Red Raiders wallop Wildcats
After a slow start in last week’s game, the T.W. Andrews football team came out this week focused and determined from the get-go.
The Red Raiders scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions in building a big lead and dominated defensively in beating West Stokes 31-0 in the second round of the NCHSAA 2AA playoffs on Friday night at Simeon Stadium.
“It’s always good to get a win. I don’t care when or where, as long as we keep playing,” coach Rodney McKoy said. “I thought we played well in the first half. I thought last week we came out a little bit edgy. But we came out aggressive like we needed to.”
Marquell Cartwright rushed for 128 yards and three TDs for Andrews (11-1), seeded No. 1 in the Midwest and the West, while Lamar Raynard threw for 155 yards and connected with Justin Lea, who had 122 yards receiving, for a 65-yard bomb to open the second half.
After stopping the Wildcats (7-6), seeded No. 4 in the Midwest and No. 5 in the West, the Red Raiders took their opening drive of the game 69 yards in five plays, capped by Cartwright’s 10-yard run. Cartwright ran on four times on the drive, accounting for all but 5 yards.
“I was glad we came out in the first half,” he said. “We really want to lay it down on them first and show that we mean business. … It opened up for me and I just took it for a couple good runs. Everything was clicking tonight. It was like everything opened up for us.”
Cartwright added a 1-yard TD and, following a West Stokes fumble (the game’s only turnover), tacked on a 5-yard TD to give Andrews, the winner of 11 straight games since suffering its lone loss in week 1, a 21-0 lead into halftime.
“Once you get a lead, they pretty much run the ball like we do,” said McKoy, whose team totaled 347 yards. “So, once we got a lead that pretty much took them out of their comfort zone. That allows us to dictate the flow of the game, which is what we try to do.”
The Red Raider defense limited the Wildcats to just 128 total yards while also making seven sacks and two tackles for losses. Shakawis Wright had 2 ½ sacks while David Robinson had two sacks, and Christian Wilcots had a fumble recovery and 1½ tackles for a loss.
Rashaud Witherspoon had 61 yards rushing while Grayson Cobb completed 6 of 10 passes for 74 yards to lead West Stokes, which made it to the opposing 45 only once and came up empty in its only trip into the red zone to end the first half.
Next week, Andrews will host No. 2 Salisbury on Friday in the regional semifinals.
WS 0 0 0 0 — 0
TWA 7 14 7 3 — 31
TWA — Marquell Cartwright 10 run (James Ounphachanh kick), 4:27 first
TWA — Cartwright 1 run (Ounphachanh kick), 3:12 second
TWA — Cartwright 5 run (Ounphachanh kick), 1:56 second
TWA — Justin Lea 65 pass from Lamar Raynard (Ounphachanh kick), 11:47 third
TWA — Ounphachanh 30 FG, 3:44 fourth