HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Stony Point uses big plays to down Westwood, keep playoff hopes alive

The Warriors will miss out on the playoffs for the fourth time in five years

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When Stony Point head coach Craig Chessher sees Daelan Loyden streaking down the sideline, he can't help but be confident.

In the Tigers' boom-or-bust offense, big plays are of the utmost importance, and the senior receiver made his fair share of them as Stony Point beat Westwood 31-17 Thursday night at Kelly Reeves to stay in the playoff hunt and knock the Warriors out of postseason contention.

"Being consistent was big this week," Loyden said. "We're getting better at staying consistent. We practiced it all week and we just had to execute it in the game, and that's what we did. We need to come out and execute every time."

The senior receiver caught four passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, an average of 34 yards per catch.

Stony Point quarterback Kyle Overtone finished 16-of-26 passing for 333 yards and two touchdowns and had five passes of 30 yards or more. Tigers' running back Kendall Thomas had 83 yards and two touchdowns while Tyler Cleveland rushed for 82 yards on 14 carries.

Westwood was led by R.J. Martinez, who finished 16-of-31 passing for 152 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. Mohan Hegde caught seven passes for 58 yards and a score and running back Nate Anderson had 64 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

"Stony Point is a read aggressive football team and they made more plays in the second half than we did," Westwood head coach Anthony Wood said. "Our defense stepped up and did a good job, we just gave up too many plays on (long yardage situations). Credit to Stony Point."

Westwood (4-5 overall, 2-5 District 13-6A) will miss out on the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. Stony Point (6-3, 4-3) moves within half a game of Hendrickson (5-2, 4-2) and Round Rock (5-3, 4-2) for third place. The Hawks and Dragons face off Friday night.

Stony Point and Westwood combined to score on the first three drives of the game, with the Tigers going 70 yards in five plays, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Thomas to take an early 10-7 lead.

Anderson scored one play after recovering a muffed Stony Point punt, but again the Tigers answered on the ensuing drive despite getting backed up by penalties when Overton hit Loyden for a 33-yard score.

"This game was kind of like a bar fight," Chessher said. "I felt like we could still run the football at halftime and I told the coordinator that we could hit them with big plays. We kind of utilized that. We hit two or three plays that sent us overt he top."

The Stony Point stood tall in the second half, holding Westwood to just three points on a field goal in the third quarter.

Tigers' defensive back Kobe Sterling intercepted the first pass of the second half. Overton and Loyden connected on their second touchdown late in the third quarter and Thomas rushed for his second score early in the fourth.

"We've got to continue to get better," Wood said. "We've got a lot of young kids, we've got 10 sophomores playing varsity football. We're still growing up and if we can continue to grow next week, that'll help us."

Stony Point wraps up the year against district-leading and undefeated Vandegrift at Dragon Stadium, while Westwood finishes the regular season at Kelly Reeves against Cedar Ridge next Friday night.

"If we make mistakes we made today, (Vandegrift is) going to beat us," Chessher said. "We need to find a way to be a little bit smarter with the football and do some things better on defense."

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