Westmoreland’s season ended with a 42-0 loss at Marion County in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.
The Eagles suffered a season-ending defeat to the Warriors for the second consecutive season, by the same score as last year’s playoff loss.
Three things from the Eagles’ loss:
Westmoreland struggled to get anything going offensively the entire game. Marion County’s defense, led by linebackers Aex Kirkendoll and Hunter McClain, both semifinalists for the Class 2A Mr. Football award, held the Eagles to only two yards rushing on 27 carries, and just 66 yards of total offense. Turnovers didn’t help the Eagles, either. A fumble by running back Ryin Raney on Westmoreland’s fourth drive led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Warriors quarterback Isaah Sampson to increase Marion County’s lead to 14-0 in the second quarter.
“We came out and gave a good effort, but just ran into a really good football team,” Westmoreland head coach Steve Harris said. “Defensively, they’re just so aggressive and physical, and they just kept us stymied all night. That’s just a credit to those guys, and it’s just an outstanding team they have.”
Eakle finds gains
The Eagles managed some success through the air from backup junior quarterback Blake Eakle, who was inserted into a shotgun formation, a new wrinkle the team drew up in recent weeks, and a departure from their usual Wing-T look.
“We just put in the new formation last week and it’s been really good for us,” Eakle said. “Hopefully we keep it next year, and I can continue into next season and have better luck with it.”
Eakle finished with 54 passing yards, completing throws of 14, 21, and 19 yards. Eakle was also the teams leading rusher with 12 yards on the ground.
“I’m very proud of us,” Eakle said. “We’ve accomplished more than I thought we would. Coming into the season, we overcame a lot of adversity and had a lot of people leave us, but we just kept on fighting.”
A familiar ending
Westmoreland’s season comes to a close in a very familiar fashion. The Eagles fell to Marion County in the first round of the playoffs last season by the same score of 42-0. “We wanted to try to try to do better than last year and get farther into the playoffs,” senior lineman Ryan York said. “We tried to put in more work and be better leaders. I feel like we did, but like the coaches said, things just didn’t go our way sometimes. I can’t say enough good things about the coaches. I’ve loved every bit about playing here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
The Eagles end their season with a 4-7 record, and will see the departure of nine senior players.
“We have nine seniors that stuck with us through thick and thin,” Harris said. “I’m so proud of all of those guys. They really had to fight to get us into the playoffs. We’re going to miss them all and I hope they all go on to do well in life.”