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SPRING – This year's Westfield team is different.
Those are Anthony Holmes Jr.'s words. The senior defensive lineman has been a pivotal piece of a defensive unit that has helped defeat the likes of North Shore and now Spring, 31-21, to take command in District 14-6A.
"We're not the same Westfield with all the undiscipline," Holmes said. "Then from the North Shore game how we stuck together carried over to this one. We knew it was going to be a big game, so we had to stick together, stay positive and keep playing."
| @WestfieldHSFB DL @AnthonyJr10_ had a HUGE game. Multiple sacks for the Virginia commit. He wears No. 10 at Westfield for a reason. #txhsfb (@RodneyJSmith4 @KPRC2RandyMc @jadrien_collard @BjEashmond @KailonG85 @staywokee2 @chuukyhines6 @texashsfootball @Edoliver_11) pic.twitter.com/bre3bV9Cgo— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) October 2, 2021
Westfield headed into this week having three signature wins on its resume for the season – Strake Jesuit (37-10), FB Hightower (38-12) and North Shore (27-21) – and with a win over cross-town rival Spring, which entered this week as the No. 2 team in VYPE's Class 6A rankings, it adds another one.
"The focus has been there all year but when you play teams like Spring and it is a cross-town rivalry, everybody locks in a little bit more," Westfield coach Matt Meekins said. "Strake Jesuit, Hightower and North Shore are good football teams. I think those games prepared us for tonight."
It was Westfield's defense that shined early, highlighted by Da'Marion Stamps 66-yard pick six to open the scoring. Then after giving up a 33-yard score from Bishop Davenport to Bralen Martin, it was the offense's turn.
Cardell Williams and Da'John Palomo were on the same wavelength connecting on 43-, 32 and 44 yard touchdowns in a span of just 6 minutes and one second. The 21-point swing game Westfield a commanding 28-7 halftime lead.
"We talked about it in the locker room about how we trust each other and trust the game plan," Palomo, who finished with 161 yards and three scores on just six catches, said. "I've been feeling comfortable with [Cardell] for quite some time. We played 7-on-7 to get our chemistry and timing right. So, it's pretty good."
WOW!! TOUCHDOWN @WestfieldHSFB!! @staywokee2 let's this one fly for 43 yards as he drops it into the arms of @DajohnPalomo for the score!! What a pitch and catch!! #txhsfb 1st - 2:10 @WestfieldHSFB - 14Spring - 7(@RodneyJSmith4 @AnthonyJr10_ @SpringISD @KPRC2RandyMc) pic.twitter.com/bNMPXJdeV5— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) October 2, 2021
Williams finished the game 12 of 23 for 214 yards and three scores.
Despite being down 21 points at the half, Spring - which entered the game undefeated - was not about to just lay down.
The Lions defense roared back, holding Westfield to just three second-half points, allowing Davenport and the offense to get it going. A pair of touchdowns, one to Bralen Martin and the other to Joshua Lopez pulled the Lions within a score with 9:05 to go.
But it wasn't enough.
Davenport finished the game 21 of 38 for 308 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
"I'm extremely proud of how we came back at them in the second half and made it a ball game," Spring coach Trent Miller said. "I think we learned a lot about ourselves on both sides of the football. We learned that people aren't just going to lay down for us. I think we were feeling ourselves a little too much coming into this game and it bit us in the first half. But I could not be more proud of how they responded in the second half."
The powers of Houston are becoming clear. The 2021 season is going to be a dog-fight and the next several months are going to pit best on best.
It starts this week as No. 2 Spring faces No. 3 Westfield. Westfield is avenging a wild last-second, Hail Mary loss from a year ago. Spring is for real. It will come down to who makes the stops.
No. 1 Katy faces No. 8 Tompkins as the district title could come down to this game.
CE King faces No. 20 Summer Creek. King looks for real and has staying power.
As for last week, Dickinson took down Clear Falls and Tomball came up big in the last minute against Tomball Memorial.
Welcome to the new Top 20 powered by Kelly Malatesta of First United Mortgage.
TOMBALL BEATS TOMBALL MEMORIAL IN CLASSIC by Kennedi Cooper
CLASS 6A RANKINGS
No. 1 Katy Tigers
No. 2 Spring Lions
No. 3 Westfield Mustangs
No. 4 Bridgeland Bears
No. 5 Atascocita Eagles
No. 6 North Shore Mustangs
No. 7 CE King Panthers
No. 8 Tompkins Falcons
No. 9 Cypress Park Tigers
No. 10 Ridge Point Panthers
No. 11 Tomball Cougars
No. 12 Jersey Village Falcons
No. 13 Klein Cain Hurricanes
No. 14 Dickinson Gators
No. 15 Dawson Eagles
No. 16 Cypress Ranch Mustangs
No. 17 Clear Falls Knights
No. 18 Dobie Longhorns
No. 19 The Woodlands Highlanders
No. 20 Stratford Spartans
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