Dutch Fork secured a much needed victory over the Westwood Redhawks last Friday night. In a game that featured trick plays, turnovers, and a near comeback, the Silver Foxes were able to pull out the 38-28 win.
Dutch Fork entered the game 6-3 overall with a 2-1 region record. Westwood was 8-1 overall and a perfect 3-0 in region play, their only loss coming to Lexington in September.
Students and spectators filled Dutch Fork Stadium early to honor seniors on the football, cheerleading, and Dazzlers teams, as well as members of the Silver Spirit Band.
The game began slowly, with Westwood and Dutch Fork trading punts on their first drives.
On their second possession, senior quarterback Cole Douglas orchestrated a lengthy drive, capped off with Douglas running it in for the touchdown to put the Foxes up 7-0.
Westwood opened the second quarter with a fumble, giving Dutch Fork the ball in Redhawk territory.
Head coach Tom Knotts then went deep in the play book, calling a reverse pass. After running a reverse, senior receiver Alec DeBoer flipped the ball back to Douglas, who found senior tight end Dante Scott for the score to put Dutch Fork up 14-0.
Westwood found their rhythm on their next drive, handing the ball off to junior running back Rudy Mitchell, who had 467 yards the previous week against Blythewood. Mitchell rumbled for a 60 yard touchdown to pull the Redhawks within 7.
On the ensuing drive, Westwood picked off Douglas’s pass, giving the Redhawks the ball in Dutch Fork territory.
Westwood drove down to the 3 yard line, where a holding penalty called back a Redhawk touchdown. The penalty did not stop Westwood from tying the game, as Mitchell moved the ball into the endzone for another score.
With just a short amount of time left before the half, Douglas found junior receiver Ward Hacklen down the middle of the field for a 55 yard gain. From there, senior running back Clayton Jones was able to score, putting Dutch Fork up 21-14 going into the half.
After deferring the opening kickoff, Westwood got the ball to start the second half. The drive was quickly cut short, as a fumble gave Dutch Fork the ball in Redhawk territory.
The Foxes capitalized off the fumble, as Douglas found Scott again in the endzone to make it 28-14 Dutch Fork.
Westwood’s next two possessions were marred by turnovers as well. A fumble and an interception by junior defensive back Bobby Irby lead to ten Dutch Fork points, making it 38-14 Foxes in the fourth quarter.
Westwood did not give up, scoring an exciting touchdown on their next drive. Junior quarterback Jalen Smith found senior wide receiver Malik Griffin over the middle. Griffin was able to outrun three Dutch Fork players on his way to the endzone to make it 38-21.
Westwood unsuccessfully attempted an onside kick, but was able to stop Dutch Fork. The Redhawks scored to make it a ten point game with two minutes to play.
Westwood’s defense came up with another big stop, giving their offense the ball back with just under a minute to go. Dutch Fork was able to deny the Redhawks on fourth down due to a sack the previous play. Cole Douglas entered the victory formation, and the Foxes hung on to a 38-28 win.
With Ridge View losing to Spring Valley on Friday as well, Dutch Fork moved to the top spot in the region with a 7-3 overall, 3-1 region record. The loss was Westwood’s second of the season, dropping the Redhawks to 8-2 overall, 3-1 in region.
Quarterback Cole Douglas accounted for 299 yards of total offense, 132 on the ground and 167 through the air. Running Back Clayton Jones added 103 yards on the ground. Tight End Dante Scott caught only two passes, but both were for touchdowns. He finished with 44 yards.
Westwood quarterback Jalen Smith finished the night with 142 yards passing, and running back Rudy Mitchell ran for 127 yards.
Westwood closes out the regular season at home against Spring Valley. They will hoping for a Dutch Fork loss, as the Foxes travel to Lugoff-Elgin looking for a win to secure the region title and a home playoff game.