PERRY -- The teams entered Friday night’s GISA Class AAA quarterfinal matchups with 10-1 records.
Only one really played like a 10-1 team.
Defending champion Westfield was overpowering in thumping Brookwood 45-15 on Friday night at The Hornets Nest to advance to the semifinals.
The Hornets, 11-1, get a chance at avenging their only loss next week when they welcome Deerfield-Windsor to town. Deerfield won 35-25 in Albany in September.
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“First of all, I just wanted to say that the players played hard, and I have to give them most of the credit, but our coaching staff, especially our defensive coaching staff, did a great job,” Westfield head coach Ronnie Jones said. “(Brookwood) is a team that’s been averaging 32 points per game and 70-something plays a game, so I think that’s where it started for us, to keep them out the end zone.
“I’m just mighty proud of those kids. I never dreamed the score would be like this, and I don’t think anybody else did, either.”
The Westfield defense was certainly active and never allowed Brookwood to get in any type of flow or muster any big plays, forcing the Warriors to play from behind.
The first half was predominately defensive-oriented, a tough battle with both teams keeping each other at bay on the offensive side. The game opened up in the second half for the Hornets as they dominated the Warriors, outscoring them 35-12 to pull away.
Westfield running back John Jenkins was big, rushing for 162 yards on 18 carries with three touchdowns. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick also did damag, piling up 113 rushing yards and a touchdown.
“I hope we can take this kind of emotion into next week, given the only game we lost was to Deerfield,” Jones said. “Our kids are looking forward to this game, I can tell you that. I’m glad the game is here, so I’m looking forward to it.”