The talented Westfield High football team has lost close games to some of the Northern Region’s elite teams this season. As a result of such setbacks, the Bulldogs’ record going into last Friday night’s Concorde District home game versus unbeaten Centreville was a mundane 4-4.
Westfield, through its first eight games, had lost to such teams as Stone Bridge (9-0), by a 7-3 score; defending Div. 6 region champion Lake Braddock (8-1), a 12-7 setback; a 14-0 shutout loss to always staunch Robinson (7-2); and a 17-14 defeat at the hands of a Chantilly squad (8-1) whose only loss this season came in overtime to Centreville.
Westfield, going into last week, did have a couple of wins over opponents with winning records – a 28-24 early season triumph over West Potomac (6-3), and a 21-14 district win over Oakton (6-3).
All of those meetings with some of the better teams - win or lose - were decided within seven points or less with the exception of the shutout loss to the Rams.
Thus few people probably expected Westfield to win decisively over an outstanding Centreville squad last week. But that’s what occurred in the Bulldogs’ 35-14 win over the Wildcats, who endured their first loss of the season.
It all came together for Westfield in the week 9 matchup and the Bulldogs entered this Friday night’s regular season finale at Herndon (1-8) with a winning 5-4 record.
Westfield, after starting the season 1-2, won three straight to improve to 4-2. But consecutive losses had the Bulldogs at .500 again and they desperately needed a victory over Centreville to have hopes of a winning season.
<b>FOLLOWING</b> a scoreless first quarter, Westfield scored three touchdowns over the next two quarters to take control against a Centreville team that had been winning big game after big game, week after week. The Bulldogs carried a 21-0 lead into the final quarter and went on to their season’s biggest victory.
Westfield QB Matt Pisarcik tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the win – a 19-yarder to Tyler Morton and a seven-yard aerial to Scotty Nicoll – and the Bulldogs rushed for three scores, two from Kendell Anderson and one from C.J. Craft.
For Westfield fans it must have been an invigorating breath of fresh, autumn nighttime air.
While the Westfield offense was outstanding, its defense was also a stalwart on this night as the Bulldogs held region running back sensation Manny Smith to 53 yards and one score on 21 carries. Centreville signal caller Chance Roman completed nine-of-23 passes for 71 yards, including a 12-yard scoring toss to Brett Martin.
It was a night in which Westfield, due for a big win, came out and probably played its best all-around game of the season.
Centreville could only shake off the defeat and look ahead to its regular season finale at Robinson this Friday night.
“Our team was disappointed in our performance last Friday versus Westfield, but we know it is only one game,” said Chris Haddock, the former Fairfax High coach who is in his first season in charge at Centreville.
Centreville, with the loss, fell to 3-1 in the district. Chantilly and Robinson are also 3-1 in district play while Westfield is 2-2. Centreville can still win the district, but the Wildcats must beat the Rams, which won’t be easy. Robinson has won three straight.
“Our players are looking forward to our match-up with Robinson,” said Haddock. “We know it will be a very tough game as their players and coaches are always physical, hard-nosed, and well prepared.
“We still have an opportunity to win the Concorde District championship as well as host a first-round playoff game,” said the coach. “We are really concentrating on raising our intensity level and focus the rest of the way.”
<b>MEANWHILE, THE CHANTILLY CHARGERS</b> have rebounded nicely from their only loss of the season three weeks ago against host Centreville, a 27-26 OT affair on Oct. 15. The Chargers defeated Westfield, 17-14, the following week – coming back from a 14-0 fourth quarter deficit to do so. Then, this past Friday night against visiting district foe Herndon, Chantilly earned a 27-10 win.
The Hornets had success running the ball behind RB Cameron Reynolds (122 yards). Josh Schow, Reynolds’ backfield mate, gained 64 yards and scored on a 9-yard TD run. But the Chargers rushed for 174 team yards, led by William Hill-Pensamiento’s 74 and two TDs. Chargers’ QB Carson Romine was an efficient 9-of-13 for 119 yards and a scoring pass – that coming on a 59-yard strike to Caleb Reinhardt.
Chantilly jumped ahead 13-0 in the first quarter and held a 20-3 halftime lead and a 27-3 advantage after three quarters.
“I think the Herndon game was a good game that we got through,” said Chantilly coach Mike Lalli. “We had a lot of distraction during the week so to come out and win was important.”
The Chargers hope to end the regular season with a win at Oakton and then move on to the Div. 6 playoffs with good momentum. But the Cougars, led by talented QB Jimmy Boone, are also looking to get a win going into the playoffs.
“Oakton is a very difficult match up for us,” said Lalli. “They are a very explosive team offensively that if you give an opening they can score from anywhere. Defensively, their front seven are big, strong and fast and are very challenging for us. This is a very difficult game for us.”