In a nail-biting showdown between Stratford and Westside, the final football game of the season for JV White, delivered an epic fight that kept fans at the edge of their seats.
In the first quarter, Westside started with the ball. It was shortly into the game that fierce tackling by our defense resulted in a fumble and recovery after being knocked loose by #35 Levi Lease. This set the stage for our fired-up offense to show some great blocking, allowing QB Gavin Guzman an opportunity for making some critical gains with his skill at running the ball. He followed this up with a beauty of a pass to wide-open receiver #5 A.J. West for a whopping 50-yard gain. Though we couldn't convert on the 4th down, we turned the ball over at the 1-yard line. With an unexpected turn of events by Westside, they managed to make a run for 6 points. We denied them the extra points.
In the second quarter, a pass completion to #16 Jaelaun Rosser and a stellar run to the 10 yard line, set up Guzman to make it into the end zone, leveling the scoreboard, making it 6-6. Westside answered back with another touchdown and extra point, leading 14-6. However, once our offense regained control and after some tense moments, our defense held Westside from scoring, battling it out in the red zone.
Re-energized from the half, our fans were on their feet cheering for our boys. Stratford started with possession and made good use of the field for another touchdown by QB Guzman and followed by 2 extra points. With the score tied, both teams were fueled to get more points on the board. There was some valiant effort on defense, like a slick tackle by #14 Jack Sullivan, but Westside pulled ahead with a touchdown pass, making the score 14-22.
Our offense returned to the 35-yard line, and despite a few promising plays, were forced to turn over the ball on 4th down. Confident our defense would hold the line, they came through, and forced another important possession by offense. Taking over at the 38 yard line, the O-line rallied with a long run by #28 Dylan Faulkner and an impressive pass to Jaelaun Rosser for a touchdown. Even having to repeat the play, our boys got the much needed 2-point conversion to tie the game at 22-22.
The game remained intense in the 4th quarter with traded possessions, and our defense stepped up in the final 2 minutes. Defensive aggressiveness resulted in a game-changing fumble, followed by a sack by #90 Mourice Elias, forcing Westside to punt. With just one minute left, our offense orchestrated multiple first downs, running out of bounds, and using timeouts strategically, but time ran out leaving the game tied at 22-22.
This thrilling season finale was just one more example of the fortitude shown by our team, coaches, and dedicated fans. These are the games that will keep our Spartan football program strong for years to come. There are many more games ahead for these players. We hope everyone heals quickly and keeps up the training. We will look forward to seeing you all on the turf in the Spring and Fall next year.
Thanks to all the coaches, trainers, ticket takers, administrators, security, and parents that make these games a true Spartan Pride experience. We look forward to even greater achievements in the future. Go Stratford!