From the first time B.E.S.T. Academy had the ball Friday, it was obvious that it had some skilled players on offense as Nakia Davis Jr. hit Blaine Gibson with a perfect 60-yard strike over the Westside secondary.
But after battling Westside (2-2) to a tie at the half, the depth of the Seminoles’ 73-man roster started to show in the second half as they wore down B.E.S.T. and their 33 dressed players for a 34-20 win.
Five who mattered
Lakelvin Clark: Westside’s senior running back had a decent first half with 42 yards rushing, but he exploded in the third quarter, rushing for 98 yards and a score. Clark ended the game with 140 yards on 19 carries.
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Victor Dixon Jr.: The Seminoles’ quarterback threw for three scores and ran for another while throwing for 156 yards.
Jaylon Barden: The sophomore receiver provided big play ability for Westside as he started the game with a 30-yard catch and had two other catches for more than 25 yards. He finished with four catches for 111 yards.
Omar Jones: The Westside senior had two touchdown catches.
Gibson: The senior for B.E.S.T. caught passes for 159 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing touchdown to keep his team in the game.
The teams were locked in tie at 14 at the half, but Westside, after stopping B.E.S.T. in three plays, ran Clark four straight plays, and he responded with 63 quick yards. With B.E.S.T. looking to stop the run, Dixon found Jones for a 7-yard score. After rushing for 87 yards in the first half, the Seminoles ran for 235 in the second half.
They said it
Westside head coach Spoon Risper on the second-half performance: “We wanted to run the ball on them, and we wanted to wear them down, and I thought we did a great job in the second half of doing that. B.E.S.T. has some outstanding athletes, but we knew they were a little bit undermanned and had a lot of guys going both ways. We just had to stick to the plan that we had.”
Risper on the play of his offensive playmakers: “I thought Victor Dixon was solid, and the main thing was that he didn’t turn the football over. If he can do that, we always have a chance to win. I was very pleased with Omar Jones and Jaylon Barden, who did a great job of catching the ball in traffic, and Lakelvin Clark gave us a huge boost in the third quarter.”
Westside hosts Peach County on Friday.