VERO BEACH — Jormonte Hunter ran for 176 yards and scored two TDs to lead the Fighting Indians to a 24-14 triumph over Westwood Friday night.The powerful VBHS offensive line controlled the game and paved the way all night for Hunter to help Vero Beach improve to 3-0.
“We practiced all week at sustaining our blocks,” said offensive guard Trevonte Boles. “A few sports writers didn’t think we’d win this game and that always makes us play harder.”
The first half was all VBHS, as the offense dominated the smaller Westwood defense with 162 yards rushing. After the teams traded punts on their first possession, the Fighting Indians put together a 66-yard drive which resulted in a 3-yard TD run by running back Derek Davis. VBHS added a Pat Baker 50-yard field goal on the next possession as the ball just cleared the crossbar.
Westwood, 1-2, responded with an impressive 79-yard drive, riding the legs of speedy Everett Jackson. The diminutive running back contributed 47 yards rushing and 18 yards receiving that drive, which ended when running back Cameron Toombs scored on a 5-yard TD run. VBHS blocked the extra point.
The first drive of the second quarter saw the Fighting Indians go 70 yards, mostly on the legs of Hunter. He scored on an 18-yard TD to make the score 17-6. Hunter would strike again late in the quarter when he scored on a 6-yard TD run, and VBHS went into the locker room with a 24-6 lead.
Vero Beach Coach Gary Coggin’s team controlled the clock in the second half, as they continued to churn out yards on the ground. Westwood played without a real sense of urgency until they finally scored again with just over 2 minutes left in the game.
Panther quarterback Traveres Copeland directed an impressive 96-yard drive, ending in a 2-yard Jackson TD run.
The Panthers tacked on a two-point conversion to make the score 24-14. That ended the scoring, and the Fighting Indians ran out the clock with their ground game to insure the victory.
“I’m proud of the way these kids played,” said Coggin. “I had about 10 players sick on Monday, but they stepped it up when it came time for practice. Westwood has one of the better offenses around, and we just wanted to keep them off the field.”
“We knew it was going to be a very physical, full-court football,” added Coggin. “We controlled the ball, and didn’t have any turnovers. The coaching staff did a good job of preparing the kids, and today was a step in the right direction.”