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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Varsity Football Inches Closer to Playoffs With Win Over Manor

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  • Breaking through the defensive line Demani Stewart ’24 bowls over defenders picking up a huge chunk of yardage and taking the ball into Mustang territory. Stewart was featured on the big screen during a timeout for all his accomplishments and records he broke this season.

  • With his team ready to roll Pablo Zavala ’24 lines up to kick the ball following a Warrior touchdown run by Demani Stewart ’24. Zavala kicked the ball out the back of the endzone keeping the ball out of the hands of the Manor return team.

  • With a jump cut, Brian Perkins ’26 breaks away from the Manor defense, heading for the endzone. Perkins would score later that drive and tied the game at 21-21 as both teams headed back to the locker room for halftime.

  • Commanding the offense Owen Norrelle ’24 prepares to hike the ball. Norrelle went on to throw a touchdown pass to end the half and added to his offensive numbers with only two games left in the regular season.

  • Eyes gazed in the air Pablo Zavala ’24 watches as his kickoff soars through the sky toward the Manor return men. Zavala went four for four on extra points on the day and solidified himself as the consistent and reliable kicker the Warriors need.

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On Thursday, Oct. 26 varsity football bested the Manor Mavericks 28-21 in a down to the wire, rushing record breaking shootout, ending in three defensive stands in the red zone to keep the Mavericks from catching up to the Warriors.

“We knew it was going to be a game of two great running backs,” Head Coach Anthony Wood said. “It really came down to who could make the biggest stops, and our defense definitely pulled that off.”

The game took some time to kick into gear starting off slow with two well-played defensive drives from both teams. However, as the first quarter progressed the Warrior offense got more accustomed to the Manor defensive style. Adjustments proved key for the Warriors, resulting in a well executed hurry up formation ending in a double covered reception from Marquis Murray II ‘27, putting the Warriors on the board 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Manor had the ball going into the second quarter, and they were driving fast with Westwood barely catching them on multiple plays; the drive ended in a Maverick touchdown off of a broken play by the defense. The next mistake struck with Westwood’s next drive ending in a scoop-and-score by the Maverick defensive line, putting them a touchdown above Westwood 14-7. Their lead didn’t last long however as Demani Stewart ‘24 scored his 125th career touchdown off of a 30 yard run with 4 broken tackles in his wake, tying up the game at 14 with seven minutes left in the half. Offensive plays didn’t stop for either team, with another Manor touchdown taking back their lead over the Warriors. However, to end the half Westwood came out on the field in a pass-heavy set in the hopes to score.A quick trek down the field later and Brian Perkins ‘26 caught a slant across the middle of the field, breaking 2 tackles and diving into the endzone to end the half 21-21.

“We figured what we needed to do to get ahead was run right at them,” Coach Wood said. “We just needed more energy and aggression into the pocket, and I feel our guys brought it.”

Going into the second quarter the Warrior defense took a lead role on the field, executing the Maverick offense with a series of tackles for losses, and two pass breakups in the third quarter alone. However, the Warrior defense weren’t the only ones determined to make a stand as the Warrior offense with a smart mix of pass and run plays drove down the field in the eighth minute of the third quarter for the final touchdown of the game, solidifying the Warrior lead of 28-21.

In the final quarter of the game, the Westwood defense as a whole never let up, with back to-back-to-back redzone stands shutting out the Mavericks from scoring for a total of nine game minutes; even without the help of the offense, in which there was struggle with two three and out drives in a row resulting in punts for minimal yardage.

“The defense played amazing this game,” Chester Bennett ‘24 said. “The first half was a little rusty, but second half we came through with great coverage and stopped their two best running backs.”

For the final game of the regular season, the Westwood Warriors will play against the Vandegrift Vipers on the road at Monroe stadium Friday, Nov. 3.

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Conall Coats
Conall Coats, Sports Editor
Class of 2025 I have always loved writing, listening, and telling stories. I am eagerly looking forward to being the sports editor this school year, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me. Some of my favorite activities are creating and adventuring, whether they be through paper or in the middle of the woods. I spend most of my days talking to friends or taking hikes… if the weather permits it. I greatly anticipate what is to come in this new year, and I hope to see some of you in class!
Sawyer Grimaldi
Sawyer Grimaldi, Sports Editor
Class of 2025 Hi everyone! Coming from a family of writers and English majors I have always been keen on writing and reporting! I started in middle school and haven’t looked back since. Other things I enjoy are playing sports of all kinds, playing video games with my friends, traveling around the world, and playing with my dog. Something interesting about me is that I like to collect shoes and sports jerseys.

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