WILLIAMSPORT — Since returning from Madison County in late August after a shutout loss to open the season, the mantra the Westfall Mustangs have lived by is attention to detail.
“We had a pretty good week of practice this week and our attitude has really changed since that (32-0 loss to Madison-Plains),” Westfall junior running back Trenton Davis said. “We’re playing with a lot of intensity in practice and working on running our plays as perfect as we can.
“If we don’t run a play right, we’re not satisfied and we keep on running it until we get it right.”
The Mustangs continued to get it right on Friday, as they cranked out 227 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns on the ground in a 33-8 non-league win over Circleville.
“When you practice with the intensity we’ve been practicing with, that’s carried over into our last two games and we’re executing a lot better as a football team,” Davis said.
Since their Week 1 loss, the Mustangs have amassed 647 yards of total offense in their last two games and scored 71 points.
After defeating Logan Elm for the third consecutive season last week, the Mustangs earned their second-straight win in the series against Circleville.
The Tigers (0-3) drove down to the Westfall 25-yard line on their opening possession, but committed their first of five turnovers when Lucas List recovered a fumble on fourth-and-three.
Davis struck the first blow for the Mustangs two plays later when he took an inside handoff, cut left and went 64 yards for a touchdown to make it 6-0.
“We ran a zone run the first play, but it went no where so coach decided to try another type of zone run,” Davis said. “Our line did a great job of blocking for me and I just took off.”
Circleville appeared ready to answer when a 41-yard run by Cade Burton set the Tigers up on the Mustangs’ four-yard line for first-and-goal. The Tigers fumbled on the next play, however, turning the football back over to the Mustangs.
“It was a tough night for our kids, because we lost Charles Schall early in the game. Charles is a young man who just came back from injury that our kids have a lot of respect for,” Circleville coach Luke Katris said. “We regrouped and put together a couple of nice drives where we were eating up yards, but then we turned the football over and turnovers are obviously big momentum plays.
“Our 15, 16 and 17-yard old kids had to go through a lot of emotion tonight and I think we were just eventually spent emotionally.”
The Mustangs (2-1) extended their lead early in the second quarter when quarterback Hayden Lemaster juked a blitzing defender, rolled left and went 25 yards for a touchdown. Lemaster then connected with List on a two-point conversion to make it 14-0.
“I was impressed with the focus and detail that our kids and coaching staff had tonight,” Westfall coach Brad Smith said.
Luke Blackburn ended the ensuing Circleville possession when he intercepted a pass on his own 15-yard line.
The Mustangs then churned out an eight-play, 85-yard drive. Lemaster connected on three of three passes for 38 yards, and Chanston Moll and Andrew Browning each had a 20-yard tote during the drive. Lemaster capped the lengthy march with a three-yard keeper to increase the Mustangs’ lead to 20-0.
Josey Kelley recovered a Circleville fumble to open the second half on the Tigers’ 39-yard line. The Mustangs scored three plays later on a 39-yard pass from Lemaster to Moll to make it 26-0.
“Circleville did a nice job of eating up some chunks of yards and keeping possession of the football, but our kids stepped up and made some big plays when we needed them,” Smith said.
The two-point conversion was blown dead due to the holder having a knee on the ground when he made the pitch. A 10-minute argument followed, with the officials going to the rule book, and eventually confirming the call.
Later in the quarter, the officials observed heat lightning and a 30-minute delay ensued.
When play finally resumed Joey Truman recovered another Circleville fumble on the Tigers’ 22-yard line. Davis scored two plays later on a four-yard run to bring the score to 33-0, following the PAT from Chase Feirl.
The Tigers scored with 2:33 remaining on a six-yard run run from Zander Harris, with Burton adding the two-point conversion run.
Circleville had 154 yards of total offense, all coming on the ground. Burton led the way with 76 yards on 21 carries.
Davis paced the Mustangs with 122 yards rushing on just 13 carries. Lemaster was a crisp 5-of-6 passing for 103 yards and added 44 yards rushing.
The Mustangs open Scioto Valley Conference play next week when they host Southeastern (3-0). The Tigers conclude non-league play when they entertain Lucasville Valley (2-1).