Westby hosted Sparta in non-conference action in its season home opener on Friday, Aug. 25. The Spartans defeated Westby 14-0.
With similar offensive styles both teams used defensive strongholds to keep points off the scoreboard in the first half, but Sparta used a quick score in the third quarter and a blocked punt return into the end zone to take home the win.
Good defensive plays and backfield stops by players like Westby’s Brad Ackerman, Grant Dayton and more kept the Spartans in check most of the game.
Westby head Coach Andy Hulst said the defense played physical and outstanding all night and kept us in the game.
“I hope that the defense can continue to be solid all year, while our offense finds some footing.
Westby quarterback Alex Gluch, struggled with pass completions (7 for 29, 77 yards total), but gained 35 yards rushing. Westby had 11 first downs in the game, but couldn’t penetrate the red zone.
Westby used a few trick plays, including a fake punt early in the first quarter, to move down the field. Devonte Spears took the ball to the 39 yard line and the team moved the ball down to the 28 before turning it over to Sparta on downs.
The Sparta defense had Westby’s Ryan Daines corralled all night, but Spears, Chevy Knight and Austin Mowery had a decent showing offensively moving the ball downfield. Westby had 100 total rushing yards.
Hulst said he knows Westby needs to have more success with plays outside of the tackles and the Norsemen will need to throw the ball if we want to win.
“We have to remain balanced as an offense if we are going to succeed down the road. Against Darlington the guys seemed to have a lot more fire right away and I didn’t see that as much against Sparta. I think if we had come out with more attitude and effort we could have won the game,” Hulst said.
Westby hosts Platteville on Friday, Sept. 1. Hulst said Platteville is a very good team and they throw the ball all night. He said Westby has a tough non-conference schedule, but toughness breeds greatness and will reveal what kind of character we have as a team.
“Platteville will test our defensive backs all day and will stack the box on defense so we will need to get outside and be successful in the passing game too. Things like momentum and effort are just as important as anything else and playing tough competitors will better prepare us for the Coulee Conference schedule.
Westby heads to Lancaster for non-conference action on Friday, Sept. 8.
Sparta 14, Westby 0
Sparta 0 0 7 7 — 14
Westby 0 0 0 0 — 0
Records: W 1-1 S 2-0.