Varsity Football Falls Short to Vista Ridge Rangers 56-49

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Jaikem Murphy ’18 leads team out of tipi before the game.

  • The Warriors break through a flag as they run on to the field.

  • Will Jennings ’18 talks with Mohan Hegde ’19 before the national anthem.

  • Brandon Kothlow ’18 stands ready durning the national anthem before the game begins

  • Dylan Frazier ’18 runs off the field after a touchdown.

  • Cameron Thomas ’18 waits for the next play.

  • Rylan Lindley ’20 runs his route during a play.

  • Veronica Vasquez ’18 cheers on the football team during the second quarter.

  • Cameron Thomas ’18 jumps over defenders as he moves the ball down the field.

  • Dylan Frazier ’18 waits for the defense to hike the ball.

  • Ryan Lindley ’20 runs the ball towards the end zone.

  • Sundancer officers get ready to go on the field and perform for the half time show.

  • Color Guard performs during the half time show.

  • Khira Petel ’18 walks off the field alongside her team.

  • Chris Martinez ’18 holds off an opposing player.

  • Will Jennings ’18 throws a pass to an open receiver.

  • Westwood’s drum line performs in front of the student section along with cheer durning the third quarter.

  • Jaikem Murphy ’18 looks for an opening in the Raider defense.

  • Will Jennings ’18 and Ryan Lindley ’20 jump to celebrate after a touchdown.

  • Dylan Frazier ’18 sprints up the field after completing a pass.

  • Brandon Kothlow ’18 tackles running back with immediate help from Chris Martinez ’18.

  • SunDancers groove along to the band’s music while in the stands during the game.

  • Chris Martinez ’18 and Zach Hoover ’19 tackle running offensive player.

  • Kaeden Roberts ’18 kicks an extra point after a touchdown.

  • Jake Morrow ’18 and Nicky Manasso ’18 celebrate a westwood touchdown.

  • Cameron Thomas ’18 runs the ball away from defenders.

  • Will Clitheroe’18 and Brandon Kothlow ’18 shoulder bump after defense caught a pick.

  • The Tribe celebrates with the theme of American Spirit.

  • Captains Will Jennings ’18, Reese Green ’18, Dylan Frazier ’18, and Jaikem Murphy ’18 shake hands with the Vista Ridge captains.

  • Warriors take down Raider defense players.

  • Matt Pravednikov ’19 walks across the field to the sideline.

  • Coach Wood gives the Warriors a rundown before the next play.

  • Kaeden Roberts ’18 kicks the ball down the field.

  • The Tribe cheers on the Warriors.

  • Riley Dale ’18, Tristan Smith ’18 and Josh Lott ’19 take down two Raider defense players.

  • Cameron Thomas ’18 pushes through defensive players to run the ball down the field.

  • Matt Pravednikov ’19 prepares to run down the field.

  • Dylan Frazier ’18 reaches to catch the ball before being tackled at the end zone.

  • Blake Wiggin ’18 cheers towards the student section during the first quarter.

  • Will Clitheroe ’19 and Roshan Mara ’18 run down the field before a pass.

  • Mario Debs ’19 hurries past the Raiders’ line of defense.

  • Cameron Thomas ’18 catches a pass scoring the final touchdown of the night.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

The Warriors fell short to the Vista Ridge Rangers, ending with a score of 56-49 on Friday, Sept. 22. The Rangers were celebrating their homecoming game, but this did not hinder the Warriors’ will to fight until the very end. 

Defense started the game with aggressive and persistence tackles, holding the offense back. Minutes into the first quarter, the Rangers slipped into the end zone putting the first score on the board. Cameron Thomas ‘18 stepped up on offense to gain the Warriors over 50 yards in rushing yards. With the help of Jaikem Murphy ‘18 and Dylan Frazier ‘18, the three offensive players slowly pushed their way closer to the one-yard line. Will Jennings ‘18 faked the ball to Murphy and ran for a touchdown with five minutes remaining in the first quarter, placing the score now tied at 7-7. Brandon Kothlow ‘18, Zach Hoover ‘19, and Reed Harrington ‘18 collectively blocked a potential touchdown in the end zone of the Ranger’s first play back on offense. Even with the defense’s hard work however, the offense scored a touchdown, putting the Rangers ahead at 14-7. The Warriors were forced to punt the ball shortly after starting offense, but a low hike to punter Anthony Brocato ‘18 bounced the ball away where he was forced to retrieve it and run before it went out-of-bounds. The quarter ended when Kothlow caught an interception that bounced off the helmet of a Ranger receiver and gained six yards.

