By Chris Bils, Varsity News
A week after things couldn't have gone much worse for Westwood, the Warriors ensured the best possible start against Vista Ridge on Friday at Gupton Stadium.
En route to a 27-7 victory, Westwood scored on the first play from scrimmage — an 82-yard pass that quarterback RJ Martinez said the team had been preparing all week. Martinez found Oliver Yu wide open in the middle of the field.
"We were just trying to perfect it so we could really get an edge as far as momentum," Martinez said. "They never came back so it obviously worked."
Westwood (3-1, 1-1 District 13-6A) then recovered the ensuing kickoff, sending the visitors' sideline into a frenzy.
"We needed something good to happen to us early because we had so many things bad happen to us last week," Westwood coach Anthony Wood said. "It got our energy back, it got our excitement back, it got us back playing the way we know we can play."
It took a little while for the spark to fully ignite, as penalties stalled that drive and Vista Ridge (0-4, 0-2) forced turnovers on downs on each of the Warriors' final three possessions of the first half. The score remained 7-0 at halftime.
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Westwood scored on three of its first four possessions of the second half, including two more touchdown passes from Martinez. He completed 17 of 25 passes for 299 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
The Rangers showed signs of progress one week after seven turnovers doomed them in a loss to McNeil. Vista Ridge continued to rotate senior Drew Cantu and sophomore Kyle Brown at quarterback. A late touchdown run from Thailand Mayberry averted the shutout.
"The frustrating part is the things we do to our self," Rangers coach Rodney Vincent said. "I'm proud that our kids continue to fight. We're learning a lot of life lessons through this."