Kyle Ide knows his Westwood team has a long way to go to measure up with the state’s best, and Friday’s 67-21 defeat to Perry on Friday in the Warriors’ home opener, was a clear sign of how much work is needed.
“That’s one of the best teams in the state there,” Ide said of the 3-0 Pumas, a team that went 11-2 last year and made it to the 6A state semifinals. “We can see how they work, we can see what they do and it’s a good measuring stick on where we are and where we want to be.”
Perry rolled up 604 total yards in the win and scored on seven of its eight possessions in the first half. The one possession that the Warriors stopped came on a leaping interception by Warriors safety Mitchale Bonitatibus. Outside of that play, the Warriors (1-2) couldn’t do much to slow Perry quarterback Brock Purdy, who threw for 316 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 68 yards and another score.
Purdy connected with four different receivers on those five touchdowns. D’Shayne James scored two of those and added a 1-yard sneak when he switched to quarterback for one series in the second half.
“There were a lot of times that we were in the right positions, we just didn’t make the tackle,” said Ide, whose defense sacked Purdy twice, but saw the senior elude the Westwood rush on play after play. “Part of that is their kid made a play and part of that is us not being prepared and not making a play.”
One Warrior who did make some plays was junior Manny Collier. The 5-foot-8 Collier exploded on a Jet sweep play in the first quarter, turning the corner and going 75 yards for a touchdown that cut the early Perry lead to 20-7.
“The play was Eagle left, 47 jet,” Collier said. “The tight end picked up the d-end, the running back picked up the strong safety and the receiver got the corner. I got that open gap and I thought I should turn on the wheels and make that touchdown.
“I’m hoping to see that play a lot more.”
Collier said the team regrouped at halftime and came out focused on playing a strong half. Collier set the tone for that on the kickoff to start the second half, racing 97 yards for a touchdown, his first return for a score on varsity.
“He’s definitely a special player and when you give him any open space, he can take it the distance,” Ide said of Collier. “We try to give him the ball as much as we can, but towards the end, it was, ‘let’s get him out of here healthy.”
Collier finished the game with 274 totals yards (99 rushing, 34 receiving and 141 return). Along with the highlight-reel touchdowns, Collier’s night included a dazzling 31-yard reception along the sideline that set up the Warriors’ third touchdown on the night, a 5-yard run by Ethan Neely.
“We knew that Perry was going to be a very good challenge, we knew they were going to come over and play their hardest against us and we let that happen in the first half,” Collier said. “At halftime we had a big discussion about what we needed to do and as you can see, we played harder in the second half. They played hard the second half, but I felt we played harder.”
Westwood’s schedule does ease up a bit moving forward, with games against Maryvale (Sept. 8), Gilbert and Tolleson next on the calendar.
“We knew that with Skyline and Perry starting off, we knew it was going to be a tough start,” Ide said. “As a coaching staff, we knew that this is when our season really starts. All the teams we play, we can win, but we’ve got to get better. There’s some quality teams ahead and they will present some challenges for us.”
Perry 67, Westwood 21
Perry 27 20 20 0- 67
Westwood 7 0 14 0-21
PHS – James 54 pass from B. Purdy. (Cross kick)
PHS – Jalen Young 56 pass from B. Purdy (kick failed)
PHS – B. Purdy 20 run (Cross kick)
WHS – Collier 75 run (O. Gonzalez kick)
PHS – Boyd 14 pass from B. Purdy (Cross kick)
PHS – D. James 3 pass from B. Purdy (Cross kick)
PHS – Fultz 3 run (Cross kick)
PHS – Schmitz 28 pass from B. Purdy (Cross kick)
WHS – Collier 97 kickoff return (O. Gonzalez kick)
PHS – D. James 1 run (Kauffman kick)
WHS – Neeley 5 run (O. Gonzalez kick)
PHS – Green 11 run (Kauffman kick)
PHS – Roberts 36 run (run failed)
Total Offense 605 249
Number of Plays 52 51
Yards per Play 11.6 4.9
Passing 341 42
Completions – Attempts 20 – 26 4 – 16
Yards per Pass 17.1 10.5
Touchdowns – Interceptions 5 – 1 0 – 1
Rushing 264 207
Rushing Attempts 26 35
Yards per Rush 10.2 5.9
Receiving 341 42
Receiving Completions 20 4
Yards per Catch 17.1 10.5
Penalties – Yards 9 – 85 2 – 10
Turnovers 1 2
Fumbles – Lost 2 – 0 1 – 1
Interceptions Thrown 1 1
Punts – Average 0 – 0.0 5 – 32.4
Defensive Sacks – Yards 0 – 0 0 – 0
Time of Possession 21:28 25:53
First Downs 28 14
First Downs – Rushing 5 12
First Downs – Passing 13 1
First Downs – Penalties 0 1
Third Down Conversions 3/9 4/11
Fourth Down Conversions 3/3 1/2
Perry – B. Purdy 6-68, A. Green 5-54, Jalen Young 5-44, B. Roberts 1-36, D. James 2-31, K. Fultz 3-15, C. Purdy 1-13, Jorden Young 1-3, S. Davis 1-2, K. Grimes 1-(-2). Westwood – M. Collier 6-99, E. Neeley 12-46, C. Layton 4-16, J. Sonasi 6-11, J. Burchard 2-7, R. Biggs 1-3.
Perry – B. Purdy 17-23-5-316-1, C. Purdy 2-2-0-17-0, D. James 1-1-0-8-0. Westwood – C. Layton 4-16-0-42-1.
Perry – D. James 5-99, Jorden Young 2-65, C. Boyd 6-65, C. Schmitz 3-64, J. Poates 2-25, S. Vlaming 2-17, K. Fultz 1-6. Westwood – M. Collier 2-34, M. Bonitatibus 1-6, J. Sonasi 1-2.
– Steve Burks is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.