In Border Bowl X Friday night in Warsaw, Rappahannock rode a stout defensive performance and superior field position during the second half to the tune of a 41-22 triumph over Westmoreland.
The win was Rappahannock’s fourth in the non-district football series that dates back to 2013.
“We’re picking it up game-bygame,” said Rappahannock coach William West whose team posted its first victory in three outings so far this season. “We have some very capable young men who are giving us their all on both sides of the ball. We’re a young team and if we can stay consistent we can be in most of the football games we play.”
The Raiders trailed 22-21 at intermission, but their stop unit yielded just 55 yards total offense during the final two quarters. Westmoreland gained 52 of those yards on its final series of the evening.
Offensively, the Raiders scored on three consecutive possessions in the second half. Those scoring drives covered just 58, 41, and 54 yards.
Meanwhile, Rappahannock’s C.J. Kelly had his fingerprints all over the outcome.
The multi-purpose sophomore — he lined up at quarterback, running back and split end — accumulated 227 yards from scrimmage and scored four touchdowns.
“He has been a very entertaining young man for us on the offensive side of the football,” West observed. “He’s been executing and as long as our offensive line continues to progress, we expect more good things out of him.”
Rappahannock grabbed a 14-0 first quarter advantage.
Kelly’s 14-yard scoring burst capped a time-consuming opening drive that covered 56 yards and ate 8:03 off the clock. Ricky Martinez-Silva added the first of his five successful PAT kicks on the night to make it 7-0.
After forcing a three-and-out on Westmoreland’s initial series, Kelly’s 73-yard dash down the Westmoreland sideline set up a Braden Hayes’ two-yard scoring run.
The Eagles (1-2) responded swiftly as Devin Garnett returned the ensuing kickoff 88-yards for a TD. Jordan Tolson then tossed a two-pointconversion pass to Keneth Madison to make it a 14-8 contest with 19 seconds remaining in the opening stanza.
After a fourth-down Rappahannock gamble at its 28 yard line backfired, Westmoreland went on top 16-14 as Madison scored on a six-yard run and Tolson added a two-point-conversion.
Rappahannock answered with a seven-play, 53-yard scoring possession that was capped by Kelly’s 19-yard TD run. Matinez Silva’s conversion kick gave the home team a 21-16 advantage.
Westmoreland then took a 22- 21 lead into the locker room at halftime as Tolson found Trevay Jackson along the Eagles’ sideline on a secondand 36 play that covered 87 yards to pay dirt.
Following a three-and-out series by Westmoreland to open the second half, Rappahannock put together a nine-play, 58- yard scoring march that culminated with Kelly’s five-yard TD burst that put the home team in front for good.
Kelly later caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hayes on the opening play of the fourth quarter and Chase Self’s sevenyard scoring run finished off the scoring with 5:34 showing on the fourth quarter clock.
“We didn’t play physical and made mistakes at the wrong times,” said Westmoreland coach John Pierce whose team managed just 168 yards total offense. “At the end of the day, we have to get better from this. Our focus point now is to learn from the mistakes we made tonight and work on what we are good at.”
The teams will meet again on October 28 in Montross in a contest that will count in the Northern Neck District standings.
Both teams now enter bye weeks.
Rappahannock next plays at Middlesex on September 22, while Westmoreland will host Nandua on Thursday, September 21.