WHS all-around effort knocks D'burg from unbeaten ranks
Joey Guest – Special to the Weakley County Press
Haddad played his best in crunch time, blocking a field goal attempt late in the third quarter of a tightly contested 14-7 battle, repeatedly pinning the Trojans deep in their own territory with booming kickoffs and breaking the game open with a 31-yard sprint to paydirt midway through the final stanza to lead Westview (1-4, 1-1 District 13-AA) to its first victory of the 2009 campaign. Dyersburg falls to 3-1 (1-1 District 13-AA).
Despite 116 yards from standout Trojan tailback Xavier Taylor – 45 of those yards coming on a TD run late in the second quarter – Westview played hard-nosed defense, frustrating a Dyersburg offense that came into the contest averaging 43 points per game.
The victory was enormous, both emotionally and with playoff implications for the Chargers, who started the season 0-4 against highly-ranked opponents with unblemished records.
“It means a great deal,” said Westview head coach Don Coady, who claimed his 151st victory in his 19th season at the Chargers’ helm. “We’ve thought all year we were not as bad as our record, and we could – and had the capability to – play with good football teams. Tonight, we were able to do that. It took a month into the season to get it done, but we got it started, and hopefully, we can continue that now.”
Westview returns home on Friday night to face a 3-2 Memphis Trezevant team, which fell, 28-20, against Manasses, last Friday night.
Much of this Charger victory had to be attributed to the coaching staff and the job they and the team did in preparing, especially defensively, against the high-octane attack of the Trojans.
Time and time again, the Westview coaches would spot a particular formation and personnel package and bark out expected plays to the defense. And, time and time again, they were spot on.
“Our coaches, especially defensively, did a great job of breaking them down and looking at tendencies,” Coady said. “(Dyersburg) did a few things to get away from that, but good teams have tendencies. And the reason is: they can do what they want to do to impose their will, and we just refused to let them do that.”
In its two previous losses, Westview had seen quarterback Tanner Spencer set career highs in completions, attempts and yardage as the Chargers played a lot of come-from-behind football. That type of play is uncharacteristic of past Westview teams, which preferred a rugged, ground-and-pound style on both sides of the ball, as Coady explained:
“We wanted to make sure we could run the football, throw when we wanted to, play good aggressive defense and make plays in the special teams. We’ve hung our hats on that for 20 years now, and tonight, we got back to doing things the way we traditionally do.”
Few in attendance were expecting the Chargers to establish the dominance they showed in the first quarter, but that’s exactly what happened as Westview took the opening kickoff and drove 76 yards in 12 plays to put the first points on the board with Spencer’s 22-yard scamper to paydirt at 5:35. Lee Schultz blocked the extra-point attempt to hold the Chargers’ advantage at 6-0.
Westview’s defense began equally as strong, not allowing Dyersburg a first down in the opening frame, returning possession back to its offense at midfield and setting up Chevy Taylor’s 13-yard TD run early in the second stanza. Spencer connected with Brian West for the two-point conversion pass, and a silence fell over the Trojan faithful as the visitors jumped to an early 14-0 advantage.
That silence remained until Xavier Taylor erupted for a 45-yard scoring dash with 2:18 left in the second quarter to cut the host’s deficit in half, 14-7.
Westview’s Barkley Legens set the tone on Dyersburg’s first play of the second half when he shot through the line and drilled Taylor for no gain.
After a punt three plays later, the Chargers played keep away for most of the third, chewing the clock until Dyersburg mounted a challenge late in the stanza.
A nice, open-field tackle by Westview’s Wyatt Zarecor on a scrambling QB run by Dyersburg’s Chase Brown forced a 32-yard field goal attempt, which was blocked by Haddad dashing from the his left end position and diving in front of the kick’s path to knock it down.
Two possessions later, Haddad exploded down the right sideline for a 31-yard TD run to give Westview a 21-7 lead, which was cemented when Tevin Evans intercepted a Brown pass in the waning moments to ice the contest for the winning Chargers.
Westview’s defensive ability to keep the high-scoring Trojans out of the end zone provided the key for victory as both team’s had eerily similar numbers statistically.
Total offense was separated by a mere 2 yards (Westview – 246, Dyersburg – 248), and oddly enough, both team’s punters had six boots for a 31-yard average.
Xavier Taylor’s 116 yards on 17 carries led all rushers, while Haddad’s 67 led Westview. DeMarcus Williams added 63 yards on 20 carries for the Chargers.
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 731-332-1164.
Westview 6 8 0 7—21
Dyersburg 0 7 0 0—7
WHS – Tanner Spencer 22-yard run, (kick blocked), 5:35
WHS – Chevy Taylor 13-yard run, (Brian West pass from Spencer), 10:27.
DHS – Xavier Taylor 45-yard run, (Andrew Lowrance kick), 2:18.
WHS – Abraham Haddad 31-yard run, (Landon Prather kick), 4:59.
First Downs 14 9
Rushes-yards 42-211 31-218
Passing yards 76 35
Comp-Att-Int 6-9-1 5-12-1
Punts 6-31.0 6-31.0
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 7-60 6-45
Rushing — Westview, Abraham Haddad 6-67, DeMarcus Williams 20-63, Chevy Taylor 8-51, Tanner Spencer 7-23, Matt Melton 1-7; Dyersburg, Xavier Taylor 17-116, Tyler Lyons 7-67, Charles Brown 6-38, Marquistan Joe 1-(-3).
Passing — Westview, Spencer 6-9-1 — 35; Dyersburg, Brown 5-12-1 — 30.
Receiving — Westview, Matt Melton 3-17, Seth Waterfield 1-9, Taylor 1-7, Brian West 1-2; Dyersburg, Corey Nunez 2-25, Seth Hinson 1-9, Taylor 2-(-4).
Records — Westview 1-4 (1-1 District 13-AA), Dyersburg 3-1 (1-1 District 13-AA).
Next Game — Westview will host Trezevant with kickoff at 7:30 on Friday night, while Dyersburg entertains Raleigh Egypt with kickoff at 7 on Friday night.