WESTMORELAND -- Quanterrius Hughes-Malone (7) returned both a fumble and a punt for TD's in Friday's 35-0 win at Westmoreland.

WHS moves to 3-0 in Region 4-2A

WESTMORELAND - Watertown dominated Westmoreland 35-0 Friday despite a lackluster first-half showing from its offense and more than 100 yards in penalties.

Watertown (6-1, 3-0) picked up two touchdowns in the first half – one on defense and one on special teams – both scored by Quanterrius Hughes-Malone.

“Defensively and special teams, [we played] very well,” said Watertown head coach Gavin Webster. “Offensively, we didn’t play very well tonight. We had a ton of penalties in the first half, and I don’t know how many dropped balls in the first half. For whatever reason, we didn’t execute.

“The kids played hard. I can’t take that away from them. They played hard, but we just didn’t execute.”

Watertown’s scoring onslaught started late in the first quarter when the ball popped out of a Westmoreland (4-3, 1-2) rusher’s hands and into the hands of Hughes-Malone, who returned it 55 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

The Purple Tigers’ Deramus Carey capped off a 15-play, 48-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown to give Watertown a 14-0 lead with 3:15 left in the second.

Westmoreland took 26 snaps and managed 28 yards of total offense and one first down in the first half. Following a three-and-out late in the second, Hughes-Malone scored his second touchdown of the night as he returned an Eagles’ punt 67 yards to extend Watertown’s lead to 21-0 at the half. Hughes-Malone finished the game with five receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite the lead, Watertown accrued eight penalties for 90 yards in the first half and finished the night flagged 10 times for 110 yards. Westmoreland drew seven penalties for 68 yards.

Watertown’s offense started to click in the third. The Purple Tigers’ opening drive went 75 yards on nine plays and ended when quarterback Brayden Cousino dove over the pylon from the 1-yard line on an end-around keeper to give Watertown a 28-0 lead. Cousino completed 15-of-20 passes for 205 yards with one interception and one rushing touchdown.

Carey scored his second touchdown of the night late in the fourth when he burst through the line on a dive and took the ball 19 yards to the end zone. Carey finished the game with 114 total yards and two touchdowns.

The late touchdown apparently upset Westmoreland coach Chad Perry, who met Webster at midfield in a heated exchange that drew the attention of sheriff’s deputies from both Sumner and Wilson counties.

“He was upset we scored late,” Webster said. “I ran the ball. I guess I could have taken a knee. We really needed something positive offensively. We had been struggling all night, and they were a big part of that. It was a basic dive play. I never would have thought he’d score. I figured they would have tackled him, and we would go to the house. But they didn’t. [Perry] got upset. I’ve been on that flip-side before. It just is what it is.”

Perry was unavailable for comment after the game.

Watertown racked up 310 yards of total offense while its defense limited Westmoreland to 66 yards of total offense.

Jake Smith was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 19 yards on three carries. Quarterback Ryker Hodge was 2-of-6 passing for 9 yards and added 16 yards on the ground for Westmoreland.

Watertown has a bye week during fall break and will face Jackson County on Oct. 17 in Gainesboro.

Westmoreland will also take a week off before the Eagles travel to face East Robertson on Oct. 18 in Cross Plains.

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