Boosted by the return of senior linebacker and South Carolina recruit Matt Rolin (sprained ankle), the Falcons held the Panthers to 44 yards on the ground and 68 yards of total offense. Briar Woods is allowing only 52.6 rushing yards per game and 2.0 yards per carry on the season. That unit will be tested Friday when the Falcons visit Tuscarora (4-0), which is averaging 229 rushing yards per game.
Westfield remains undefeated
Graduating more than 40 seniors already had No. 8 Westfield learning on the fly this season, but a number of injuries against Robinson this Friday forced the Bulldogs to learn even more about their young roster.
Given an opportunity, those players stepped up with big plays in the fourth quarter against the Rams (1-3), and Westfield (4-0) remained undefeated with a 24-21 win.
The first big play came on a drive midway through the fourth quarter with Westfield trailing by four. Quarterback Chris Mullins scrambled to buy time and found sophomore fullback Evan Gray between two defenders to convert a third and 15.
Later in the drive, third-string running back Brian Garland busted through with a 19-yard touchdown run, the game-winning score with 6:16 remaining in the game.
The defense came up with a big stop after Garland’s score, halting Robinson’s 11-play drive on the Westfield 40-yard line with less than two minutes to play.
Westfield Coach Kyle Simmons said he hoped his team had learned a lesson from the game — one that might have been even better served with a loss.
“With a young group, I’m fearful of what they’re reading in the paper and reading online and hearing about themselves,” Simmons said. “Sometimes in the middle of the year when you have a team with potential it’s good to get knocked down a couple pegs and have that experience.”
The Bulldogs were able to pull out the win, though, and Simmons acknowledged there are certainly strong lessons that come with pulling out a victory against a tough district opponent.
“We had a couple additional injuries during the game that caused people to have to step up and they made plays and faced adversity,” Simmons said. “It was good to do that and gain experience.”