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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Stowers trumps De La Torre in battle of new coachesAug 24, 2012
New Westwood football coach Spencer Stowers came close to exerting as much energy mentoring as his players did playing Friday night.
Understandable in that it was Stowers first game as a head varsity coach at age 26. Stowers patrolled the sidelines like he had a hot foot. He couldn't be still.
"I wasn't nervous, just excited," Stowers said. "Excited for our players. They worked hard preparing for this. I knew what they could do."
What Stowers conglomerate of seniors, juniors and sophomores produced was a more than acceptable first outing in topping Dobson under its new head coach, George De LaTorre, 30-19, at Brimhall Field.
Westwood, led by two touchdowns each from running back Ray Robinson and quarterback McKay Tingey, did what winning teams do. The Warriors capitalized on turnovers collecting four (three fumble recoveries and an interception). Two of the fumble recoveries resulted in 10 Westwood points. The interception stopped a Dobson drive early in the final period that ended any realistic chance the Mustangs had of pulling off a miraculous rally. Not many teams - veteran or otherwise - suffer just four penalties (two on offense for false starts) for 32 yards on opening night.
What pleased Stowers the most was its resolve in the third period to take charge. A 9-7 lead at halftime climbed to 23-7 after two third-period-touchdown possessions. The first a four-play 51 yard drive after stopping Dobson cold on the third period's first possession. The second was the result of a fumble recovery at the Dobson 34 three plays later that ended in Tingey scoring for the second time in three minutes on a quarterback sneak from the 1.
"I think the third period was a testament to our conditioning," Stowers said. "That's why we work on it to be ready in the second half.... I couldn't be more proud of this team. They played a very disciplined game for the most part."
On the other side of the field, De La Torre was debuting for the third time in eight years with another program. He re-energized South Mountain in 2005-2007 and did the same the last four seasons at Florence. In both cases his first season established the ground rules with winning hopefully to arrive shortly thereafter.
De La Torre's Dobson experience has been a little better transition from the ground rules standpoint, but there is plenty of work ahead. De La Torre is now 1-2 in his coaching debuts -- winning at South and losing at Florence and Dobson.
"This game was great for our growth," De La Torre said. "I can't tell you exactly what we will need to work on next until we watch the filim of this one tomorrow. I was proud of our defense the first half. I think they had something like 65 yards of offense. We had 55 yards in penalties. Penalties, working on the pitch on the option. Turnovers. Any time we had some momentum it got shot right back to them."
De La Torre did like the fight the Mustangs showed in the final five minutes. Dobson scored a touchdown with 1:59 left on its second-sustained drive of the night. After stopping Westwood on downs with .8 of second left, the Mustangs had one last play and quarterback Gabe Martinez launched a 44-yard TD pass to Zach Bright -- their second TD hook-up of the game fro the night's final points.
"Coach Stowers and his staff did a great job," De La Torre said. "They played disciplined football. Knew what they were doing and played hard and clean. I liked the way we finished. We needed the small victories in the last couple minutes to build on."