The University School of Jackson Bruins took the opening kickoff and, using the arm of quarterback Jake Overbey, kept the Westview defense retreating all the way to the end zone.
Hang on — Westview senior J.C. Griggs covers the football with both hands as he surges through the line for a gain during the Chargers’ loss to the University School of Jackson.
The Bruin QB connected with three different receivers and was a perfect 5-of-5 passing, including an 8-yard scoring strike to Austin Martindale, on that opening drive in USJ’s 34-7 win over the visiting Chargers Thursday.
Unfortunately for Westview, more often than not its offense was also retreating instead of gaining yards and moving the chains for a fresh set of downs.
While Overbey threw for 290 yards and USJ combined for 196 rushing yards, the Chargers struggled to find a rhythm on offense. Westview managed a total of 200 offensive yards.
“We just never generated any offense, pretty much zero,” WHS head coach Don Coady said.
The loss for Westview (4-3, 3-1) was their first against a Region 8-2A opponent. The Bruins improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the region.
On the first WHS possession, Demarcus Williams gashed the USJ defense for a 20-yard run on second down, but three more snaps led to a total loss of 3 yards and a punt. Williams missed most of the second half due to an injury.
The Blue and Gold defenders gave up a first down, but then forced a punt after three consecutive Overbey incompletions.
A Westview holding penalty helped keep the Chargers from picking up a first down and led to another Hyantae Kim punt.
The Bruins, keyed by three Overbey completions and a 25-yard run by Eric Dietz, used six plays to cover 63 yards. Overbey hooked up with Martindale for their second TD connection with this one covering 12 yards. Will Purcell nailed his second PAT kick for a 14-0 Bruin lead with 37 ticks left in the first frame.
After another WHS punt, Bruin receiver Danny Smigielski fumbled after a catch. Westview’s Joseph Hicks recovered the ball at the USJ 30 to provide the Charger offense with its best starting position. Westview converted a fourth-and-one on a J.C. Griggs run, but an illegal procedure and hold brought out place-kicker Kim. Kim’s 47-yard field goal try was wide.
The Bruins marched down the field on a 20-yard screen pass to Tanner Sauls and a Smigielski catch good for 19, but WHS forced a fourth down and Purcell booted a 29-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead with 3:48 in the half.
After a Westview punt, USJ needed two plays to cover 54 yards. The first was a 30-yard completion to Smigielski with the TD on a post route by Dusty Bright covering 24 yards.
The Chargers managed their only scoring drive to finish the first half. A 33-yard Griggs run and a 16-yard completion from Brian West to Alex Hazlewood on a crossing route set up West’s 5-yard TD run with 47 ticks in the half. Kim added the kick for a 24-7 halftime score.
With Williams injured early in the third quarter, Westview managed just two first downs in the second half of its 34-7 loss.
Westview-University School of Jackson, Stats
Westview 0 7 0 0— 7
University School 14 10 10 0—34
USJ — Austin Martindale 8-yard pass from Jake Overbey, (Will Purcell kick), 8:55.
USJ — Austin Martindale 12-yard pass from Overbey, (Purcell kick), 0:37.
USJ — Purcell 29-yard field goal, 3:58.
USJ — Dusty Bright 24-yard pass from Overbey, (Purcell kick), 2:21.
WHS — Brian West 5-yard run, (Hyantae Kim kick), 0:47.
USJ — Purcell 32-yard field goal, 6:58.
USJ — Eric Dietz 4-yard run, (Purcell kick), 3:43.
First Downs 8 25
Rushes-yards 42-173 32-196
Passing yards 27 290
Comp-Att-Int 4-11-1 17-29-0
Punts 6-37 2-33.5
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 3-2
Penalties-yards 7-37 3-14
Rushing — Westview, J.C. Griggs 11-94, Demarcus Williams 13-48, Brian West 14-27, Logan Callins 2-10, Mark Tucker 1-1, Abraham Haddad 1-(-7); University School of Jackson, Eric Dietz 10-97, Tanner Sauls 10-68, Nick Leffridge 6-56, Jake Overbey 5-(-4), Thomas Butler 1-(-21).
Passing — Westview, West 4-11-1 — 27; University School of Jackson, Overbey 17-29-0 — 290.
Receiving — Westview, Alex Hazlewood 2-19, Seth Waterfield 1-7, Griggs 1-1; University School of Jackson, Danny Smigielski 7-129, Austin Martindale 5-62, Sauls 2-43, Dusty Bright 2-41, Preston Overbey 1-15.
Records — Westview 4-3 (3-1 Region 8-2A), University School of Jackson 6-1 (3-1 Region 8-2A).
Next Game — Westview will visit Dyer to take on the Gibson County Pioneers, while USJ will visit Jackson Christian School with kickoff for both games at 7:30 on Friday night.