From the very start, even before the game, the Westfield Mustang defense was ready.
As the teams were set to make their entrances, there was a "meeting of the minds" between the two teams in the end zone. It set the tone for the entire game, which Westfield took 42-24 to advance to the third round of the 6A-I playoffs.
The first quarter started with some drama. Westfield forced a three-and-out on Klein Cain's first possession, but fumbled the ensuing punt. The Hurricanes took the ball all the way to the Westfield 1, but was stuffed on a 4th and goal. The Mustangs then took the ball 99 yards on 10 plays, capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Cardell Williams.
Klein Cain, though, was able to answer.
After a snap over the head of the Westfield punter gave the Hurricanes a safety, star running back Jaydon Blue busted a 56-yard touchdown run, breaking several tackles along the way to give Klein Cain a 9-6 lead in a matter of 30 seconds. Then, the Westfield D took over.
VYPE POSTGAME @WestfieldHSFB head coach @Meeks38 talks about the Mustangs’ dominant defensive performance against… https://t.co/KSA4xzPwQw— vypehouston (@vypehouston)1608354357.0
Klein Cain intercepted the very next pass by Williams, but the Mustangs defense forced a punt to start the 2nd quarter. After the teams traded two more possessions, Westfield put together a drive to retake the lead. Junior Rodney Smith scored from the 1-yard line to give the Mustangs a 12-9 lead, and they never turned back.
Westfield forced two more turnovers in the quarter, both interceptions, and scored another touchdown -- a Dahmeir Scott 3-yard run -- to take a 10 point lead into halftime.
Out of the break, Westfield had a chance to take control of the game. Williams didn't disappoint.
The junior QB led the Mustangs down the field, and finished a 67-yard drive with an 18-yard TD run on a 4th and 1. With Westfield up 27-9, it was time for the defense to seal the game. Still, Klein Cain has one of the most explosive offenses in Houston for a reason.
Blue was able to score twice more in the game (two 7-yard runs), but the game was never within a single score in the second half. The Westfield defense forced three punts, a turnover on downs and a safety on a kickoff in the second half to put the game completely out of reach. Williams added a touchdown pass to senior Kevin Graham and Smith scored his second TD of the night in the 4th as well.
VYPE POSTGAME @WestfieldHSFB junior QB @staywokee2 breaks down his approach to the game and how he got the Mustang… https://t.co/ak8UEnhxVl— vypehouston (@vypehouston)1608355039.0
For Klein Cain (8-3, 5-1), Westfield has become a major thorn. The third-year program lost to the Mustangs in the first round of the playoffs in 2019. Coming off its first ever playoff win last week, Klein Cain was poised to get revenge. Mistakes, though, kept the Hurricanes at bay. While Klein Cain's season came to an end, the Hurricanes return a plethora of offensive talent next season. Quarterback Carson Roper, wide receiver Matthew Golden and Blue - who finished the season with over 2,000 yards rushing and 30 TDs -- all have one more season, so it's easy to imagine Klein Cain back in the playoffs in 2021.
Westfield (8-1, 5-1) now moves on the the Regional Semifinals, where it will face either Duncanville or Dallas Skyline. Duncanville, the #1 team in the state, and back-to-back state championship runners up, would be the likely opponent barring a major upset.
Much like tonight, the Westfield defense would have to step up in a big way to stop a Panther offense that has scored over 50 points in half of its games this season.
You can be sure, though, that the Mustangs will be ready to fight.
Kudos to all the team for finishing their regular seasons as bumpy as it may have been to navigate through a pandemic.
With that being said, it's win or go home as we enter the first-round of the postseason.
Here are the final regular season rankings.