HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Jennings, Thomas lead Westwood to comeback win over Round Rock

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Led by stellar performances from senior quarterback Will Jennings and senior wide receiver Will Jennings, Westwood stormed back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to down Round Rock in Friday's 13-6A matchup at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.

Jennings threw for 288 yards and four touchdowns on 18-27 passing, with each of his four scores on passes to Thomas. Thomas caught 15 of Jennings' 18 completions for 248 yards recieving in the victory.

For Round Rock, it was a bittersweet end to an offensive performance that bested any other game this season. The Dragons ran for a total of 494 yards between just three players, led by Ryan O'Keefe, who started the year as a defensive back for Round Rock and was shifted to quarterback after some dysfunction at the spot.

O'Keefe and the offense exploded for three long rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. The junior Dragon scored from 40, 80, and 65 yards out to give Round Rock an early lead. Malik Pena, who finished 114 yards on the ground, also pushed the ball into the Round Rock endzone in the first half.

Westwood matched their intensity on the scoresheet in the highly-contested first half, tallying two touchdowns on connections from Jennings and Thomas. Thomas not only assisted the offensive efforts of the Warriors' varsity squad, but ran away with an 81-yard kickoff return touchdown in an eventful first half that concluded with the Dragons up 27-24.

O'Keefe, who led the game in total all-purpose yards with 363 yards on the ground and 36 over the air, ran off with his fourth rushing touchdown - this time from 32 yards. It was the only scoring play in a third quarter dominated by the Round Rock defensive core.

The fourth looked to be more of the same, as running back Marquis Brown (17 yards on 10 carries) carried the ball in from a yard away to extend the lead to 41-24 with six minutes remaining. Then, the Will Jennings and Cameron Thomas show began at Kelly Reeves.

Jennings and Thomas found one another for two long passing touchdowns of 64 and 35 yards in a span of just 31 seconds to get the Warriors within a score of the lead, a lead they would take with 17 seconds left when Jennings leaped over the goal line for a rushing touchdown of one yard.

Despite a lateral attempt by Round Rock that featured several successful lobs, the Westwood defense hung on to win a game of extreme significance in District 13-6A. With the win, the Warriors have all but clinched a postseason spot, something Round Rock lost in the Friday night defeat.

Westwood (4-4, 2-2) travels to Pflugerville on Oct. 3 for an away game next weekend. Round Rock (1-7, 1-3) hosts Hendrickson at Dragon Stadium on Oct. 3.

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