West Rusk Shuts Down Waskom, Takes 9-3A District Lead
NEW LONDON--When West Rusk last allowed a touchdown, the MLB was still in the regular season.
With Game 3 of the World Series ending Friday, the Raiders pitched their fourth straight shutout to defeat Waskom 21-0 and take first place in District 9-3A.
West Rusk's defense has been stout all season, but faced perhaps its toughest test of the season against Waskom. The Wildcats boasted one of the best running attacks in East Texas heading into the matchup.
West Rusk held them to only 128 yards with an average of 2.8 yards per carry. Waskom was met in the backfield many times by a swarm of Raiders. West Rusk finished with nine tackles for loss.
Most impressively, though, the Raiders pitched their fifth shutout of the season and their fourth consecutive. They have yet to allow a point in district play.
"At this point, they're taking pride in it," coach John Frazier said. "I wouldn't say that the first couple of times. I'm not sure they knew how good they could be. Starting last week with the Arp game and in this one now, they're starting to take pride in people not scoring on us. That's a goal going into the game for them. They're believing in themselves and being well-coached every week and great schemes. They're going out and producing on Friday nights."
The Raiders didn't get the ball much, as Waskom's constant running helped it to dominate time of possession. Even when West Rusk did get the ball, it scored quickly.
The first touchdown came after a 46-yard scamper from quarterback La'Javius Harper. That set up a quick nine-yard touchdown pass from Harper to Dylan Waker on a slant route.
Later, West Rusk scored when DJ Hart got some good blocks on a reverse toss. He went 67 yards for the Raiders' second touchdown of the evening. Hart was only called on twice, but turned those carries into 106 yards.
"Thank God for the reverse," Frazier said. "They were doing a great job of stuffing the run and we got a little bit outside on them. They pursue so fast and our kids executed the reverse perfect two times and it was the two times we needed them to."
The Raiders scored their final touchdown after driving the ball to the 10. After runs of four and five yards from Gage Whitlock brought it to the 1-yard line, Harper punched it in to seal the victory.
Harper finished with 80 rushing yards and added 33 more through the air. He also had two touchdowns.
Chris Stafford led Waskom with 48 rushing yards on six carries, but left in the third quarter after injuring his left ankle and never returned.
West Rusk and Waskom each have a pair of games left in the regular season. The Raiders will be on the road at Elysian Fields, while Waskom will hope to rebound at home against Troup next week.
Frazier said his team still has plenty ahead of it.
"Our goal wasn't to beat Waskom," he said. "Our goal is to win that gold ball in a couple of weeks. I told them to enjoy this win for the next 24 hours and get our sights on (Elysian Fields) and go win that game."
West Rusk 21, Waskom 0
At Bruce Bradshaw Stadium, New London
Waskom 0 0 0 0 -- 0
West Rusk 0 7 7 7 -- 21
WR--Dylan Walker 9 catch from La'Javius Harper (Levi Hughes kick), 8:56.
WR--DJ Hart 67 run (Hughes kick), 1:31.
WR--Harper 1 run (Hughes kick), 4:06
First Downs 8 8
Total Yards 143 271
Rushes-Yards 46-128 25-238
Passing Yards 15 33
Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-5-0 3-6-0
Punts-Avg. 3-25.0 2-38.0
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 1-15 4-40
RUSHING--Waskom, Chris Stafford 6-48, T.K. Hamilton 12-36, Da'Lynn Hill 7-36, Jacob Reeves 9-26, Ty Carter 9-1, Team 3-(-19). West Rusk, DJ Hart 2-106, La'Javius Harper 8-80, LaDarron Jones 11-38, Gage Whitlock 4-14.
PASSING--Waskom, Carter 3-4-0--15, Raymond Ramirez 0-1-0--0. West Rusk, Harper 3-6-0--33.
RECEIVING--Waskom, Jay Reeves 2-7, KT Ceaser 1-8. West Rusk, Dylan Walker 2-26, Talon Winings 1-7.