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Westwood defense dominant in season opening win over SA Southwest

Alberto Alvarado
American-Statesman Correspondent
San Antonio Southwest's Lloyd Young is stuffed by, from left, Westwood's Jack Ziebell, Brian Lee and Ryan Lass during the Warriors' season-opening 37-8 win at Kelly Reeves Stadium Thursday. The Warrior defense forced six tournovers in the victory.

The story of the 2019 Westwood Warriors was the plays made by RJ Martinez and the offense, but during Thursday’s season opener, the Warrior defense showed it could take over.

Westwood had six takeaways, including a interception return for a touchdown by junior linebacker Brian Lee in a 37-8 win over the San Antonio Southwest Dragons at the Reeves Athletic Complex.

“They’ve come in here with a mindset that we want this to be a team game, not an offensive game,” Warriors head coach Anthony Wood said. “It’s a whole lot more fun only having to call 15 play in the first half and we’re up 21-0. Credit to our defensive players and staff on how hard they’ve been working.”

Westwood (1-0) scored 21 first half points on three Southwest (0-1) turnovers in the first half and never looked back.

Martinez led the way with three touchdowns in the air to go with one on the ground and Southwest did not score until the final five minutes of the game.

After the game, Wood said he was impressed with the performance against a run-oriented Dragons team.

“Overall, a great win for our program and a great win for our team, but we’ve still got a lot of work ahead if we plan on being the team that we can be,” Wood said.

Martinez completed 8 of 11 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns to go with 28 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Warrior senior Robbie Jeng had two catches for 125 yards, most of that coming on a 96-yard touchdown connection that set a new school record.

It appeared that the Dragons would strike first as they drove to the Westwood 7-yard line, but Lee forced a Southwest fumble that was pounced on by senior linebacker Drew Goodall.

Martinez put the Warrior offense in business on the ensuing drive by connecting with Jeng for a 29-yard pass to get the ball on the Southwest 25-yard-line.

Senior wide receiver Julian DeBerry would catch the next Martinez pass on the very next play to give Westwood it’s very first points of the new season.

Lee picked off Southwest quarterback Nathan Gamez on the ensuing drive and run it back 60 yards for a touchdown to double Westwood’s lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter.

The Dragons coughed the ball up in the Warrior red zone again late in the second quarter and Martinez made quick work of that drive by hitting Jeng for a 96-yard touchdown strike on the first play of that drive. Martinez completed 6 of his first 8 passes for 170 and two scores in the first half.

Martinez scored his rushing touchdown 1 minutes, 52 seconds into the second half with a 14-yard scoring run and added a 27-yard touchdown to Tomas Henry in the final minute of the third quarter.

The cliché states that a team makes it’s biggest jump between the first and second game of the season and the Warriors have a big test next week against Lake Travis.

“You know that those guys are going to come out and they’re going to be ready,” Wood said. “I can tell you, that’s going to be one heck of a ballgame because they’ve got one heck of a program and we’re hoping to get our program to where they are.”