-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the game.
It was the Patriots’ first region twin since a 28-12 victory over Gaston on Oct. 26, 2012.
“It was real big for us to score early,” Patriot coach Kyle Davis said. “Unfortunately, we’re a momentum team, and for us to have a good night, we need to establish momentum early. We had two bad plays prior to the long pass, so it really fired us up.”
West End’s first play was a run for zero yards and the Patriots lost two yards on the next play. Draven Griffith blocked the extra point for Section (0-4, 0-3).
On the Lions’ ensuing drive, the West End defense got a chance to get started. After Section drove all the way to the 10, kicker Alex Hernandez tried a 26-yard field goal that drifted left.
Fortunately for the Lions, West End was called for roughing. Section made it to the 4 on the next three plays, but and on fourth down Jordan Malin saved the shutout by covering a Lions fumble.
“After that couple of series, things kind of snowballed on us,” Section coach Drew Davis said. “We never could get back any kind of momentum.
Speaking of preserving shutouts, Phillip Wall landed on another Lions fumble with 1:38 remaining, essentially ending the game.
In between was a lot of Grant, who He finished with 302 passing yards and three touchdowns, connecting on 13-of-16 passes. Grant also ran for touchdowns of 1 and 9 yards. He connected with Andre Little for a two-point conversion following West End’s second touchdown.
“Hunter is a real humble kid and he just does what he does,” Kyle Davis said. “Tonight, he had a huge night. He occasionally makes a bad decision that hurts us, but for the most part, he’s a great leader.”
Tarvin was Grant’s favorite target, as he caught six passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
After Grant’s final scoring throw – a 74-yarder to Gage Lankford with 6:43 left in the third quarter – Payne Stancil finished the game at quarterback.
Tarvin also had an interception, which he returned 40 yards to the 15. Caegan Epperson also came down with a Section pass.
West End hosts Coosa Christian next week, while Section visits Plainview.