English, Warriors earn first win
West Caldwell started 2014 strong Friday night, with a commanding win at home against North Wilkes, 35-6.
For the West players, who promptly bathed first-year Head Coach Chip English in Gatorade as the clock ran out, the win was certainly sweet, especially for the seniors, English said, who suffered through a one-win season last year.
“I told them, it’s been 1,200 days since we’ve won a game here in Thuss Stadium,” he said. Friday night, the Warriors erased that count.
The last home win for West Caldwell was a 55-49 victory over East Burke back on October 15, 2010.
West leaned hard on its relentless rushing attack, led by Junior running back Trustin Harper, who ran 17 times for 103 yards Friday night, scoring four of the Warriors’ five touchdowns.
But it was West’s defense that showed the most muscle, keeping North Wilkes to just three first downs and keeping them to just 105 yards of total offense.
English said the team was just “being who we are,” and that the team ran its scheme efficiently and effectively.
After winning the toss, the Warriors decided to kick off to start the game, giving North Wilkes the ball on its own 35. After a six-play drive netted the Vikings six yards thanks to a 10-yard false start penalty on the second play of the game, the Vikings went for it on fourth, but the Warriors defense swallowed North Wilkes quarterback Dylan Bauguess for no gain, turning the ball over at the West Caldwell 25-yard line.
From there, the Warriors put together an impressive first drive, eight plays with five first downs, ending with a 15-yard touchdown run by halfback Rakeem Spikes to put West up 7-0 with 5:54 left in the first.
That drive would set the status quo for the rest of the first half, as the Vikings’ next drive fizzled to a three-and-out, and a 34-yard punt would set the Warriors up for their next drive. The drive consisted of eight plays, netting 29 yards before quarterback Titus Tucker turned the ball over with a fumble.
North Wilkes took advantage—for one play—before fumbling it themselves and giving West the ball right back.
The Warriors wouldn’t waste this chance, scoring in just five plays. A 26-yard run by Tucker set up a four-yard touchdown run by Harper with just 10 seconds left in the first quarter, setting West out ahead 14-0.
When the start of the second quarter came, the Vikings offense came back to life with a 20-yard pass to running back Zach Wagner. Five plays later, Bauguess would find wide receiver Hayden Meyers for a huge 39-yard touchdown pass to put the Vikings on the scoreboard, down 14-6 after a missed extra point attempt.
West’s offense, not to be outdone, answered right back, scoring in less than a minute of play time thanks to a 13-yard pass from Tucker to wide receiver Dylan West and a 26-yard touchdown run by Harper, stretching Warriors’ lead to 21-6.
On the next West possession, Tucker completed a 35-yard pass to West that put the Warriors in scoring position. Haprer then scored from one-yard out to extend the lead to 28-6.
The Warriors ended the scoring early in the fourth on a 12-yard run by Harper to make the score 35-6. North Wilkes would get no closer.
Next week, the Warriors face South Caldwell at home, hoping to again reset the count for the number of days between wins at Thuss Stadium.
WEST CALDWELL 35, NORTH WILKES 6
WEST CALDWELL^14 ^14 ^0 ^7 – 35
NORTH WILKES^0 ^6 ^0 ^0 – 6
WC — Rakeem Spikes 15 run (Zach Clay kick), 5:54.
WC – Trustin Harper 4 run (Zach Clay kick), 0:10.
NW – Dylan Bauguess 39 pass to Hayden Meyers (No. 36 kick failed), 10:14.
WC — Trustin Harper 26 run (Zach Clay kick), 9:16.
WC – Trustin Harper 1 run (Zach Clay kick), 1:36.
WC — Trustin Harper 12 run (Zach Clay kick), 9:56.
RUSHING – West Caldwell: Trustin Harper 17-103, Rakeem Spikes 7-74, Dylan West 6-50, Titus Tucker 6-62, Dashawn Francis 3-18, Nathaniel Kale 2-8, Mckymron Ashley 4-11, Taye Dula 1-9. North Wilkes: Nathaniel Hunt 8-22, Tyler Boles 12-8, Dylan Bauguess 2–(-6), Zach Wagner 2-6, Dustin Adams 2-12, Jordan Grimes 2-2, Grant Adams 1-0.
PASSING – West Caldwell: Titus Tucker 7-13-1, 104 yards. North Wilkes: 2-5-0, 59 yards.
RECEIVING – West Caldwell: Mark Hood 2-28, Dylan West 3-53, Rakeem Spikes 1-6, Dashawn Francis 1-17. North Wilkes: Zach Wagner 1-20, Hayden West 1-39.