Langston Hughes Snuffs Out Westlake Rally To Hold On For 31-24 Win
On Friday, the Westlake Lions and Langston Hughes Panthers faced off in the region opener for both teams, each coming in with 4-1 records, Langston winners of four in a row and Westlake winners of their last two contest. To the shock of the home crowd of Westlake, Langston Hughes would come out with an early offensive attack, taking an 18-0 by the send quarter with Panthers quarterback Prentiss Noland throwing two of his three touchdowns. Early in the third quarter, Noland would connect with Armani Tookes for his third touchdown pass of the night and giving the Panthers a 24-0 lead.
However, the Lions would not go down with a fight, in a turn of events, Westlake would score 17 second half points while shutting down the Langston Hughes offense and would find themselves trailing 24-17 late in the fourth period. With time winding down in the game, the Lions’ offense would put together an offensive drive that would set them up in the red zone, but Tookes, who was filling in at cornerback, would come up with the defensive stop the Panthers need as he would intercept Westlake quarterback RJ Johnson’s pass and return it 90 yards for a touchdown to make it a two score game.
Westlake would answer with one score but with :02 remaining on a fourth and goal, the Panthers defense would once again deny the Lions access to the end zone, and the Panthers would escape with a 31-24 win. After the game, Langston Hughes head coach Daniel Williams said that remind his guys to “keep fighting” was key throughout the second half to help get the victory. “Of course we knew, coming out the half, I told the refs, ’18 ain’t enough’ and obviously not,” Williams said referring to the Westlake comeback. Williams continued praising his players for “finding a way” to get Friday night’s win, in particular, Tookes, who’s pick-6 was a key turning point in the game.
“Tookes made an amazing play. He jumped in and did what he needed to do to give us an extra touchdown,” Williams said as he spoke of the Tookes interception that came as Westlake was threatening to score and potentially tie the ball game. Tookes, who is a starting receiver for the Panthers, was filling in at cornerback due to injuries for Langston Hughes and says he just wanted to make sure he played his zone on the key play. “I made sure nothing was coming behind me and I saw the running back flair out and the quarterback didn’t have anybody else to throw it to, so I just made the big play,” Tookes said of the interception