“Our attitude was confident and we were excited to play this game,” Frazier said. “We knew it would be good and the first part of the game felt alright when we were driving down the field — we excelled at marching down the field on offense.”

The Rangers scored in the beginning of the second quarter, making the score 21-7. A 30-yard pass from Jennings for a touchdown slipped through the hands of Thomas and led to an interception by the defense. With the Rangers now on offense, Chris Martinez ‘18 was able to see their plays correctly, and chased after the ball while many followed the fake. Even with this hard fought defense, the Rangers scored with three minutes left in the first half and were ahead by 21 points (28-7). This was not the end of the Warriors’ fight. The offense quickly worked to move down field and were able to score a touchdown by Murphy with seven seconds left on the clock and an extra point kicked by Kaeden Roberts ‘18. The half ended at 28-14.

During the half, the SunDancers danced first alongside the Westwood Warrior Marching Band, and following this, the Rangers introduced their homecoming court and announced their king and queen. The SunDancers then awarded their SunDancer of the week to Campbell Currah ’19 and sunshine of the week to Jordan Hannan ’19.

“The first half wasn’t completely what we wanted,” running back coach Paul Thailing said. “It’s one of those things we think offensively we made too many mistakes, but we did a lot of things right. Defense had a couple stops when they had to, and even though we dropped the ball, we still scored many times. There were still a lot of good things happening.”

The start of the second half went back and forth between receivers, each gaining yards for the Warriors. A close call for a touchdown by Murphy was declined and turned over on the fourth down. Both teams struggled to make a move until the Rangers scored with 5:42 on the clock, the score was then at 35-14. Jennings found trouble in finding open receivers, but excellent run-plays executed by Mario Debs ‘19 and Murphy pushed the team closer to the end zone. Jennings was able to successfully step past the line for a Warrior touchdown (35-21). A punt return by the Rangers placed them closer to scoring at the 35-yard line, then inevitably scoring a touchdown with only two minutes left in the quarter (42-21). Thomas showed excellent execution, matching the Rangers on a punt return by dodging three tackles and sliding past three other defensive players. He was able to gain 40 yards. With 30 seconds left on the clock, Ryan Lindley ‘20 and Murphy aided the team in gaining yards. Jennings scored his second touchdown that ended the third quarter at 42-28.

Vista Ridge scored within the first minute of the fourth quarter (49-28). Lindley aided the team in complete catches and more rushing yards. Jennings broke a previous record set by Ben Johnson with five rushing touchdowns in a game when Johnson had only four. Frazier escaped several tackles when running down the field. Clean throws by Jennings allowed receivers to surpass the now struggling defense. Thomas caught a seven-yard pass into the end zone with eight minutes left in the game (49-35). Will Clitheroe ‘19 and Sam Zientek ‘18 shined on the defensive line and pushed the offense back, which made them lose yards. The Rangers were able to score again with five minutes remaining (56-35). Thomas cut across the field to gain 32 yards, and Lindley caught a 40-yard pass, and gained 20 more yards. Debs drove through the defense, coming short of two yards until a touchdown. Luckily, Jennings was able to run the ball in with five minutes on the clock, bringing the score to 56-42. The Warriors’ offense came back quickly and Matt Pravednikov ‘19 and Frazier assisted the team, collectively making it more than half way down the field. Thomas was able to catch a touchdown with time of 1:33 left on the clock. The Warriors fought hard to try and put another score on the board, but the Rangers took a knee, ending the game at 56-49. 

“Once we got into our rhythm on offense and started running our quick game, we were pretty much unstoppable because we have so many weapons to exploit the defense,” Lindley said. “We struggled with mental penalties and we dropped a lot of routine balls that we normally catch, but we are ready to really focus in and get prepared to the best of our ability during the next bi week.”

The Warriors will be playing their first district game next on Friday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. against Hendrickson at the Pflugerville District Stadium. Go Wood.