Lions Hold Off Wolfpack As Westlake Defeats North Paulding 28-24, Advances To GHSA 7A Second Round
The opening round of the Georgia High School Association football playoffs began on Friday and in 7A action, the Westlake Lions hosted the North Paulding Wolfpack. The Wolfpack would jump out to an early 14-0 lead over the GHSA 7A Region 2 champions, but a 21 point second quarter including a rushing touchdown by Markcus Johnson on third and goal late in the second quarter, would help the Lions take a 21-17 lead into the locker room at the half.
At the start of the third quarter, on the opening drive for the Lions, Johnson would break for a 46 yard rushing touchdown to give Westlake a 28-17 lead. Later in the third quarter, the Wolfpack would trim the Lions lead and trail 28-24 after Ross Malmgren would connect with Tanner Bently on a nine yard touchdown pass. As the game continued, North Paulding would gain great field position in Lions territory after a pass interference call on Westlake's Joel Girtman but then an offensive pass interference call on the Wolfpack would push them back.
As that drive continued, the Wolfpack would end up facing a fourth and long and would fail to convert as the Lions bring the pressure to collapse the pocket on Malmgren and eventually take him down for the sack. The Lions would pick up the 28-24 win and advance to the second round of the GHSA 7A playoffs. See highlights from the game below now!