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West beats T-M, keeps playoff hopes alive

By Taylor Mitchell
Nov. 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.

To keep its playoff hopes alive, Victoria West needed nothing less than a victory against Tuloso-Midway.

That's exactly what the Warriors got as they rolled over Tuloso-Midway 42-20 at Memorial Stadium on Friday night.

"It's a huge victory for us," said quarterback Garrett Rother. "We knew what needed to be done coming into this game. All week in practice we prepared for it. It's a great feeling."

With the victory, West is now tied with in-town rival Victoria East in the District 30-4A standings with 2-3 district records.

West boasts the better overall record at 5-4, while East fell to 3-6 with a 61-42 loss to district champion Calhoun on Thursday night, but East holds the tiebreaker by virtue of its 54-48 over the Warriors earlier this year.

"We needed to get a win tonight," West head coach Leonard McAngus said. "We put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs. Things have to happen right next week. We have to take care of our business and everything will be fine. We may have to depend on somebody else, though."

Rother led the way for West with over 250 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. The senior signal caller ran for 108 yards and threw for another 156.

"He's been consistent all year," McAngus said. "He's a great runner and can throw the ball well. He's a very steady football player. He's what makes our offense work."

While the West offense was firing on all cylinders, the defense stood like a brick wall against Tuloso-Midway's option-based offense. Tuloso-Midway gained just 235 total yards of offense and registered 14 first downs, only three of which came in the first half.

"I thought defensively we played great," McAngus said. "They have a good offense that can score a lot of points."

Rother led the way in West's dominating first half performance with 209 total yards and four touchdowns. He finished the first two quarters a perfect 7-for-7 that included touchdown passes of 23 and 47 yards.

However, it was Tuloso-Midway who struck first in the game when Tyler Smith ran 44 yards around the right end. West didn't waste much time before matching the seven points with a nine-play, 53-yard drive, ending with Rother's first score, a 5 yard run.

"It was huge to get that score because they're a ball control offense. They can keep the score close and run down the clock," McAngus said. "They can control the game that way. We put them in a bind that made them do things they don't really do."

West never let up from there on, stopping Tuloso-Midway on a fourth-and-two on the ensuing possession and then forcing three consecutive punts. West ended the first half with a Chaz Johnson interception.

Tuloso-Midway's defense played better in the second half, keeping West out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter when Rother was able to fight his way for a 1-yard touchdown run, his third of the game.

West's offense wasn't able to do much in the second half, turning the ball over on its first three possessions of the second half.

"I think coming out they changed up some things on defense," Rother said. "Some of it was lack of execution on our plays on our part, but we tried to overcome it the best we could."

Tuloso-Midway bucked its traditional option offense, instead opting for the popular spread look. After completing just two passes in the first half, quarterback Caleb Rozypal completed his first three passes of the second half. He'd finish the night 9 of 18 for 66 yards and a pick.

"We moved the ball offensively in the second half, but kept finding ways not to put it in the end zone," McAngus said. "We relaxed and maybe got too cute in some ways."

Alberto Vega scored both touchdowns in the second half for Tuloso-Midway, on a pair of 2-yard runs.



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