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Westwood takes down the Maroons

Westwood takes down the Maroons
By Rick Cantu, American-Statesman Staff Original Story Here

Westwood didn't seal its victory over Austin High (1-1) until RJ Martinez put a stamp on it.

The sophomore quarterback had a sensational night but the Warriors needed his 28-yard touchdown pass to Mohan Hegde late in the fourth quarter to cap a 49-35 decision over the gritty Maroons Friday night at Dragon Stadium.

Martinez finished with 236 yards passing, 64 rushing and accounted for three touchdowns to help the Warriors improve to 2-0.

Westwood, which led most of the night, was clinging to a 42-35 lead after Austin High's Grayson Davis caught a touchdown pass from Charles Wright midway through the fourth quarter.

The Warriors, though, were in good hands because Martinez had the football. He calmly led a touchdown drive on the ensuing possession to put the game out of reach.


While both teams can be commended for outstanding offenses, the game turned ugly because they combined for 253 yards in penalties.

Despite obvious issues, Westwood coach Anthony Wood had reason to be upbeat as his short non-district comes to an end. He was particularly happy his young quarterback has shown progress so quickly.

"He's pretty good, isn't he?" Wood said. "I like the way he manages the game. He handles and sees things and takes care of the football. … He got our guys in good situations. Our offensive line played really well tonight, which opened up the running game."

When asked to describe his quarterback, he said, "He has no fear. He wants the ball in critical moments and that's all you can ask for a guy at his position."

Martinez, in his first season of varsity, said he was ready to take the team over this year. As for the touchdown drive that iced the game, he said it was simply something the team needed.

"We needed a score to put the score out of reach," he said. "I'm not afraid of any team, any challenge. I'm ready to step up because I know my hard work will overcome them."

Westwood scored touchdowns on five of its six offensive posses ions in the first half to take a 35-21 lead at the break.'

Austin High was bitten by its inability to convert on fourth down. The Maroons were denied three times on fourth-down attempts and the Warriors would capitalize by scoring touchdowns on each ensuing possession.

The Maroons, though, had some bright moments. Receiver Sawyer Brown recovered the football when Austin High opened the game with an on-side kick. Austin High quarterback Charles Wright helped give his team a 7-0 lead after connecting with 6-foot-5 wideout Ben Koch on its first possession.

All three Austin High touchdowns in the half came on Wright scoring tosses to Koch.

Martinez played a spectacular first half, connecting on 16 of 23 passes for 171 yards and a touchdowns. Debs scored two rushing touchdowns in the half, Anderson reached the end zone once and Martinez scored the fifth touchdown of the half on a 10-yard run.

The Maroons were led by Wright, who finished with 285 yards. Koch would finish the night with four touchdown catches.

Austin High returns to action next Friday with a home game against Lehman. Westwood opens its district season with a home game against Hendrickson.