MAULDIN – In the fourth quarter of Westside’s 56-10 win over Mauldin on Friday, the Mavericks got absolutely as close as a team can get to the end zone without scoring.
The Rams came up with a defensive stand well inside their own 1-yard line, and took over with the intention to let the final minutes of the game tick away. Westside simply handed it off to Sharode Richardson off right tackle.
And he just kept running.
Richardson’s 99-yard touchdown capped a game in which the Rams did pretty much whatever they wanted offensively. Cutter Woods threw for 257 yards and two TDs. Richardson finished with 186 yards and three scores, while backfield mate DeMarco Evans had 109 yards and two scores. Josh Williams caught five balls for 75 yards and a touchdown, and returned a kickoff 95 yards for another. Dee Robertson caught a 19-yard score.
The offensive performance drew praise from Westside coach Brian Lane.
“All-around right now, our offense is doing a great job,” Lane said. “We’ve got good skill guys, good running backs, a good quarterback. But O-line right now is really stepping up each and every week. Those guys have been working hard. I’m really proud of those guys up front.”
Woods has played well, too, and hasn’t had to shoulder a whole lot of the offensive load. He threw just 20 passes on Friday as the Rams largely kept the ball on the ground in the second half. Still, Lane knows he’ll hear from his quarterback on Saturday morning, eager to dissect the game.
“He’s such a great kid, and he’s a student of the game, too,” Lane said. “He’s going to call me at 8:30 in the morning, and we’re going to talk about the game. He’s going to look at the video tonight, and we’re going to talk about it at 8:30. That’s just kind of our routine.”
Woods was already bringing a critical eye toward the performance.
“We played alright,” he said. “We scored 56, but we still made a lot of mistakes. It’ll be a good week of practice to fix some things, for sure. It was just reads, some small stuff, but just some things to work on.”
They weren’t immediately obvious, for sure. Woods started 4-for-5 for 104 yards, including Robertson’s score.
“I think we’re playing great, but there are things we can work on,” Robertson said. “We can put even more points on the board. Mauldin is a great team, but I feel like we came out here to do what we do best and play Westside football.”
That included Williams’ dazzling kick return, which removed any drama from the contest. Mauldin scored on its second drive behind Devan Ortega’s 50-yard sprint through the middle of the Rams’ defense, and tied the game 7-7. That lasted for the amount of time it took Williams to dash 95 yards untouched with the ensuing kickoff.
“I saw a gap, and knew I had to make one man miss,” he said. “I just used my speed to get to the end zone.”
Ortega’s touchdown was also Westside’s biggest defensive lapse. They allowed a field goal the rest of the way, and not much else. They held the Mavericks for fewer than 200 yards of offense, including just five passing yards.
Lane was proud of the effort, but cautioned that there’s more work to do.
“I feel like we have to keep working on our special teams, and keep our defense off the field more,” he said. “But for right now, I’m just glad we got a victory, and on to the next one.”