MOORE — It was a loss that stuck in Jacob Tilley’s gut. Losing to Southmoore in 2012 was a difficult experience for the Westmoore senior to swallow.
Coming into this year’s Southwest Showdown, Tilley and his Jaguar teammates wanted to make sure they didn’t have to experience that type of defeat again. And that resilience showed as No. 5 Westmoore defeated their rivals 31-13 Friday at Moore Stadium to earn only the second win in the last six years over the seventh-ranked SaberCats.
“It’s just a great feeling,” Tilley said. “We took a hard loss last year. This week was all about our reckoning. We had to make a wrong right and we did that tonight.”
Last year the Jaguars (2-0) didn’t have the services of Dahu Green, who had just transferred into the school district. Playing in his first Southwest Showdown, the junior receiver hauled in 7 passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns to pave the way for the Jaguars.
It was a difficult loss for the SaberCats (1-1) to absorb, especially seniors, like Jalen Adams, who have now lost to Westmoore two of the last three years.
“It’s tough,” Adams said. “Your senior year coming into this. Feeling the adversity that came our way this game was tough. We just couldn’t overcome it tonight. We are going to come into next week a lot more ready for that game. I think this is going to be a lesson learned for us.”
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively. Southmoore’s vaunted run game was being shut down at the line of scrimmage while the Jaguars were unable to string together any positive plays in the first half.
It wasn’t until midway through the second quarter that Westmoore began to move the ball, with quarterback Bryson Lee scrambling for first downs. Lee then connected with Green for a 25-yard pass play down to the SaberCats’ 5-yard line. Green was being guarded by Reginald Danzler, but the 6-foot-3 Green was able to leap over Danzler for the catch.
“I knew they had seen a little bit of film and seen me catch a few jump balls last week,” Green said. “We just put the ball downfield and I’m a lot taller than their corner. I thought they were going to put the safety over the top. But we have so many other weapons on offense that putting two men on one person is going to leave somebody open.”
Two plays later, Kieron Hardrick scored from four yards out to give the Jaguars a 7-0 advantage.
Southmoore hurt themselves on special teams with a muffed punt return recovered by the Jags on the Cats’ 16-yard line.
Green made them pay again with an 11-yard touchdown catch to put the Jags up 14-0. Westmoore went up by 21 points when Green caught a 17-yard TD catch that came on fourth down.
Southmoore was unable to get anything going on offense until the end of third when Jaelon Walker put the SaberCats on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run.
However, the Jags responded when Lee connected with Deshawn Lookout for a 75-yard touchdown pass. Lookout caught a slant pass across the middle, streaked down the middle of the field untouched and gave the Jags a 21-point advantage.
The SaberCats added a touchdown when Dunya Rice caught a 27-yard pass, but it wasn’t enough, as Westmoore held on for the win and claimed its second city championship in three seasons.
“It’s big,” Lee said. “Gives us all the momentum in the world. It’s a great win for the school because we needed it. We needed to beat these guys. It’s the best thing ever. This is our house. We beat all the Moore teams. This is our field.”