LOCUST GROVE, OK —
Locust Grove pummeled Westville 70-14 Friday night in their homecoming matchup. The Pirates put on a show for their home crowd, finding the end zone nine times on the night.
Locust’s main goal for the night was to honor their fallen teammate, Kale Davidson, who was killed in a car accident April 1. Before the game, senior captains Ryan Woolman and Cameron McIntire carried a No. 71 jersey, which was Davidson’s number, with them to midfield for the coin toss. The Pirates also ran their first offensive play without a left guard, which was Davidson’s position. The team’s goal was to score 71 points in honor of Big Kale and although they came up a point short, a 5-0 record would have pleased their fallen comrade.
“He’s still right here with us. He’ll always be here with us, whether people see him on the field or not, he’s there with us. I think that all of us in our own special way lean on him at one time or another and I’ll need him here,” head coach Matt Hennesy said of Davidson.
The Pirates (2-0 District 3A-7) started the game in a grudge match with Westville after quarterback Mason Fine threw an interception on their first offensive possession of the game. After the Pirate defense held Westville to a turnover-on-downs on the Yellowjackets' own 11-yard line, senior Cory Rohde found the end zone a play later. Rohde then scored again for the two-point conversation. Westville answered back with a 30-yard passing touchdown to make the score 8-7 after the first quarter.
Locust Grove never looked back after the first 12 minutes and scored 62 unanswered points behind a strong offensive line, led by homecoming king and starting left tackle Ryan Woolman. The big guys up front paved the way for a 353-yard rushing performance by the offense. Rohde led the backfield with 18 carries, which he took for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Vance Wilson also hit the century mark with 103 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Fine ran between the pylons twice, while Cameron McIntire did once.
Fine tossed two more touchdowns and threw for 233 yards. McIntire was Fine’s leading receiver with nine receptions for 116 yards and a score. McIntire ended the night with 210 all-purpose yards. Sophomore Jason Pirtle caught Fine’s other touchdown on a 33-yard play to end the first half. Hennesy was disappointed with his offense’s performance in the first half.
“I was glad to see us come out and play the way we did in the second half. I wasn’t particularly happy with the first half, too many turnovers and missed tackles on defense. But, for them to come out and play the second half, it’s still part of the process we’re growing. They played hard the second half, we were hoping to make that extra point to get 71 on the board, but it’s nice to come out and get a W and get some other kids in to play,” Hennesy said.
The Pirates will travel to Jay next week looking to improve to 3-0 in district play and move one step closer to a playoff berth. Kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.