No. 2 state-ranked Westran took care of business Thursday with a solid 49-0 home triumph against the winless North Shelby Raiders in Class 1 District 5 first round playoff action.
The Halloween Eve victory was a treat for a couple of reason for the Hornets (10-0).
Westran's football season continues is their main treat coupled with the idea knowing they get to host a district semifinal game Nov. 6 against the winner tonight's matchup between fourth-seed Louisiana (2-7) and fifth-seed Paris (5-4).
On a more personal level, last night's victory also made Westran head coach Curtis Jasper the winningest football coach in Hornets history. Now into his seventh year, Jasper's coaching record is 61-21 as he surpassed former coach Doug Swanson's mark of 60-46-1 when he served as the Hornets skipper from 1978-88.
"This is more of a staff and player type of honor to be shared. (Offensive coord.) Coach Lance Massey, Allen Dougherty and Steve Spotts have all been with me from the beginning when I came here. (Defensive coord.) Coach Scott Humphrey has been with me the last four years while Logan Shaw has been here 2 years and we now have Kyle Ginter," said Jasper. "Then we have had some really good players come through the program who put a lot of effort in. I feel we have a good football tradition going on here. It speaks to a program and everyone who is part of it rather than centering it on me.
"I am just proud to be here and be a Hornet and hope we can continue to build on this success."
With temperatures dipping to the upper-40s last night, there were maybe 150 persons in the bleachers at Westran on a night when trick-or-treating takes center stage with families having young children.
Westran scored touchdowns on six of their first eight possessions - including their first snap of the game when Jake Ingebritson jetted off for a 33 yard TD run - and would come up with a Pick 6, scoring all of their points in the first half.
"This was a 1-seed playing an 8-seed game and the odds of winning were in our favor. We were looking for a win and we wanted to come into this game and play well and stay crisp to better prepare us for a district quarterfinal game next week.
"Our younger players are our scout team during practices and they work extremely hard against our varsity kids. At halftime we wanted to turn the rest of the game over to our younger players and we told them that they are the future of our football program and it will be there turn next year to be playing varsity ball. It was important for them to get out and there to show us what they can do. I was pretty happy with what I saw out of them in the second half. They were able to preserve a shutout at the end and that was a goal."
Page 2 of 3 - Ingebritson rushed seven times for 106 yards, all in the first half, and he had touchdown runs of 33 and 36 yards in the game.
Quarterback Zane Jacoby rushed just four times for 67 yards, including two TD runs of 20 and 40-yards. He also threw for another 38 while completing 2-of-6 passes.
Freshman Austin Sears had a 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and he caught a pass that netted 31 yards in the game.
Sophomore running back Dalton Wright had a remarkable 62-yard scoring run in which he broke four tackles and dragged a Raiders player with him about 2 yards before falling into the end zone for the final touchdown of the game with 2:44 left before the half. Wright ended up rushing for 112 yards on six carries.
Westran's other score came arrived with 7:22 remaining in the second quarter. That's when Ingebritson picked off a pass thrown by North Shelby jr. quarterback Jacob Rich and returned it 40 yards untouched for a touchdown. A 2-pt. conversion run by Jacoby followed and the Hornets led 35-0 at the time.
The Hornets led 21-0 after the opening period, added 28 more points in the second to force a running clock be used thereafter, and then the varsity starters took to the sidelines the entire second half.
"We were kind of crisp, but not super crisp playing tonight. We gave up a big run, but then we got into it better. Our varsity played well enough in that first half to allow us to play the younger guys the entire second half and that was a good thing," said coach Jasper.
While the varsity defense was on the mud-soaked field, North Shelby was limited to just one first down when running back John Arnett escaped for a 46-yard run allowing the Raiders to penetrate Westran territory reaching the 21. North Shelby also was held to just 64 total yards of offense before intermission arrived.
Arnett would find running room in the second half and finished the evening with 144 yards on 19 carries. Rich was dropped for a loss of 13 total yards, and in his passing scheme he completed 2 of 8 for 5 yards and he threw an interception.
In the second half of play, Westran freshman defensive lineman found himself in the right place at the right time twice as he recovered two Raider fumbles. His second cover-up was the most critical.
That's because the Raiders made a strong push into the red zone reaching the Westran 3 with precious seconds ticking away. Arnett was the ball carrier when two Westran players hit him hard and the football popped out of his grasp. Lattimer and the rest of the jayvee unit managed to preserve the shutout when Lattimer fell on the fumbled ball at the 4 with just 0:34 remaining in the game.
North Shelby (0-10) had only 14 players in uniform last night and extended the football program's losing streak to 46 games dating back to the 2009 season.
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