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Hartselle Enquirer

Blue Devils’ comeback falls just short

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
It was a game that went from being a blowout to a shootout.
Westbrook Christian hung on to defeat Falkville 31-25 at Burl Vest Stadium Friday night in the region opener for both teams.
Falkville (1-1, 0-1 in Region 5) trailed 31-13 before attempting a wild comeback that ended short when quarterback Jonathan McNatt was sacked on the Westbrook 25-yard line with eight seconds remaining and Falkville driving for the tying score. The Blue Devils had no timeouts left and the clock ran out as the Warriors (2-0, 1-0) survived.
Westbrook senior quarterback Tyler James was nearly unstoppable, completing 14-of-24 passes for 358 yards and five touchdowns. Four of those touchdowns were to fellow senior Tyler Erwin, who had six receptions for 224 yards. Joseph Hutchins had the other Westbrook touchdown reception.
Falkville was no slouch either when it came to the aerial attack. After completing just 2-of-8 in the first half, McNatt exploded in the second half to finish 13-of-23 for 274 yards and three touchdowns — two to Jace Wilemon and one to Stephen Lindsey.
Westbrook took an initial 12-0 lead on a pair of James touchdowns — a 65-yard strike to Hutchins and a 93-yard pass to Erwin. Falkville bounced back with a pair of touchdowns of its own to take a 13-12 lead — a 4-yard run by Dustin Jump and a 47-yard touchdown pass from McNatt to Wilemon.
The touchdown pass came with 8:04 left in the second quarter and was set up by some creative play-calling. During the drive, Falkville faced a fourth-and-3 situation from the Westbrook 43-yard line but the Blue Devils used a fake punt to pick up the first down. On the next play, McNatt handed off to Jump, who then pitched the ball back to McNatt on a flea flicker play that ended with Wilemon making the touchdown reception.
Westbrook responded with an 11-play drive to move back into the lead, with Erwin scoring from 9 yards out with 2:25 left in the first half. After a three-and-out, Falkville punted the ball back to the Warriors and appeared to have Westbrook bottled up at midfield.
But with eight seconds remaining, James found Erwin open for a 55-yard touchdown strike that made the score 25-13 at halftime.
Westbrook added a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half, with Erwin catching a 31-yard pass for the score with 7:51 left in the third quarter. With the score 31-13, the Falkville comeback began.
The Blue Devils scored with 6:01 left in the third quarter when Wilemon got behind the Westbrook secondary for a 65-yard reception. McNatt’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Lindsey came with 8:44 left in the fourth quarter and made the score 31-25, but the Blue Devils would get no closer.
Falkville plays its first road game of the season Friday night as the Blue Devils visit Fultondale (1-1, 1-0).