Peavy, Taylor lead Westfield to first State Semifinal since 2014
HOUSTON - Dyllon Peavy credited his night to practicing perfect.
His perfect practice turned into a perfect game right when Westfield needed it as the senior linebacker turned into Jesuit Dallas' biggest nightmare on both sides of the ball on Saturday night inside NRG Stadium.
Peavy racked up 13 tackles, forced a fumble - which was recovered by Westfield - registered an unbelievable one-handed interception in the end zone and rushed in for a touchdown, Kendal Taylor rushed for 204 yards and two scores and Westfield defeated Jesuit Dallas 38-28 in the Class 6A Division II Region II Final.
"Just pride," Peavy said about Westfield being back in the state semis. "Looking out for my brothers, my teammates and my coaches. You know we have our coaches back and they have ours."
Westfield moves on to play Denton Guyer, which handled Tascosa easily, winning 42-7 on Saturday. There have been no details on where that game will be played next week.
This is the first State Semifinals trip for Westfield since 2014.
"We haven't been to the semis since my brother was head coach in '14," Westfield coach Matt Meekins, who was an assistant coach on that staff, said. "It's nice to get back."
The Mustangs raced out to a 21-7 lead behind a pair of Malachai Jones touchdown catches, one for 18 yards and the other for 53, with 5:30 left in the first quarter.
"It was huge because that was momentum," Jones said. "I took the momentum, I took the team on my back and we did it. We did it as a team."
Jones finished with five receptions for 99 yards and the two scores. Sophomore quarterback Cardell Williams finished 9 of 21 for 169 yards and two scores.
Jesuit Dallas answered back with its premiere back in EJ Smith. The senior rushed for his only two touchdowns of the night in the first half, tying the game at 21 apiece with 3:46 remaining in the first half. Smith finished with 21 carries for 60 yards and the two scores.
With just nine seconds left in the first half, Peavy struck from a yard out for his rushing score, giving Westfield the 28-21 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, with Jesuit Dallas driving, the Rangers were inside the Mustangs' 10 when Rance Holman flicked a pass towards the end zone. Peavy went up and with one hand reeled it in for an incredible interception to end the drive.
"We have some athletes on defense," Meekins said. "Funny thing is that Dyllon was a running back and a linebacker in middle school and in ninth grade."
WOW!! Somebody call @SportsCenter because @DyllonPeavy just made an unbelievable one-handed interception in the end zone!! Wow!! #txhsfb @dctf @MjWRU_6 @staywokee2 @fb_westfield @joeagleason @abc13sports @Tepper @TXHSFB @LCummings70 @Kendaltaylor1k @Nick_booker16 @WillfrmMars pic.twitter.com/UFf9oyxCQP
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) December 8, 2019
The Westfield defense would break only one time the rest of the game.
With 9:27 remaining, Holman found a wide open Charlie Cook on a 34-yard touchdown pass down the sideline, tying the game up at 28 apiece, but that wouldn't hold.
After a time-draining drive of 4 minutes and 19 seconds, Westfield kicker David Alvarenga nailed a 35-yard field goal, giving the Mustangs a 31-28 lead with 5:09 remaining.
Just minutes later, the Westfield defense got the stop it needed. A pass intended for Smith went over his outstretched arm and right into the hands of Marcus Moore, which gave the Mustangs the ball right back.
Holman finished 22 of 33 for 213 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Rangers.
With it back, it went right into the arms of Taylor, who knew exactly what to do with it. Sixty-one yards later, Taylor was waving bye to Jesuit Dallas and hello to the State Semis as his score sealed a 10-point victory for Westfield.
"He was great," Meekins said about Taylor. "It's great to have a bell cow, any time he touches it he can pop it and go. I don't think anybody's caught him from behind all year."
Now, Westfield is one win away from a trip to AT&T Stadium and a berth in the UIL 6A Division II State Championship game, which they haven't done since 2004.
"We're different," Jones said. "We play for each other. Nobody has really done that in the past. We play for each other, that's why we're doing this."
VYPE HIGHLIGHTS 🏈🎥 @fb_westfield gets big 38-28 win behind solid defense, run game and big catches. Check out the top plays. #txhsfb @Kendaltaylor1k @DyllonPeavy @MjWRU_6 @staywokee2 @LCummings70 @Tiki_TTG05 @Nick_booker16 @tim_d1bound @dctf @TXHSFB @joeagleason pic.twitter.com/VSIh5lPVri
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) December 8, 2019