Warriors shake off slow start, dispatch region foe Sand Rock

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Courtesy of Cherokee County Herald

Things started well enough for Sand Rock against Class 2A, Region 7 football rival Westbrook Christian last Friday (Oct. 12), but then the Warriors hit their stride.

The Warriors (5-2, 3-2) erased a two-touchdown deficit in the first quarter to rally past the homestanding Wildcats, 31-20.

Sand Rock quarterback Dylan Mackey put the Wildcats (3-4, 2-3) out in front 7-0 with 6:19 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run. Junior Ethan Jimmerson connected on the extra point.

Dustin Chambers added to Sand Rock’s lead on a 6-yard scoring run with just 14 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, putting Sand Rock in front 14-0.

Westbrook opened the second-quarter scoring on Jake Kilgo’s 4-yard touchdown run. Chris Underwood’s extra point cut Sand Rock’s lead in half at 14-7 with 4:42 remaining before halftime.

In the third quarter, Warrior quarterback Jonathan Ford connected with Clay Templeton on a 25-yard touchdown pass at the 9:10 mark. The extra point was no good, keeping the Wildcats in front 14-13.

Ford finished the game going 18 of 24 through the air for 266 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 53 yards on 12 carries, including a 4-yard touchdown run with 6:34 to go in the third. 

Templeton passed to Noah Hunt for the 2-point conversion, giving Westbrook its first lead of the night at 21-14.

The Warriors tallied one more touchdown in the third period on a 13-yard run by DeVernon Marshall. Underwood’s kick gave Westbrook a 28-14 advantage with 1:38 remaining in the third.

Sean Wylie opened the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run. The extra point was unsuccessful, but Sand Rock had crept back in it, trailing 28-20 with 9:45 left in the game.

Underwood, however, put the game away with a 30-yard field with 4:02 remaining for the final.

Westbrook continues region play on Friday with a trip to Section.

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