Southwest takes down Westside for second straight season
The Southwest Patriots entered Friday night’s game against Westside looking to prove that last year’s win in the series was no fluke.
A year ago, the Patriots beat Westside to mark the first time the Seminoles had lost to another Bibb County program.
Southwest did it again Friday night, forcing five turnovers to claim a 26-12 win.
The game was scoreless in the first half, and it looked like the first team to score might win, but Southwest used a little offense, a little special teams and a whole lot of defense to score 20 points in a six-minute span in the third quarter to seize control of the game.
Three who mattered
Javoris Smith: The senior transfer from Twiggs County ignited the crowd seconds after Westside scored to make it an 8-6 game by returning the kickoff 80 yards for a score. Smith took the ball and ran right but had nowhere to run, so he cut back left and weaved through several tacklers before breaking loose for the score. When Westside cut the Patriots’ lead to 20-12 in the fourth quarter, he again ran back the kickoff, but it was called back due to a penalty. After a Southwest fumble, Westside was driving and reached the Southwest 38, but Smith stepped in front of a Victor Dixon Jr. pass and ran it back 72 yards for the game-clinching score.
Randy Green: The veteran linebacker stopped two Westside drives in the first half with interceptions to spark a determined defensive effort,
Lakelvin Clark: Westside’s senior running back was a spark the entire night and ended the game with 131 yards rushing and a touchdown.
After a scoreless first half, Southwest scored on its first second-half possession, with Jordan Slocum completing two long passes to JaQuez Pennimon, the first one covering 47 yards and the second one going 39 yards for the score. Westside immediately answered with a Dixon-to-Jaylon Barden 53-yard score to cut the Patriots’ lead to 8-6. After Smith returned the kickoff for a touchdown, freshman linebacker Ty’Juhn Blash sacked Dixon on Westside’s next possession and picked the ball up in the end zone for the score. Westside rallied late but never really recovered.
They said it
Smith on his big plays: “I knew we needed a play after they scored, and I saw a gap and just took off. After I cut back, I had some great blocks, and that got me loose. Then when they were driving late, I just read the quarterback and saw where he was going and stepped in and took off.”
Green on his interceptions: “I give credit to the coaches because they called the right defenses. I was acting like I was blitzing, but I dropped back, and both balls came right to me. I just knew I had to catch them.”
Southwest head coach Joseph Dupree on the defensive effort: “I am just so proud of the way they played, and they deserve the credit. Randy Green was ready to make plays because he is in the film room all the time and knows what to expect. As far as Ty’Juhn, well he is just a freshman, but he is a football player who is very athletic and made so many big plays in the game. He didn’t start this week, but I am thinking he probably will next week.”
Westside head coach Spoon Risper on the loss: “We never want to play like this, but we will get better. We do have a young quarterback in Victor, and he will learn from his mistakes, but we have to have some older guys make some plays. It’s back to work on Monday, and we will get better.”
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Westside travels to Warner Robins next weekend to meet Northside, while Southwest has a home game against Manchester.