MESQUITE — The West Trojans overwhelmed Kemp in every area of their bi-district playoff game Thursday night. We’re talking offense, defense and special teams, as West roared out to a 42-6 halftime lead en route to a 62-6 opening victory in the Class 3A bi-district playoffs.
The Trojans scored early and often, showcasing their wide variety of offensive and defensive weapons in a game that was never close after the opening moments of the playoff action at Mesquite’s Memorial Stadium.
West never punted until three minutes remained in the game and gathered three turnovers. The Trojans never turned the ball over themselves in the opening playoff rout.
A fourth-quarter running clock shortened the game for West, but not the post-game celebration as head coach David Woodard held up the bi-district trophy won by the Trojans and then let everybody on the team touch it as a reminder of greater football success to come.
Team pictures on the field followed, then a group trot over to the West school band to sing the school song with the hundreds of fans who made the trip north to the Dallas-area for the impressive victory.
The Trojans improved to 9-2 on the season while Kemp ends its year at 4-7. The Trojans advance in the Class 3A Division I playoffs next week to the area round against the winner of Friday’s Gladewater-Mt. Vernon bi-district game. Mt. Vernon is led by former Baylor head coach Art Briles.
West’s most experienced and reliable player, Trey Janek, got the scoring explosion started for the Trojans early by breaking up the middle for a long scoring run, 35 yards, for the first score of the night. Alan Olvera kicked the first six perfect first-half extra points and West led 7-0 early in the first quarter.
Wyatt Wolf got the next score for WHS. He took a fly sweep down the left sideline and raced 45 yards untouched for the second first quarter score and a 14-0 lead.
Senior running back Lawson Kendrick then scored the first of his two second-quarter touchdowns, running up the middle on a direct snap for a 5-yard score. After a Kemp touchdown and a missed extra point, Kendrick broke loose down the left sideline on the next possession for a 65-yard touchdown run and a 28-6 lead.
The Trojan defense got into the act later in the second quarter as defensive back Guillermo Acevado picked up a Kemp pass and returned it to the Yellow Jackets’ 12-yard-line to put the potent West offense in prime position for another score.
Just one play after the interception, West quarterback Zane Meinen scored on a 12-yard run and gave his team a 35-6 lead after another Olvera extra point.
Just one possession later, West linebacker Gage Gordon stepped in front of a Kemp pass and returned the interception 25 yard into the left corner of the scoring territory to complete the first-half score with a 36-point halftime lead for the Trojans.
While Woodard flooded the field with backup players in the second half, there was little letup in the West scoring onslaught.
The Trojans went to the air for the first two scores in the second half. Duston Vanek made a spectacular leaping catch in the corner of the end zone from quarterback Meinen for a 49-6 lead, then Jacob Boggs caught a 5-yard swing pass from backup quarterback Landon Edwards for a 56-6 lead at end of the third quarter.
After West defensive linemen Jaden Anderson recorded the third interception of the night for the Trojans, backup running back TJ McCutcheon powered in another score from a yard out for a 62-6 lead, as West, exhausted from all the touchdowns scored, finally missed an extra point.