MOORE — Westmoore came into its matchup with Jenks looking to send a message. As one of only two undefeated teams on the west side of the state, they wanted to prove something to the Trojans and the rest of Class 6A.
Well, a message was sent, but not by the Jaguars, as the Trojans roughed them up 24-0 Friday at Moore Stadium.
“We just wanted to send the message we are No. 1 for a reason,” Trojans safety Steven Parker said. “We wanted to go ahead and show them why we are No. 1. Why they didn’t want to play us and have the ‘Beat Jenks’ carnival and all that kind of stuff.”
It wasn’t that the fifth-ranked Jaguars (6-1, 3-1) lost. It was in the manner in which they fell. With the rain coming down early, along with the frigid temperatures, No. 1 Jenks (7-0, 4-0) turned the contest into a dogfight. That is the type of game Westmoore has prided itself on relishing in the past. That was not the case against the Trojans.
By the end of the night, the Jaguars’ sideline looked like the walking wounded and felt ven worse about their performance.
“We have to learn to stay in the game, mentally and physically,” Westmoore’s Kiante Channel said. “Just because they’ve beaten you up, doesn’t mean anything. We have to play all four quarters. We didn’t do that this game.”
The Jaguars had a shot to get on the board first. After its defense forced Jenks to punt on its first possession, the ball flew over the punter’s head and was recovered at the 20.
Westmoore was unable to move the ball the first three downs. On fourth down, Bryson Lee hit Dahu Green in stride at the 1-yard line, but Green was unable to hold onto the sure touchdown and the ball went back to Jenks.
The rain caused every player to not be able to hold onto the ball. Both teams dropped wide open passes. Even worse it caused turnovers, such as Lee fumbling at the Jags’ 30-yard line.
That led to a Trent Traber touchdown run to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. They added a field goal later to go up by 10.
“Just offensively with the rain, early, it kind of threw us off schedule a little bit,” Westmoore coach Billy Langford said. “We weren’t able to throw the ball like we wanted to.”
The entire Westmoore offense looked out of sync from the playcalling on down. With just over three minutes left before half, the Jaguars got the ball and let the clock run out instead of trying to score. They went into halftime trailing 10-0.
The Jaguars were held to 50 total yards the entire night. Much of that came with Kieron Hardrick on the sidleine.
“We played fantastic,” Parker said. “Our defense, this is definitely the best performance we’ve had. We came and we just played. Hit hard. We just went out and played.”
While the offense had its problems, Westmoore’s defense had a solid day. Led by Channel, Desmond Vick and Chase Silva, they contained the potent Trojans’ offense for much of the night.
“Heart,” Channel said. “Fight to the ball every play. I’m proud of my defense. I expected it, but didn’t expect it that good. Coming out strong is really what helped.”
But as the game wore on, the Westmoore defenders began to tire and Jenks took advantage.
Late in the third quarter, the Jaguars faced fourth and one at their own 48-yard line. Instead of going for it, they punted and the Trojans took over at their 40-yard line. The very next play, Dylan Harding caught a 49-yard pass to set up a Traber touchdown run.
The next series, Harding caught a 38-yard TD pass to bring the curtain down on the Jags.
“We always got next time,” Channel said. “I’m not worried. We’ll see them again.”
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