Photo: West End’s Marty Wooten runs into a host of Gaston defenders during the Patriots’ 53-16 victory in high school football on Sept. 22 at Shinbone Ridge. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
West End scored touchdowns on its first six possessions en route to a 53-16 victory over Class 2A Region 6 rival and Etowah County neighbor Gaston on Sept. 22 at Shinbone Ridge.
The win snaps a three-game skid for the Patriots.
According to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society, West End has won five straight against the Bulldogs.
West End finished with a 531 to 212 edge in total yardage, including 498 yards via the rush.
Rock Sainsbury paced the Patriot running game with 195 yards and two TDs on 11 carries.
Marty Wooten had six carries for 78 yards and a touchdown, while Kane Lawson rushed four times for 71 yards and three scores,
Triston Chaney rushed twice for 67 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and caught two passes.
Braison Howard gained 52 yards on 10 attempts.
West End raced out to a 19-0 lead after one quarter courtesy of two touchdowns by Sainsbury – the first from eight yards out and the second from 59 yards away – and a five-yard jaunt by Lawson
The Patriots reached the end zone three more times during the second period. Chaney returned a punt 70 yards to paydirt, Lawson scored on an eight-yard run and Wooten ran it in from nine yards out for a 41-0 halftime advantage.
The Bulldogs (1-3, 0-2) finally got on the scoreboard at 8:34 of the third quarter on Easton Albert’s 35-yard touchdown run. West End answered on the next possession with a 56-yard TD run by Chaney.
Trustin Granger’s 40-yard scoring run cut the lead to 31 points before Lawson capped the scoring with a 43-yard touchdown run.
Fysher Patterson led the Patriots defensively with six tackles, followed by Josh Carroll with five and Chaney, Dawson Allen, Jace Golden and Drake McDevitt with four each.
For Gaston, Nate Oliver gained 80 yards on 15 carries, while Granger ran 13 times for 86 yards. Defensively, Conner Humphrey had nine tackles, while Keller Skaggs finished with six tackles and caused a safety.
The Patriots host Sand Rock for homecoming in a non-region matchup next week, while Gaston visits Collinsville.