West Plains and Lubbock Estacado put on an offensive display with the Wolves using a massive fourth quarter to put away the No. 8-ranked Matadors with a wild 51-34 win on Thursday night at PlainsCapital Park at Lowrey Field.
Fans saw a little bit of everything between two talented Class 4A teams. This game saw a combined 85 points, eight lead changes and a total of 835 yards of offense.
West Plains moves to 4-1 overall. Lubbock Estacado suffers its first loss falling to 4-1.
“Hats off to Estacado,” West Plains head coach Adam Cummings said. “This was a battle. There were so many momentum swings and lead changes. I’m proud of how we put our nose down and grinded. We did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage and fought for four quarters. We needed this and we responded.”
The Wolves stole the momentum midway through the fourth quarter. Trailing 34-29 with 8:08 to play after Matador running back Bobby Ross busted loose for a 55-yard touchdown, West Plains immediately responded on its next offensive play when quarterback Reid Macon found Kyron Wooten wide open down the sideline for a 60-yard pitch and catch giving the Wolves the lead for good 37-34 after a two-point conversion with 7:52 to play.
On the ensuing kickoff, West Plains kicker Joseph Estrada hit the perfect pooch kick as Tryston Hernandez came up with the recovery. That led to a one-yard score from running back Jordi Hernandez that extended West Plains’ advantage, 44-34 with 6:23 remaining.
“Joseph Estrada is a really good kicker,” Cummings said. “He has the ability to make plays when he kicks the ball. We told him to find a spot near are sideline and he did and we took advantage.”
West Plains put the explanation point on the victory on another Jordi Hernandez 21-yard touchdown run late in the fourth as West Plains scored 22 unanswered down the stretch to put away Estacado.
Hernandez was tremendous behind a very good offensive line performance Thursday. The senior speedster, who also runs with a powering force, ran the ball 33 times for an impressive 209 yards with all three TDs coming in the second half.
“Jordi is special,” Cummings said. “I hope a college takes a chance on him. But it starts with the lineman. They played great, but Jordi’s ability to make people miss in a phone booth is pretty remarkable.”
Hernandez echoed Cummings’ comments.
“That fourth quarter was big for us,” Hernandez said. “We started playing to our potential in the fourth quarter and this win was big for us. I didn’t feel like I got going until the second half. But I’m just happy about this victory. It’s big for the confidence we have going forward.”
Wooten was also key in the win becoming the main target for Macon snagging seven catches seven catches for 166 yards and teammate King Tallant added 11 catches for 85 yards with a rushing touchdown to go with a two-point conversion.
Macon was shook off a slow start in the first half helping lead the Wolves to 573 total yards by going 27-of-36 for 351 yards with three touchdown passes.