With control of the Region 2-AAAAAAA race at stake, Westlake turned in one of its best defensive performance of the year and ground out three long drives, beating Newnan 27-0.
Visiting Westlake (5-3, 3-0 in 2-AAAAAAAA) held Newnan to 166 total yards and got a big night from running back Darrell Nichols in the win, its fourth straight after a 1-3 start.
The Lions had two touchdown drives that combined to eat up more than a quarter’s worth of the game clock.
“That’s beautiful,” said Westlake coach Kareem Reid. “We’ve kind of found team identity offensively. We’ve got three really good backs, so we just rely on our running game and take our shots when we can.”
Nichols rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries for Westlake. Quarterback Caleb Dixon passed for 80 yards, completing 6 of 11 passes for the Lions, who need one win in their last two games to clinch the region title.
The Lions finished with 312 total yards.
“All the credit goes to the offensive line,” said Nichols, who had six runs of 10 yards or more. “They came off the ball and gave me good holes to run through. That’s our game plan, to run the ball. We want eight-minute drives.”
Newnan (3-5, 2-1) came in having won three of four games after an 0-3 start.
Westlake forced a Newnan punt on the game’s opening possession and struck quickly for the game’s first score, a 36-yard pass from Dixon to Adrian Bryant at the 6:54 mark in the first period.
The Lions drove 65 yards in 14 plays to their second score, Nichols’ 5-yard run midway through the second period. The drive consumed 6:32.
Westlake went up 20-0 on the opening drive of the second half, marching 80 yards in 12 plays, burning 6:46. It was sparked by Dixon’s 20-yard scramble on third down from the Lions’ 12-yard line.
“We had them third and 20, and the quarterback scrambles and gets 20 yards,” said Newnan coach Chip Walker. “Those are the type of plays we’ve got to make. We’ve got to get better, and we will.”
Backup quarterback Jalyn Williams guided the Lions to their final score, an 11-play, 53-yard drive, capped by Williams’ 6-yard pass to Malachi Miller with 5:18 left in the game.
Mautavier Parks rushed for 69 yards on 20 carries for Newnan, which never moved inside the Westlake 35-yard line.
Westlake 7 7 6 7 – 27
Newnan 0 0 0 0 – 0
W – Caleb Dixon 36 pass to Adrian Bryant (James Miller Jr. kick)
W – Darrell Nichols 5 run (J. Miller kick)
W- Markcus Johnson 12 run (kick failed)
W – Jalyn Williams 6 pass to Malachi Miller (J. Miller kick)