WOODS CROSS The Panthers went into the locker room scoreless and with penalties hanging onto them again. West had more than 100-yards of penalties in each of their first two games and Friday's matchup looked like it would be more of the same for the Panthers.
The Panthers went into the visiting locker room an emotionally down team.
"We didn't really go off on the kids. We were saying, 'guys, this is it!' You've done the same mistakes now for 10 quarters of football," West coach Randy Schreiter said.
The Panthers dug deep inside and came charging into the second half, hanging on to beat Woods Cross, 15-14.
West scored on its first possession of the second half. Quarterback Daniel Wray kept the ball to himself and ran clean around the left side for a 7-yard touchdown. Tana Afeaki scored the two-point conversion to tie the game.
Woods Cross couldn't answer on their next possession but the Panthers scored again on their next turn. This time it was a 10-yard pass from Wray to his tight end Junior Vea in the center of the end zone. Wray was 10 for 13 on his passing for the game.
The extra point gave the Panthers a 15-8 lead.
Things started to look bad for Woods Cross when on their next possession, a fumble recovery by Afeaki would leave West in Woods Cross territory. Just two plays later though, Afeaki gave it right back to Woods Cross on a fumble of his own.
Late in the fourth quarter, a three-play drive covering 66 yards, capped off with a keeper from Cusick from 11-yards out. But, a missed PAT proved to be the difference.
Coach Schreiter was happy for Friday's win but knows mistakes and emotions might keep his team from the win column during region games.
"If we can keep our emotions in check, we'll keep winning some ball games," he said.
Both teams started poorly, giving up their first series on downs.
Woods Cross fared the better of the two teams by racking up seven first downs and traveling 59-yards before giving up the ball on downs. The Woods Cross drive was shut down by West defensive lineman Jon Aiono who tipped the ball shortly after it was released.
The remainder of the first quarter and most of second quarter gave the appearance that these teams would head into the locker room scoreless. But with 50-seconds left in the half, Woods Cross' Cusick tossed a 5-yard touchdown to wide receiver Chase Cappellucci.
The two-point conversion was sort of a trick play with a Hall to Evans completion which closed the half with Woods Cross on top 8-0.