Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
West End led 23-0 at halftime on the way to a 51-0 win over Etowah County neighbor and Class 2A, Region 7 rival Gaston on September 16 in Walnut Grove.
The Patriots (4-1, 2-1) finished with a 399 to 232 advantage in total yards, including a 152 to 45 edge in the passing game.
Thad Pearce scored the game’s first touchdown on a 63-yard run just 56 seconds into the game. Evan Stancil kicked the first of his seven PATs for a 7-0 lead.
West End got a stop on the Bulldogs’ next possession and forced a punt. The snap went over Gaston’s punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety that extended the Patriots’ lead to 9-0 with 8:44 left in the quarter.
The Patriots made it 16-0 just 58 seconds into the ensuing possession. Following the free kick, Pearce caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Jones.
West End’s Josh Carroll forced a fumble, and Jaxon Hamby scooped up the loose ball and ran 16 yards for the touchdown. Stancil’s extra point pushed the lead to 23-0 with 3:06 left in the first half.
The Jones-to-Pearce connection continued early in the third quarter on a 66-yard scoring strike for a 30-0 lead with 9:13 left in the third.
Rock Sainsbury (pictured above) scored on a 45-yard run and Carroll added a 52-yard touchdown jaunt to round out the third-quarter scoring.
The Patriots’ final touchdown came on a 23-yard run by Brent Williamson just six seconds into the fourth quarter.
Sainsbury rushed for 103 yards on nine carries, while Jones finished 4-of-8 passing for 152 yards.
Triston Chaney caught two passes for 77 yards, while Pearce’s two receptions covered 75 yards.
Jackson Mayo caused a fumble, while Stancil, Dakota Ball and Fysher Patterson each recovered a fumble.
Hamby is responsible for five turnovers (three fumble recoveries and two interceptions) through five games.
West End travels to region rival Sand Rock this Friday (Sept. 23), while the Bulldogs (1-3, 0-2) host Collinsville in non-region action.