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Westfield’s rushing attack is too much for West Potomac

By Louis Nelson,

With the way Westfield’s defense was playing just one of Bulldogs’ running backs would have been enough Friday night. Senior Dalaun Richardson could have carried the load. Junior Tyler Thrasher-Walker or sophomore Evan Gray could have done it alone, too.

Together, the three Bulldogs running backs ran wild Friday night, scoring five of No. 7 Westfield’s seven touchdowns and rushing for a combined 289 yards in a 49-0 rout at West Potomac.

It was Richardson who gained the bulk of the yards for the Bulldogs (7-0), racking up 160 yards on 16 yards, but no touchdowns, before being pulled in the third quarter once the Bulldogs had seized a 35-0 lead. Gray scored three times Friday, twice on the ground and once via a pass from Westfield quarterback Chris Mullins. Thrasher-Walker scored a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 94 yards on just nine carries. Running entirely in the second half, junior Brian Garland picked up 74 yards on nine carries.

“We know that if I get tired, I’ll have a backup ready to go, fast and ready. If Tyler gets tired, Brian comes in, he’s the speed back, and we just change directions and we’re always ready to go,” Richardson said. “They think that we’re done, but no, we got extra backs coming in ready to play, so it’s an advantage to us.”

As a team, Westfield picked up 470 yards of total offense against West Potomac, 378 of which came on the ground. Mullins did the rest of the work offensively, completing six passes for 92 yards.

Westfield’s defense was equally impressive against West Potomac, shutting out an offense that entered Friday averaging 40 points per game. Playing from behind for much of the game, the Wolverines struggled to pick up many yards through the air against the Bulldogs. Westfield held West Potomac quarterback Caleb Williams to just four completions out of 24 attempts Friday night for 50 yards and three interceptions.

Sophomore defensive back Donterio Moore put the cherry on top of the Bulldogs’ dominant defensive night, returning a fumble 31 yards for a touchdown with 47 seconds left in a game that had largely been decided by halftime. Perhaps most notably, the Bulldogs held Wolverines running back Demornay Pierson-El to a season-low 94 yards and kept him out of the end zone for the first time this season.

“[Pierson-El] was a good football player, and we worked really hard,” Westfield Coach Kyle Simmons said. “Our defense has had some bumps and bruised through the six games prior to this one, and we were really counting on them to step up and stop [Pierson-El] and they did it and that’s something to be very proud of . . . 49-0 against a 5-1 team, there’s a lot to be proud of.”

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