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Wildcats notch key grid win

Westview takes out Southridge 31-20 to stay on track for first place
by: MILES VANCE, LITTLE BIG MAN — Westview senior Duane Prewitt turns the corner during his team’s 31-20 win Friday night.

BEAVERTON - Westview's football team gave Southridge its best shot in the first half Friday night.

Next, the Wildcats took the Skyhawks' best shot in the second half of the game at Southridge High School. And finally, Westview came back with one more of its own.

The result? A 31-20 Westview victory that lifted fourth-ranked Westview to a 7-0 record (3-0 in Metro League play) for the first time in school history and simultaneously wrecked Southridge's homecoming and knocked the Skyhawks (4-3 overall, 2-1 in Metro play) from the ranks of the unbeaten in the Metro League.

'It's great,' said Westview senior wide receiver Andrew Jones, who caught four passes for 94 yards and two first-half touchdowns. 'We're always trying to be the first at something and now we're the first 7-0 team.'

'I think this one was one of our better efforts,' said Westview coach Jon Evans. 'They gave us a pretty good shot too, to their credit. We expected it and they did. We'd lost momentum, and to regain it is difficult to do.'

Southridge, meanwhile continued its roller-coaster of a season, which has included (in order) two wins, two losses, two wins and now, another loss.

'I think our mistakes really shot us in the foot in the first half,' said Southridge senior Justin Smith, who notched a 97-yard kickoff return in the third quarter and also blocked a Westview punt. 'I think we could have come back if we played our best game, but I just think our mistakes limited us too much.'

The Wildcats wasted little time getting started Friday night, with junior defensive back Spencer Arns picking off Southridge quarterback Tom Farinacci's second pass and returning it 26 yards to the Skyhawk 28. From there, on second down, Wildcat quarterback Josh Hill hit Jones at the right flag for a 25-yard touchdown, and after the first of Josh Parshall's four extra points, a 7-0 lead.

Southridge knotted the score at 7-7 two series later after Skyhawk linebacker Paul Werhane stuffed Wetsview back Kaale Papas for a three-yard loss on fourth down. Southridge tailback David Smith then picked up 31 yards to the Wildcat 9-yard line to set up Kevin Coleman's scoring run and extra point.

The Skyhawks soon had a chance to move ahead too, after Justin Smith blocked Parshall's punt and Southridge took over at the Westview 29. But the Skyhawks' first two plays netted nothing, and on third down, they snapped the ball over Farinacci's head and Arns recovered for the Wildcats at the Southridge 43.

Two plays later, from the 31, Hill looked to Jones again, this time connecting with his senior wideout at the 3-yard line. Jones outleapt the Skyhawk defender, landed and stopped as the Southridge defensive back overran the play, then ran easily in to score.

Westview was back in the end zone six plays later, taking possession at the Skyhawk 33 after Arns blocked Mike Draper's punt. Kaale Papas (who finished with 112 yards on 20 carries), getting a start in the Cats' new two-back set, did the honors here, racing 32 yards on second down to give his team a 21-7 lead that carried to halftime.

But Southridge came back energized after the break, stuffing the Wildcats on each of their first two third-quarter possessions and cutting Westview's edge to 21-14 when Farinacci hit Tyler Harman for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 7 minutes, 22 seconds left in the period.

The Skyhawks misfired on their next possession, however, and Westview, after starting at its own 9-yard line and staggering backward to its own 3, drove 97 yards to retake control. Hill hit Jones for 29 yards to the 35 to get out of trouble, Papas accounted for 35 yards of his own, and Duane Prewitt capped the deal with a 15-yard scoring run off left tackle.

'At halftime, coach said 'Don't stop all game' so we didn't,' Prewitt said. 'We played like it was 0-0 at halftime. We just took it to 'em.'

Justin Smith answered with Southridge's last gasp, taking Parshall's ensuing kickoff at the 3-yard line, stutter stepping up the middle, cutting left, breaking a tackle, stumbling and racing 97 yards for the score. Coleman's PAT hit the right upright, however, and Westview's lead was 28-20.

Parshall then stepped up at the end of Westview's next drive, converting a 43-yard field goal for the final 31-20 margin.

Southridge's last chances fell by the wayside when Westview stopped the Hawks on three downs, Farinacci was picked off by Kamal Ali to end the next series, and Andrew DeGarmo ended Southridge's last chance when he sacked Farinacci in the final minute.

'We knew we had to come out like we did the second half against Beaverton,' Jones said. 'We knew we couldn't come out flat. We really came out as a team and came out strong.'

'We just had to push and go hard and play Westview football,' Prewitt said. 'In the first half, we came out strong, and second half, we never stopped.'

The Skyhawks, who also saw their chances for a second straight Metro title evaporate with the loss, were left to ponder what might have been had they played a mistake-free game.

'We just turned the ball over too much. That shot us in the leg right there,' said Harman, who led his team with two catches for 27 yards. 'Those turnovers at the start of the game, if we wouldn't have had those, we could have had the 'W.''

'We had plenty of opportunities to come back,' Justin Smith said. 'But we just turned the ball over or we had stupid penalties.'

For the game, Hill connected on 11-of-15 passes for 141 yards and two TDs. David Smith led the Skyhawks with 66 yards on 10 carries, but Farinacci hit on just 6-of-21 passes for 64 yards, one TD and two interceptions.