With both Westminster (0-3) and Prairie View (1-2) football searching for their first win of the season, it only took PV four offensive plays to take a commanding 12-0 lead on the road team. …
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With both Westminster (0-3) and Prairie View (1-2) football searching for their first win of the season, it only took PV four offensive plays to take a commanding 12-0 lead on the road team.
Touchdowns of 78 and 50 yards put the Wolves in a hole they couldn’t dig out of, despite giving the Thunderhawks all they wanted late. Even with the 29-8 defeat, Westy and first-year head coach Dayne Allbrandt have plenty of positives to build on moving forward after their second-half surge.
Averaging 14.2 yards per play behind a physical offensive line and rushing attack in the first half, Prairie View had the running game working early. However, taking away the massive gainers on the two touchdown runs, Westy was only outgained in the half by two yards (142-140). The Wolves also ran 11 more plays than PV, but the lack of explosive plays matched with two turnovers against the Thunderhawks defense put the contest at 22-0 going to the break.
In the second frame, Westminster looked like a new team.
Outgaining Prairie View 143-129 in the new half, Westminster followed the lead of senior quarterback Romeo Rodriguez off-script to success against the stout PV defense.
Opening up the playbook for the quick, strong-armed QB, the Wolves and Rodriguez converted on a lot throws outside the pocket, giving the versatile athlete plenty of run-pass options. Starting in the wing-T formation, outside weapons of senior Amir Abdullah and junior Gilbert Bujanda showcased their skills receiving-wise in a traditionally heavy running scheme.
“He’s a great athlete, and I thought the o-line gave him time, doing what they needed to do,” Allbrandt said postgame. “They (offensive line) were stepping in the right direction, driving their feet, and when all 11 of them go out and play the way they are capable of playing, he (Rodriguez) really has the opportunity to shine.”
The lone touchdown for the Wolves came on an 11-yard pass from Rodriguez to Bujanda with 7:58 remaining to cut the lead to 22-8 (Bujanda also caught two-point conversation). After a controversial call by the referees on the onside kick by the Wolves, PV drove 38 yards before Rodriguez —at safety— intercepted a pass to give Westy life with 4:56 remaining.
Seven plays later—moving 46 yards— a fumble with 3:44 left gave the Thunderhawks possession back with a chance to put the game out of reach. And they did so with 58 seconds left on a 12-yard TD scamper by senior Joseph Abeyta, ending a second-half fight that the Wolves won’t soon forget.
“In the second half, we cleaned up a lot of mistakes. We played the way we know we are capable of playing with a lot of heart all the way down to the finish,” Allbrandt said. “There are definitely things we can build on and improve upon. We want to continue to improve every week.”
Standouts for the Wolves defensively included senior LJ Montoya and juniors Robert Barron, Tawon Rhonnes. The continued growth of the defense mixed with an offensive unit anticipating to make plays down the field will be critical to the Wolves gaining their first win of the season against Adams County Sept. 20 in Westminster.
“We have to stay consistent and do exactly what we did in the second half from the beginning. We know we are capable of it, it’s just a matter of doing it. We have to get rid of the mental mistakes, the penalties, and just clean a few things up. There is a lot of potential in this team, so continuing to execute and get better every single day is going to help us,” Allbrandt said.
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