Varsity Football Starts Season Strong with 37-8 Thumping of Southwest

By Sourav Dhar and Arushi Sharma

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  • Quarterback RJ Martinez ’21 makes a run for the endzone. Although he was unable to make in to the end zone on first down, the team was able to get a touchdown the second time around.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Ball in hand, RJ Martinez ’21 looks down the field for someone to throw the ball to. This play ended with the Warriors gaining several yards.

    Photo By Alana True

  • Kyle Ochs ’21 and Josef Borkowski ’21 celebrate a touchdown. This occurred after the ball was intercepted and run 98 yards to the end zone.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Leaning forward, RJ Martinez ’21 tries to get into a position to throw the ball down the field. This was during the final quarter of the game when the Warriors were already up big.

    Photo By Alana True

  • The Westwood Warrior Marching Band plays music while the SunDancers dance along. Although the marching band had reduced numbers, they still performed the whole night.

    Photo By Alana True

  • Westwood JROTC runs with flags saying “Wood”. The 4 cadets run across the field every time the the team scores a touchdown.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Clapping, the Tribe diligently cheers on the players. The Tribe was back in full force with masks at the football game.

    Photo By Alana True

  • Tearing the gap, Tomas Henry ’21 runs for the end zone. Henry was able to score a team touchdown making the score 27-0.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • The defender pushing back, Tomas Henry ’21 pushes towards the end zone. The play occurred after the ball was intercepted by the Warriors.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • After the win, cheerleader Claire Fleming ’21 puts her hand up in honor of the school’s alma mater. The song is played at the end of every win, as well as at the end of pep rallies.

    Photo By Ishika Samant

  • Linking pinkies, Robbie Jeng ’21 smiles at his fellow teammates. All of the football players, and cheerleaders, stood on the field for the playing of the school’s alma mater after the game.

    Photo By Alana True

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Kicking off a season like no other, the varsity football team welcomed the Southwest Dragons from San Antonio to the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on Thursday, Sept. 24. Buoyed by six turnovers forced by the Warrior defense, the home team started fast and maintained a strong grip on the game. The Dragons had no answer for whatever the Warriors had for them defensively, and they rode a strong first half to a 37-8 demolition of Southwest.

“I think that our defense played very well for our first true outing. We knew what Southwest’s game plan was and we were certainly prepared ourselves well throughout the week. Most importantly, we never gave up even when we were backed up in our own end zone and played with great effort throughout the entire course of the game,” linebacker Brian Lee ‘22 said. “Overall, we did a great job proving to ourselves how much potential we have, but with that said, we know we have much room for improvement.”

The Warriors won the toss and started their season on offense, but couldn’t get much of anything going on their opening drive, with Southwest’s defense forcing a three-and-out. The Dragons began to slowly but surely march the ball down the field, but a fumble on a toss play close to the endzone recovered by linebacker Drew Goodall ‘21 killed off the drive, giving the Warriors the ball back. After the turnover, the Warriors were able to get downfield before two big passes from quarterback RJ Martinez ‘21, a 26-yard completion to Robbie Jeng ‘21 and a 25-yard touchdown strike to Julian DeBerry ‘21, put the Warriors on the scoreboard first. The ensuing Southwest possession barely began as the first quarter came to a close, with the Warriors up 7-0.

The second quarter started off with fireworks, as the Warriors made another big play on defense; this time, linebacker Brian Lee ‘22 jumped a pass and made a house call, returning the interception 57 yards for a pick-six to put the home team up 14-0. 

“I was glad that I simply happened to be in the right place at the right time and it was certainly crucial because it set the tone for the rest of the game,” Lee said.

On the next Southwest possession, the Dragons were able to drive down the field all the way inside the Warriors’ five-yard line, but fumbled yet again for the Warrior defense’s third takeaway of the half. The very next play, Martinez hit Jeng for a school-record 96-yard strike to put the Warriors up three scores, 21-0, which is how the half would end. 

Turnovers plagued the Dragons once again to start the second half, as Nick Delgado ‘21 pounced on yet another loose ball and returned it back to the Dragons’ 14-yard line. Martinez capitalized on the fumble with another touchdown drive, waltzing into the endzone with a 14 yard rush to increase the lead to 28-0. However, after the Warrior defense forced a turnover on downs the next series, the Dragons immediately got the ball back off of a Martinez interception. Even though Southwest was able to get their first takeaway of the contest, it didn’t amount to anything, as the Warrior defense was actually able to force a safety instead due to a wild snap that went out of the endzone, pushing the lead to 30-0. Later in the frame, Martinez was able to connect with Tomas Henry ‘21 for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of the quarter for what would be the final score of the day for the Warriors as they went up 37-0.

“I think we played alright for the first game but we have a lot to improve on,” DeBerry said. “I think we could’ve given more effort, but we are becoming closer as a team and that is going to put us in a good position to be a great football team this year.”

The final quarter of play was relatively stagnant, as there wasn’t much offensive activity going on in the last frame. With about four minutes to go, Southwest was able to get a garbage-time touchdown from five yards out, finally putting points on the scoreboard. A successful two-point conversion made the score 37-8, which is how the game would end.

“We just have to stay consistent and just get better throughout this week [for the next game,]” Joseph Tobon ‘21 said.

The Warriors travel to Dragon Stadium next week for a big test against the Lake Travis Cavaliers on Thursday, Oct. 1.