Westside shutouts Lions 40-0 in season opener
Westside churned out touchdown drives of 73, 70, 63 and 62 yards as the Warriors shutout Manila 40-0 in the 2014 kickoff to the high school football season Friday night at Lion Field.
The Warriors scored on their opening possession, going 73 yards in 10 plays, capped off by Thomas Craft's nine yard touchdown run at the 2:20 mark of the first quarter. Chase Sprinkle added the point after to give Westside a 7-0 lead.
Westside began their touchdown march after Manila had taken the opening kickoff at its own 21. The Lions advanced deep into Warrior territory before sputtering at the Westside 27, surrendering the ball on downs. Sophomore Tyler Johnson's 27 yard run highlighted the Manila drive.
Manila's next possession resulted in a three and out, forcing a Lion punt. Westside's Quoshon Gillespie fielded Nick Stiles' high end over end kick, and ran it back 40 yards to the Lion five yard line, setting up a first and goal. Cody Banda barreled into the end zone on the Warriors next offensive play for the score. Sprinkle added the point after, giving Westside a 14-0 advantage with 15 seconds left in the quarter.
A fumbled snap on an attempted punt gave the Warriors excellent field position at the Lion 26 early in the second quarter, but the Manila defense stiffened and stopped Westside on fourth and goal at the Manila 13.
The two teams traded turnovers before Westside quarterback Kenny McFadden hooked up with Gillespie on a 32 yard touchdown strike with 2:19 left in the half. Sprinkle's point after gave the Warriors a 21-0 halftime lead.
Westside increased its advantage to 28-0, driving 63 yards in six plays to open the second half. Michael Carr's 22 yard dash on a misdirection play capped off the scoring drive. Sprinkle added his fourth consecutive point after attempt.
Manila drove into Warrior territory once again, but came up short on a failed fourth down attempt. Luis Maldonado provided a nifty 15-yard run during the Lion drive.
The Warriors struck again on their next possession, putting together a 10-play, 62 yard scoring march, culminated by Craft's three yard touchdown plunge. The PAT failed, leaving Westside ahead 34-0.
Westside scored its last touchdown, traveling 70 yards in 11 plays, eating up over 5:00 in the fourth quarter, to take a 40-0 lead. Demarius Smith scored on a busted play, scooting into the end zone from 11 yards out for the Warrior score.
The Lions had one last chance to hit pay dirt, but came up short when the Warriors stopped Maldonado inches shy of the goal line as time expired.
"I thought the difference in the game was Westside's ability to control the line of scrimmage," said Manila Coach Jerry Castor. "We shot ourselves in the foot several times, made too many mistakes. We had a good drive early in the game, but just couldn't get the ball in the end zone. Westside has a good team. We just have to go to work and get better."
Craft led Westside with 13 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns. McFadden finished three for eight through the air for 50 yards and a score. The Warriors gained 287 total yards, including 237 on the ground.
Manila ran 48 plays and gained 173 yards total offense. Maldonado was the leading rusher for the Lions, carrying 13 times for 63 yards. Johnson had six carries for 36 yards while Stiles rushed seven times for 30 yards. Aaron Carter had four totes for 30 yards while Kyle Joyner rushed six times for 13 yards. Joyner also finished one for four passing for three yards.
The Lions will return to nonconference action Friday night when they travel to Trumann to take on the Wildcats. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.