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Friday, May 6, 2016

Warriors finally find a home

Thursday, September 11, 2008

(Photo)
STOP THAT GUY: Brandon Godfrey and Jason Huff try to bring down Westside running back Tyler Hibbs in Salem's season-opening 6-0 loss in Jonesboro Sept. 5. Photo/Mullins
Jonesboro Westside has been on the wrong side of the winning column more often than not in the past few football seasons.

And apparently, home field advantage has been anything but an advantage for Westside in the recent past.

But the Warriors managed to kill two birds with one single shot Sept. 5, topping the visiting Class 2A Salem Greyhounds 6-0 in the first game of the 2008 campaign for both squads.

With the victory, the Class 4A Warriors won their season-opener for the first time in nine years and it also marked Westside's first win on its home turf in three years.

But Westside didn't run away with the win -- the Warriors just managed to put together the game's four biggest plays in a row right before the half in order to secure a victory.

Neither side moved the football with much ease for much of the first two quarters, with the sides trading out punts for most of the first half on the damp field.

Westside (1-0) did get the football with 1:27 left in the half and finally had some success.

Tyler Hibbs took a reverse 25 yards from his own 47 to the Greyhound 28 to get the wheels moving for Westside. That was the biggest run of the first half for either team.

Brandon Rouse then ripped off a 14-yard scamper and after another carry, aided with a facemask penalty on the Hounds (0-1), the ball stood at the Salem 2, with Westside looking at first-and-goal.

Hibbs finished things off by plunging across the goal line with 36 ticks left until the half for the game's only TD. The PAT was wide of the mark, but Westside had built a lead that would carry it to victory.

Hibbs led all runners with 99 yards on 14 carries, with Rouse adding 43 more yards on the ground for Westside.

Salem had one final shot to even the score midway into the fourth quarter, taking possession of the ball with 7:45 left in the game.

Starting quarterback Skylar Jones was shaken up on the second play of the series and Rocky Smith took over for a couple of snaps before Jones returned.

Smith hit Kyle Berry with an eight-yard pass and after Jones returned, he hooked up with Jason Huff on a seven-yard strike that moved the ball onto Westside's side of the field.

The Greyhounds got to the Warrior 35-yard line, but on fourth-and-11, Salem fumbled the ball and Westside's Jeremiah Fielder scooped it up to end the Hounds' threat.

Salem posted 157 yards of total offense in the game, 97 yards rushing and 60 through the air.

Kyle Berry ran for 37 yards, while Ty Berry added 36 and Huff 12. Jones added another 12 yards on the ground for Salem.

Kyle Berry caught five passes for 34 yards, with Brandon Godfrey catching one ball for 11 yards and Huff one for seven.

Salem's defense came out focused to start the evening and forced Westside to go three-and-out on its first series of the game.

Then, using a steady stream of Kyle Berry, the Hounds marched down the field. A couple of personal fouls on Westside extended Salem's drive and the Greyhounds found themselves in good shape, with a second-and-6 from the Warrior 14-yard line.

But that good shape turned bad, with Salem coughing up the football in the red zone.

The Greyhounds did get the ball back three plays later as Rocky Smith made a leaping interception of Westside quarterback Ethan Clark with four minutes left in the first quarter.

After the swap-out of turnovers, the teams exchanged punts the rest of the half until Westside made its move right before intermission.



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