After the first seven possessions of the GISA Class AAA football championship Saturday night at Mercer, Westfield and Pinewood looked to be a great matchup.
The Hornets led 7-0 on the strength of a Ryan Fitzpatrick to Cam Forrester 40-yard touchdown pass, but the Pinewood defense was having success stopping the Hornets’ run game.
Westfield, however, can do more than run the football.
Fitzpatrick caught fire, throwing three more touchdowns in the first half as the Hornets took a 31-0 lead and cruised to a 52-7 win for the Hornets’ second straight state championship.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“We have a lot of confidence in our passing game, and when they stacked the box against us, we felt like it was time to open it up a little bit,” said Fitzpatrick, who ended the game with 169 yards passing and added another 70 on the ground. “We have so many guys who can catch the football, and I feel like they will make a play if I get it close to them.
“This state championship feels every bit as good as the first, and hopefully we can try and win another one next year.”
An outmanned Pinewood team was able to hold Westfield to only 57 yards rushing in the first half but had no answer for Fitzpatrick and Westfield’s receivers. After Griffin Elmore kicked a 21-yard field goal to give the Hornets a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, the Hornets found the end zone on three straight drives.
Fitzpatrick threw long to Giles Amos, who beat a defender to the ball for a 56-yard touchdown. On the next drive, Fitzpatrick found Tucker Moody in the middle of the field, and Moody took it 47 yards for another score to make it a 24-0 game. Fitzpatrick struck again with a minute left in the half, finding Amos in the end zone for a 16-yard score.
“Giles gets all the credit for those touchdown passes because he just made unbelievable catches on both of them,” said Fitzpatrick, who said he and Amos have been throwing footballs to each other since they were in middle school. “He has that ability to make any quarterback look good.”
Westfield got touchdown runs from Josh Jenkins, Robert Myatt and Fitzpatrick in the third quarter to open up a 52-0 lead, before liberal substitutions were made. In all, 15 players had at least one carry for Westfield.
“I am a bit surprised by the final score, because I felt coming in that Pinewood is a very good football team,” Westfield head coach Ronnie Jones said. “But I have a team full of great young men who just wanted to win this football game. I am extremely proud of them, and I feel extremely blessed to be a part of all of this.”