Late in the third quarter on Friday at Kangaroo Stadium, Weatherford freshman running back Jeuqwan Brownlee broke loose for a 49-yard jaunt through the Burleson defense, providing the rushing highlight of the final scoring drive of the night. But Roo quarterback Grant Werts had already served up a number of running highlights in the non-district contest against the Elks — chunk by chunk.
Averaging more than five yards per carry, Werts was the staple of multiple Weatherford offensive marches down the field, while the Roo defense provided a few memorable moments of its own in the 21-7 win.
Werts and Jeuqwan Brownlee generated another big play to usher out the third period, connecting on a screen pass for 42 yards. Werts’ 1-yard TD plunge four plays later capped the 93-yard trek.
The Roo offense, while showcasing some big plays in the contest, displayed resilient drives during the night, overcoming potential drive-stopping penalties in the process.
In just his third varsity game, Werts directed the offense with few miscues and picked his way through gaps in the Burleson defense much of he night, piling up 135 rushing yards to top all runners. The junior scored twice off the run and hit slot back Fred Brownlee with a 14-yard pass for the other TD.
Defensively, Weatherford got off to a rough start, but got better as the game progressed, bending — but not breaking.
“Our defense didn’t look that good on [Burleson’s] first drive,” said head coach Reid Waller. “Of course, we have quite a few people hurt and had to change up our defense a little to account for those kids that are out.
“Over the course of the next couple of weeks we’re hoping we can get some of those guys healed up.”
The defense likely dealt the back-breaker for the Elks right after the half. After a three-and-out by the Roo offense and decent field position for Burleson, a 12-play penalty-laden drive was quashed when the defense broke through to throw Burleson’s Ayinde Alaajiy for a 3-yard loss on fourth and goal at the 4-yard line.
“That defensive stop we made in the third quarter was huge,” Waller said. “For most of the second half we had four sophomores on the defensive side of the ball, and for them to operate under that kind of pressure was great to see.”
Weatherford complimented the defensive stand with yet another long scoring drive.
On the first play of the Elks’ next offensive series, the Roo defense made an immediate impact. The kickoff runback by the visitors gave Burleson a short field to work with, setting up at the Weatherford 48.
But the potential drive was short-lived, as junior defensive back Dalton Clubb snagged a pass from Burleson QB Isaiah Hall and returned the ball nine yards to the WHS 41-yard line.
Penalties plagued Weatherford’s subsequent possession, but the clock was running, so the pick served its purpose.
The Roos enjoy a week off before heading into district play. The bye comes at an opportune time for the banged-up WHS boys. Some have been out since before the opener three weeks ago, and will make a nice addition to the squad when Arlington Bowie comes to Roo Stadium on Sept. 28.
While Waller would have preferred to have all hands on deck for the season’s start, he acknowledged the peripheral benefit of getting some of the younger players playing time.
“We feel like we have improved over the non-district schedule, he said. “We had some kids step up in very critical situations tonight.
“And that’s really good for us. It helps us mature and I’m excited about that. We have a little-bitty snowball right now from this win. We just have to keep packing and adding on to it.”
Weatherford 21, Burleson 7
BHS 7 0 0 0 — 7
WHS 0 14 0 7 — 21
BHS - Isaiah Hall 1 run
(Brad Love kick) 2:52
WHS - Grant Werts 1 run
(Trey Rich kick) 9:27
WHS - Werts 14 pass to Fred Brownlee (Rich kick) 0:25
WHS - Werts 1 run (Rich kick) 9:52
Team Stats BHS WHS
First downs 16 15
Rushes-yds 35-119 34-203
Pass yards 110 95
Comp-att-int 15-25-1 5-8-0
Punts-avg 2-3 4-31.2
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-yds 9-90 8-77
Rushing - BHS: Isaiah Hall 18-78, Ayinde Alaajiy 13-31; WHS: Grant Werts 26-135, Jeuquan Brownlee 2-50.
Passing - BHS: Isaiah Hall 15-25-1-0, 110;
WHS: Grant Werts 5-8-0-1, 95
Receiving - BHS: Landon Whitlock 4-28, Jordan Medford 4-27, Ben Harris 3-22; WHS: Jeuqwan Brownlee 3-53, Chris Whitling 1-22