By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — Westmoore wanted to send a message. A week after losing a heartbreaker to cross-town rival Southmoore, it needed to let teams know they are better than that.
Facing No. 7 Norman North, the Jaguars felt the message went through loud and clear Thursday at Moore Stadium. They defeated the Timberwolves 29-16 behind a punishing defense and the breakout performance of receiver Lexus Lee.
"We are not as bad as we played against Southmoore," Lee said. "We just had a bad game. We made up for it this game. Hopefully that shows we are not a pushover team."
Lee ignited the Jaguar's offense with 157 yards receiving to go along with two touchdowns. That included snagging a score with three defenders surrounding him late in the fourth to put the game away for the Westmoore.
"Are you kidding me," Westmoore quarterback Jhames West said. "He had a great game. He bailed me out on that last touchdown. He's a tremendous athlete. It kind of makes me mad that he is just now getting credit for the stuff that he's been doing all year. It should put his confidence way up."
Westmoore (2-1) racked up 403 total yards, with 198 of them coming on the ground. West was 9 of 17 for 205 yards passing and four total touchdowns.
Conversely, the Timberwolves (2-1) were turned into a one dimensional team. They rushed for a grand total of 21 yards.
"The defense played so hard," safety Addison Staggs said. "We were swarming to the ball. I don't know how many three and outs we had. We did pretty good tonight. I'm proud of our defense."
Norman North got on the board first when the Jaguars muffed a punt and Devon Navarro was tackled in the endzone. Westmoore compounded the situation when it attempted an onside kick and the T-Wolves recovered at the 37 yard line. The next play Peyton Gavras hit Channing Meyer for a touchdown. North led 9-0.
The Timberwolves came out throwing the ball after Westmoore shut down its running game. Even when they were unable to connect on deep passes, they picked up pass interference penalties on the Jags to keep drives alive.
"Their passing game is strong," Staggs said of North. "They do have big guys. We tried to stop them with our speed. We had a couple of pass interference calls. Whether or not they were right or not is questionable."
Westmoore finally got its offense rolling when West hit Lee for a 58 yard strike down the middle of the field to North's 10-yard line. Two plays later West connected with Austin Dodd for a touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone.
North led 9-7 heading into halftime.
West and Lee hooked up again midway through the third quarter for another big play when Lee streaked down the right sideline for a 64 yard TD pass. They added a 2-point conversion to give the Jags a 15-9 advantage.
North attempted to answer back on the next drive when they drove down to the Jags 21 yard line. But on 4th down, a pass to Tyler Sipe in the endzone was dropped after Staggs smashed his shoulder into his spine.
"I think all the teams know how physical we are on defense now," Staggs said "We deliver hits every time. We are not scared to hit. We don't care how big you are, we're there to hit you."
West added his final touchdown of the night on a one-yard quarterback dive to put the Jags up 21-9. North attempted to make a comeback and to within five points. But Westmoore had an answer every time.
"We were really upset about the loss to Southmoore," Josh Morgan said. "We are not going to lose two in a row. We just want teams to know we're not going to lay down for anybody. So if you are going to come play us, and if you are going to win, you are going to have to earn it."