NORMAN — It was a game-changing play. With Westmoore trailing 6-0, Jhames West had driven his team down to Broken Arrow’s 2-yard line with just seconds left in first half.
Normally, coach Billy Langford would just run the ball behind his huge offensive line and pick up the two yards needed with ease. But this time he went away from his team’s bread and butter and called a pass play. It’s a call he most likely wants to take back.
The Tigers’ Ryan Alger intercepted West’s pass at the 1-yard line and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. BA took a 13 -0 lead into halftime and the Jaguars were unable to make up the lost ground and fell 26-13.
The loss dropped Westmoore to third place in District 6A-2 and prevents them from hosting a first-round game in the upcoming playoffs. Instead, it will now travel to Tulsa on Friday to face Union at 7:30 p.m.
The Redskins average more than 42 points per game and showcase a balanced offensive attack.
The best defense Westmoore has in slowing down Union is its own run game.
For much of the season, Westmoore has been struggling to find its identity on offense. One game they will pound the rock, another they are flinging it through the air.
As they head into the postseason, it seems the Jaguars may have found exactly who they are. In their past three games they have pounded out 772 yards on the ground in wins over Sapulpa and Tulsa Edison and its loss to BA.
Behind a mammoth offensive line, the Jaguars have been able to run for more than 200 yards in every single game, but it hasn’t been until the last few weeks that they have made an even more dedicated effort to their ground game, which then sets up the passing attack.
The Jaguars have a three-headed rushing attack led by tailback Austin Richard, West and backup running back Keiron Hardrick . They have also combined for 36 touchdowns on the ground.
But it all begins with the front line and the attitude they plan to take into the game.
“When we run the ball, it’s consistent dominance over other fronts,” senior lineman Nick Hardaway said. “That’s what we do best. I feel like that’s what others know that’s what we do best. It doesn’t matter if they know what we are doing it or not. If we can go out there and force our will on them, it doesn’t matter.”