Westwood needed a big play on defense to stave off the Eagleville Eagles Thursday night.
Eighth grader Elijah Vernon delivered.
Vernon intercepted Eagleville quarterback Benton Fox at the goal line with 45 seconds to play and put the finishing touches on an 18-16 Rockets win at Dyer-Bouldin Field (a game you heard live on Thunder Radio).
The Eagles had gotten possession of the ball and drove to the Rocket 8 yard line and looked poised to take a late lead. But pressure forced Fox to double-pump and his pass fluttered into the arms of Vernon at the goal line.
It was the second big stop for the Rocket defense in the fourth quarter. The Eagles drove to the Rocket 39 with 7:04 to play but the Westwood defense stiffened.
Despite the close finish, Westwood (3-2 overall) led the game wire to wire.
The Rockets jumped in front on their first drive on an 8-yard run rom Gabe Hambly and Westwood added to the lead early in the second quarter when Kaysen Lowery connected with Matthew White on a deep ball for a 34-yard score. Lowery scored again midway through the third quarter to put the Rockets up 18-8.
Eagleville made the game closer than many would have liked late in the third on a touchdown pass from Fox to Ransom Johns on fourth and 25.
Lowery finished with 64 yards on 9 carries and a TD. He was 4-of-9 in the air or 47 yards and a score.
Hambly had 17 yards on 3 touches and a score and Matthew White caught two balls for 36 yards and a score. Vernon and Keller Hatfield each came up with interceptions for the Rockets. Westwood did not turn the ball over on offense.
Westwood improves to 3-2 on the year with the win and will travel to Community Sept. 15.