WESTLAKE — Winless no more.
After many close calls, the Westlake took out its frustration on Class 3A No. 7 Lake Charles College Prep on Friday at Max Caldarera Memorial Stadium.
The Rams blocked three punts and sacked LCCP quarterback Dillon Simon four times in the first half and rolled to a 55-13 win for its first of the season in its District 4-3A opener.
Westlake (1-4, 1-0) lost three of its first four games by eight points or less.
“We finally put a whole game together,” Westlake head coach John Richardson said. “I am proud of the kids and proud of the coaches on how they did tonight.
“Things just went our way tonight. We had some bad luck early on, so we were due some good. I told our guys we are going to separate this season into two halves. Tonight we started the second half of the season. The first half definitely didn’t go our way and the second half is off to a good start. But it is one game and we have to go back to work.”
The big special teams and defensive plays gave the Rams offense the ball on the Trailblazers’ side of the field on four of their six first-half drives.
LCCP (3-3, 0-1) didn’t have positive rushing yards until late in the fourth quarter. Westlake held the Trailblazers to 195 total yards and just 11 on the ground. Defensive lineman/tight end Nic Runnels had two sacks and caught a 7-yard touchdown pass in the first half and Cameron Johnson and Eli Goss had a sack each.
“We got some great field position early off of special teams and we were able to go out there and jump on them early,” Richardson said. “Coach (Brad) Kellogg and Coach (Ronnie) McZeal had a great game plan and the kids did a great job of executing. It is probably the best week of practice since we have been here.”
Westlake blocked a punt on LCCP’s first possession and took over at the Trailblazers’ 14-yard line. Four plays later, quarterback Drew Winn punched it in for the first of his three touchdowns.
The second blocked punt turned into a six-yard touchdown run by senior running back J.J. Ross. LCCP was able to cut the Rams’ lead in half on a 73-yard pass and catch from Simon to Jaylen Joseph, but the Rams reeled off 34 consecutive points.
Westlake dominated the line of scrimmage as Ross and backfield mate Jasia Simien both cracked the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive week. Ross had 146 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries and Simien carried ball 26 times for 156 yards and a score.
“We just did a good job of running the football,” Richardson said. “They (Ross, Simien) both really ran hard tonight and I thought the offense line played well up front. We just finally clicked tonight.”
Westlake held the ball for nearly nine minutes in the second quarter, including a five-minute drive that ended with Ross plunging over the line for a 34-7 lead with 53 seconds left in the first half.
LCCP lost two fumbles early in the second half. Running back Trevonte Citizen had a big 45-yard run on the Trailblazers first play of the second half, but LCCP fumbled in the red zone which was recovered by Westlake’s Ethan Koonce. Westlake’s Alex Sims recovered the Trailblazers second fumble at the LCCP 30-yard line. Westlake scored 14 points off the fumbles on a 2-yard run by Simien and a 6-yard run by Winn.
Joseph led LCCP with four catches for 94 yards and Glynn Johnson had two for 65. Simon completed 7 of 17 passes for 184 yards.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
LCCP7006 — 13
Westlake286714 — 55
W: Drew Winn 1 run (Dawson Wix kick)
W: J.J. Ross 6 run (Wix kick)
L: Jaylen Joseph 73 pass from Dillon Simon (Derrick Harden kick)
W: Nic Runnels 7 pass from Winn (Wix kick)
W: Winn 1 run (Wix kick)
W: Ross 1 run (kick failed)
W: Jasia Simien 2 run (Wix kick)
W: Winn 6 run (Wix kick)
L: Glynn Johnson 49 pass from Simon (kick failed)
W: Ross 2 run (Wix kick)
RUSHING — Lake Charles College Prep: Trevonte Citizen 3-39, Eric Beloney 1-6, Jarell Joseph 1-7, Lazarius Stevenson 3-15. Westlake: J.J. Ross 29-146, Jasia Simien 26-156, Drew Winn 7-36, Jamaal Guillory 1-1, Jared Manuel 2-4, Ethan Koonce 1-2.
PASSING — Lake Charles College Prep: Simon 7-17-0—184. Westlake: Winn 1-2-0—7.
RECEIVING — Lake Charles College Prep: Jaylen Joseph 4-98, Glynn Johnson 2-65, Keshlon Jackson 1-21. Westlake: Nic Runnels 1-7.