|Special teams the difference in Westview's overtime win
|Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 7:36 pm
Brownsville, Tenn. – If ever there was one facet in a ballgame that made the difference in a win or a loss, Westview’s special teams provided it in the Chargers’ thrilling 38-37 overtime win over Haywood County, Friday night, at John B. Hooper Memorial Stadium.
Money — Westview place-kicker Landon Prather (right) split the uprights on all five extra points he attempted with help from holder Tanner Spencer during the Chargers' 38-37 overtime win over Haywood Friday night. Photo by Joey Guest
In sloppy conditions, Westview blocked an extra point kick, stopped a pair of two-point conversion attempts and ended the game when Logan Callins broke up a pass attempt on the final play of the contest as the Chargers improved to 5-4 overall and 4-1 in District 13-AA play to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
Conversely, Landon Prather booted a 22-yard field goal and was 5-for-5 on PAT kicks to help edge the Tomcats, whose record falls to 4-5 (2-3).
“Landon’s ability to go out there and hit all his kicks as opposed to their team was the difference in the ballgame,” said Charger head coach Don Coady.
Westview fullback Chevy Taylor’s 23-yard touchdown run and subsequent Prather extra point kick with less than three minutes to go in regulation knotted the score at 31 and led to overtime.
High school overtime rules give each team four plays from the opponent’s 10-yard line, and Westview wasted no time, taking possession first and scoring on a Tanner Spencer first-down pass to Brian West. Prather’s kick put the visitors up 38-31.
Haywood also scored on its first play as Terry Grandberry rumbled up the middle for the score, prompting a chess match between the opposing coaching staffs.
The Charger coaches sent in their jumbo package on defense, which prompted the Tomcat staff to halt its plans for the two-point conversion attempt and send the kicker back onto the field to force a second overtime frame.
But, David Castro never got the chance as the snap slipped from the grasp of holder Corey Galbraith, who picked it up and threw toward Demarcus Douglas in the end zone. Callins was there and knocked it away, and the Chargers stormed the field in jubilation.
“I’ve looked at the state-wide standings, and I’m fairly confident six wins will get us into the playoffs,” Coady said after the game. Westview will go for that important sixth victory at 7:30, Friday night, when it hosts Covington, which fell to Milan, 40-7, to drop to 1-4 in district play and 2-7 overall.
However, to put themselves into that position, the Chargers had to overcome a brilliant performance by Haywood’s standout tailback, Grandberry, who rushed for five TDs and 163 yards on 30 carries. With 125 return yards and 19 receiving, the junior speedster had 307 all-purpose yards on the night.
Spencer was impressive at quarterback for Westview, despite the rainy weather, completing 11-of-18 attempts for 178 yards and three TDs. Matt Melton caught two of those scoring strikes, including a diving grab at the goal line at the end of the first half to give the Chargers a 17-13 lead at the break.
Melton also scored on Westview’s second play of the third quarter as he made a catch on a quick out pattern, broke a tackle and raced down the sideline for a 60-yard TD to put the Chargers on top 24-13.
The Tomcats answered with two touchdowns, the second coming on a 30-yard scoring strike from Harold Watson to Jarvis Johnson on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 25-24 Haywood lead. But on both scores, the Tomcats failed to add the conversion, which they did for a third straight time after Grandberry gave them a 31-24 lead with a 1-yard plunge to paydirt with 8:27 remaining in regulation.
That left the door open for Westview to tie the game late in the fourth as Abraham Haddad broke up a third-and-long pass deep in Haywood territory, forcing a punt and setting up Taylor’s late TD run and Prather’s game-tying PAT kick to force overtime. Taylor finished with 82 yards on eight carries to lead the Charger ground attack, while senior tailback DeMarcus Williams added a touchdown and 65 tough yards on 13 carries to the WHS totals.
Editor’s Note: Joey Guest is a free-lance writer and associate editor of Pressbox1.com. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 731-332-1164.
Westview 3 14 7 7 7—38
Haywood 7 6 6 12 6—37
WHS — FG Landon Prather 22, 6:03.
HCHS – Terry Grandberry 1 run, (David Castro kick), 3:46.
WHS – DeMarcus Williams 48 run, (Prather kick), 6:33.
HCHS – Grandberry 2 run, (kick blocked), 5:32. WHS – Matt Melton 31 pass from Tanner Spencer, (Prather kick), 0:07.
WHS – Melton 60 pass from Spencer, (Prather kick), 11:00.
HCHS – Grandberry 12 run, (pass failed), 9:04.
HCHS – Jarvis Johnson 30 pass from Harold Watson, (run failed), 11:53.
HCHS – Grandberry 1 run, (kick failed), 8:27. WHS – Chevy Taylor 23 run, (Prather kick), 2:34.
WHS – Brian West 10 pass from Spencer, (Prather kick).
HCHS – Grandberry 10 run, (pass failed).
First Downs 15 18
Rushes-yards 28-181 50-199
Passing yards 178 114
Comp-Att-Int 11-18-0 7-13-1
Punts 4-35.5 4-26.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-0
Penalties-yards 5-25 5-27
Rushing — Westview, Chevy Taylor 8-82, DeMarcus Williams 13-65, Tanner Spencer 5-30, Abraham Haddad 2-4; Haywood, Terry Grandberry 30-163, Harold Watson 15-56, Martrell Liggions 2-7, Brandon Johnson 2-(-10), Team 1-(-17).
Passing — Westview, Spencer 11-18-0 178; Haywood, Watson 7-13-1 114.
Receiving — Westview, Matt Melton 4-112, Taylor 3-29, Brian West 2-17, Cody Blake 1-14, Seth Waterfield 1-6; Haywood, Jarvis Johnson 3-86, Grandberry 2-19, Jacques Gleason 1-10, Brandon Johnson 1-(-1).
Records — Westview 5-4 (4-1 District 13-AA), Haywood 4-5 (2-3 District 13-AA).
Next Game — Westview will host Covington, while Haywood travels to Dyersburg with kickoff for both games set for 7:30 on Friday night.
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