By Rob Beam
Big night — Westview’s Buddy Legens, here working against Henry County with Zach Gregory and Brian West trailing, played a big role in the Chargers’ strong defensive showing in a win over Peabody returning an interception for a TD in the Region 8-2A win
Special to The Press
The Westview Chargers used balance and poise to coast to a huge victory over the visiting Peabody Golden Tide Friday night at Hardy M. Graham Stadium. The Chargers used costly Peabody turnovers to ride to a 48-13 Westview victory.
The victory kept Westview’s record spotless at 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 8-2A. Peabody fell to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in region action.
Peabody quarterback Kendal Harper came into the game hyped as one of the best signal callers in West Tennessee. However, the Charger defense came into the match-up anxious to show why it has been a standout in West Tennessee over the past few years. Harper didn’t take long to show just why he is a threat to score on any play. The 5-11, 174-pound senior QB broke free on the Tide’s second offensive play and scampered 76 yards for a touchdown. Charger defensive tackle Justin Burlison came straight through the line and blocked the extra point kick, to keep the visitors’ lead at 6-0 just four minutes into the game.
Westview answered the Peabody score with a 10-play, 57-yard drive. Finishing the drive was junior J.C. Griggs who dove across the goal line on a 2-yard plunge into the end zone. Grigg’s TD and Hyuntae Kim’s kick put the host Chargers up, 7-6, at the end of one period.
During the second quarter, Westview went on yet another lengthy drive eating up the clock and marching to a score. Twelve plays and 63 yards later, Griggs found paydirt once again with another short dive to cap off the drive. The Griggs-Kim combination put Westview on top, 14-6, at the halftime break.
“We did a good job at keeping Harper and their offense off the field tonight. That was a huge key to our victory any time your offense can keep their hands off the ball that becomes a good defense for you,” Westview head coach Don Coady said.
The second half started with the Charger defense forcing a three-and-out by Harper and the Golden Tide. Westview then put together a 7-play drive to give the host Blue and Gold a 21-6 advantage. The Charger scoring occurred on a bootleg by quarterback Harrison Moore from nine yards out. The two-touchdown lead held as the teams headed into the fourth quarter.
Charger senior Buddy Legens scored from the defensive side on an interception, returning it 33 yards for a TD early in the period. This broke the ice as Westview had not scored on an interception return since the 2004 season. With the WHS defense fired up and the Golden Tide offense frustrated, the Chargers enjoyed a 22-point lead, 28-6.
The PHS frustrations began to show up on the field as Peabody fumbled the ball on the snap and Moore came diving in for a recovery. Westview then methodically drove down the field again and gave it to the workhorse once more as Griggs scored from 3 yards out to put the host Chargers up 35-6.
Trailing with time running out, Peabody was then forced to try and make something happen . The Charger D was laying back waiting and capitalizing on it. Senior Eric West intercepted a pass at the 39 in full stride. Heading for paydirt West was tackled at the one-yard line setting up an easy Charger score. Sophomore Tremaine McKinley lit the scoreboard on the next play, putting the Chargers up, 41-6.
On the next play Peabody fumbled the ball once again. Moore was there to scoop it up once again, going 20 yards on the return for a Charger touchdown. Moore’s fumble return increased the hosts’ lead to 48-6.
Peabody took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a quick score to provide the final points in a hectic fourth quarter that closed with Westview earning an important Region 8-2A victory, 48-13.
“We had good plays from our seniors tonight. I expect that out of players such as Legens, Burlison and Moore. But we got a lot of big plays from others. Nanney and Tucker and others did a good job for us tonight on defense,” Coady added. “We did a good job on both sides of the line tonight controlling the lines of scrimmage, but there is always things as a team we can improve on and that is what we look to do this week to get ready for a tough Camden team.”
Westview (4-0, 2-0 Region 8-2A) will travel to Camden to take on the Lions this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Editor’s Note: For complete statistical coverage of Peabody vs. Westview, see Page 10.
Peabody 6 0 0 7—13
Westview 7 7 7 27—43
PHS — Kendal Harper 76-yard run (kick failed), 8:22.
WHS — J.C. Griggs 2-yard run (Hyuntae Kim kick), 3:22.
WHS — Griggs 3-yard run (Kim kick), 2:18.
WHS — Harrison Moore 9-yard run (Kim kick), 7:44.
WHS — Buddy Legens 33-yard interception return (Kim kick), 9:49.
WHS — Griggs 3-yard run (Kim kick), 6:51.
WHS — Tremaine McKinley 1-yard run (kick failed), 4:42.
WHS — Moore 20-yard fumble return (Kim kick ), 3:59.
PHS — A.J. Collier 90-yard kickoff return (Jake Callahan kick), 3:49.
First Downs 6 13
Rushes-yards 25-151 45-226
Passing yards 5 88
Comp-Att-Int 3-10-3 4-8-0
Punts 4-29.2 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 5-2
Penalties-yards 4-35 4-25
Rushing — Peabody, Kendal Harper 17-142, Tamias Johnson 7-9, Matt Morris 1-0; Westview, J.C. Griggs 16-67, Brian West 10-52, Harrison Moore 8-60, Shannon Birchem 1-23, Buddy Legens 7-16, Tremaine McKinley 3-8.
Passing — Peabody, Harper 3-10-3—5; Westview, Moore 4-8-0—88.
Receiving — Peabody, Abbott 2-7, Miller 1-(-2); Westview, Legens 2-73, Eric West 1-12, Tyler Turner 1-3.
Records — Peabody 3-2 (1-1 Region 8-2A), Westview 4-0 (2-0 Region 8-2A).
Next Game — Peabody visit Humboldt, while Westview travels to Camden. Both games will kick off at 7:30 on Friday night.
Weakley County Press Sept, 25, 2007