A short field went a long way toward helping Westwood pin a 26-6 loss on the Casa Grande football team Friday on homecoming night at Al Van Hazel Stadium.
Three of the Warriors’ four touchdown drives began in Cougar territory, and having that favorable field position was just what the Warriors needed to keep Casa Grande from notching its first victory of the season.
The Cougars trailed only 12-6 before the Warriors pulled away with a late third-quarter TD and another with 2:23 left in the fourth. The point total was a season low for a Casa Grande opponent.
Westwood’s first three touchdown drives covered 39, 48 and 45 yards.
The game was only 31 seconds old when the Warriors (4-3, 1-2) took a 6-0 lead. They returned a pooch kickoff 26 yards, Josh Villanueva caught a 32-yard pass from Juan Zazueta, and Billy Sueing scored from the 7-yard line on the second play from scrimmage.
After the Warriors missed a field goal, they drove 48 yards in nine plays on their next possession for a 12-0 lead on Zazueta’s 14-yard TD pass to Nick Finckbone on the final play of the first quarter.
Sueing’s fumble on Westwood’s next series was recovered by Joe Honeycutt in the end zone for a touchback.
After stopping the Warriors on downs at the CG 39 with 3:12 remaining in the second quarter, the Cougars marched 61 yards in five plays for a touchdown that made it 12-6. Anthony Mitchell’s 19-yard completion to Tramel Jones gave Casa Grande a first down at the Westwood 36, and Nick Elliott gained 13 yards on a run before scoring on a 23-yard run 1:40 before halftime.
The half ended with Layne McKay intercepting a pass, the second of three turnovers by the Warriors. Logan McCormick recovered a Westwood fumble at the CG 1 with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter. Casa Grande advanced to its 30 before punting, but the kick went only 15 yards.
Westwood capitalized when Zazueta’s 31-yard TD run extended the Warriors’ lead to 18-6 with 2:31 left in the third. Westwood later answered a Casa Grande drive with an 85-yard drive capped by Raekwon Robinson’s 13-yard TD run.
Zazueta was 13 of 25 for 182 yards and rushed for 100 yards on 10 attempts. Sueing had 98 yards receiving and 65 rushing for the Warriors, who gained 411 total yards (229 rushing).