Sports reporter Jon Santucci talks Westwood’s wins over Suncoast Fort Pierce Central and more Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, with players and head coach Aaron Sheppard at Fort Pierce Westwood High School.
FORT PIERCE — Quarterback Coy Gray ran for three touchdowns and threw for one more as Fort Pierce Westwood High School’s football team wrapped up its 40th regular season with an exclamation point.
The Panthers pounded Pompano Beach 56-0 to finish 4-0 in District 15-5A. It is the first time they finished unbeaten in district play since 2010. They do not play again until the playoffs begin Nov. 10.
“It’s unbelievable,” Gray said. “I knew we could do it. We just needed the right coaches, and we needed to come together.”
Westwood finished the regular season 6-2 overall.
“We still have work to do, just to be honest,” coach Aaron Sheppard said. “We dropped two games this year; we could have won them. So now, we’re just hungry to keep it going. We’re allowed one more game by the state, and hopefully we win our one game to get another game. That’s the goal right now. We’re going to do all that we can do to win.”
Gray got the Panthers rolling early, scoring on a 1-yard run midway through the first quarter. Khalil Hayes scored the next two, on a 9-yard pass from Gray and then a 54-yard punt return.
Gray added two touchdown runs in the second quarter. Jenard Jones scored once and Deondre Gardner scored on a 42-yard interception return to make it 49-0 the half.
“We’re used to it: The offense puts up points and defense makes stops,” Gray said.
Gray finished with 89 yards rushing on five carries. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 75 yards. Hayes caught five passes for 62 yards.
Backup quarterback Jonius Watkins got the last score on a 30-yard run. Louis Lopes was 7-of-7 on point-after attempts.
“As we got up, we started sitting kids out and kids are excited for the guys we put in the game,” Sheppard said. “They’re excited for the young guys who get a chance to play, some scout team players who never get to play.”
The defense was just as dominant, holding Pompano Beach (1-7, 0-4) to 19 yards passing and minus-24 rushing. Pompano ran the ball 24 times and was sacked or tackled behind the line on 12 of those. Gardner’s pick-six was the second defensive touchdown of the season. The other was against Treasure Coast in a preseason kickoff classic.