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.
Football is in his blood.
Naaman Forest junior running back Kingsley Bennett has been around the game his entire life, and now, he's starting to show out on the field. Bennett led the Rangers in 2020 with 920 rushing yards on only 120 carries (7.7 ypc) in 8 games this season (115 ypg).
He also was the winner of VYPE DFW's Football Player of the Week Fan Poll in Week 10 after his 148-yard, 1 TD game against North Garland.
Bennett answered some questions about his beginnings, his future and personal life below. Check it out.
VYPE: Tell us how you got your start playing football? When did it become a passion of yours?
KB: I started playing football by watching my uncle play in the NFL. My dad played college football so it was already in my blood and I became more and more attached to the game than I thought I would be. I started to play at 7 years old and never looked back. I never played flag, I went straight into tackle. My first year was when everyone realized how good I could be. I had 14 touchdowns my first seasons. When I really realized that I loved this game was when I started to train day and night and started to see progress. It became like a routine and not just something to do. I started to love it more and more and it became a part of me.
VYPE: On the field, what do you think is your greatest asset? What sets you apart from other backs?
KB: I feel that my greatest assets are my speed and change of direction and the ability to see something when it's not there. I feel that is what separates me from everyone because with those things I am able to help my team and make things happen when we need them.
VYPE: What about off the field?
KB: Off the field I try to stay more to myself and focus on school and family. I really just do what I need to do in school and keep my grades up because I know those are very important. I also stay away from trouble as much as possible because I know that can hurt me and my team also.
VYPE: Outside of football, what are your favorite hobbies?
KB: Some of my favorite hobbies outside of football are things like playing video games with my teammates or just chillin' or hanging out with my family.
Check out my highlight - https://t.co/qmqp06cxOA— Kingsley(K2)Bennett ⚡️✨ (@Kingsley(K2)Bennett ⚡️✨)1598975180.0
VYPE: Unfortunately, NF's playoff run was cut short in the first round this year. How will you prepare this offseason to take the Rangers even further next season? What does the team need to do to be better?
KB: I feel that we had a great season. We over came a lot and I feel we played great in that game but just came up sort because of simple mistakes, but that's just part of the game. I'm just goin to learn from it as much as possible and try my best to help my team get there and win it next year. This offseason I'm goin to work even harder so I can make sure I'm to my best ability and that I can help my team next year in the best way. I also think our team just needs to do what we have been doing and we will be just fine. Just trust the process and we will all get better over time.
VYPE: What is your favorite subject in school and why?
KB: My favorite subject in school is U.S. history. I really like it this year because I like to read about history and how everything was made and how everything has changed and what others went through in that time.
VYPE: In your athletic career, who has taught you the most?
KB: In my athletic career my dad has taught me the most. He's taught me all the things I know about football. He has trained me since I was little and I really thank him for that. He always pushes me to be my best and I feel that's why I am the player I am today. Since I was little he always told me "just be you" and play like you don't worry about anything else and I have stuck with that and had lots of success with it.
VYPE: On Naaman Forest, which player would you say is the funniest? Who is the best dancer?
KB: The funniest person on the team I would say would have to be out of Ja'hari or Brison. I don't know what to say about them, they be making everybody laugh in the locker room and you can never be mad around them because they gonna make you laugh. The best dancer...ima have to say Ky. He's the only one that really be dancing every practice.
VYPE: Give us your favorite sports memory of all time, either as a player, or as a fan.
KB: My favorite memory would have to be when I had 4 touchdowns against Lake View to secure a playoff spot (in 2019). That game was very important and very memorable to me because all my teammates that were seniors deserved to go to the playoffs and they played hard all year. It was a great game.
VYPE: Lastly, what is one thing from this season that you'll take with you for the rest of your life?
KB: One memory from the season I will always remember playin with my boys. Man it was a great season and I wouldn't want any other teammates. I will always remember this season.