Westside rolls over Liberty in opener
by By John Conley email@example.com
Westside running back Mike Mullens wanted to stay on his feet.
He did that and then some, rushing for six touchdowns and 290 yards as the Renegades clubbed Liberty, 44-16, in the season opener for both teams at Clear Fork on Friday night.
“Jobuck Cook, the running back coach, is always talking to me about staying on my feet,” said Mullens.
Perhaps the best example of that came in the third period, when Mullens picked up yardage, had one and then another Raider grab him and just kept going for another 10 yards or so.
“I just wanted to keep digging,” Mullens commented.
“Nine out of 10 plays (he will get the ball),” remarked WHS coach Larry Cook.
Westside needed just two plays and 44 seconds to score on its first possession.
Mullens had an eight-yard pick up to the Raiders 33, then broke out to the right side for his first TD of the evening.
It was quiet for a while for the Westside attack.
“They were stacking everyone in the box (stop the run),” Cook noted.
The Renegades put together an 80-yard drive in the second period.
WHS faced third and 15 at its own 47 when Larry Cook’s pass to Justin Kenneda and a personal foul on Liberty moved the chains to the 14.
Mullens took it to the end zone on the next play.
Cook ran for the extra points, making it 14-0.
Hunter Wright’s 15-yard scoring pass over the middle to Tre’Shaun McDowell put the Raiders on the board with 3:33 to go in the half. The same combination connected again on the conversion, and it was 14-8.
Mullens capped a 63-yard scoring march with a 15-yard TD carry with 1:07 left in the half. Cook passed to Breyer Morgan for the two points.
Mullens raced 49 yards for six on Westside’s first series of the third stanza.
“I’ve put in a lot of time in the weight room,” Mullens stated. “I’m a lot stronger than I was last year.”
Cook completed a pass to Corey Bowles for the extra points, pushing the lead ot 30-8.
“We made some adjustments and spread (Liberty) out a little,” Coach Cook observed.
The Raiders had a quick three-and-out, and Westside was back on the board less than a minute later.
Mullens went 23 yards for the touchdown. Morgan caught the conversion toss from Cook.
Each team would score once more. Christian Walker ran 37 yards for a Raiders TD with 2:35 to go in the third quarter.
Mullens took it in from four yards out for the only points in the final period.
“We really put a lot of pressure (on the team) and I think they responded,” said coach Cook.
Mullens credited the offensive line for his strong showing.
Cook was 4-14 for 136 yards passing. Bowles caught two passes for 94 yards, and Kenneda had two receptions for 42.
Wright was 6-21 for 137 yards in the air for Liberty.
Westside visits Wyoming East this Friday in the Battle for the Coal Shovel.
Photo: Mike Mullens (30) of Westside ran for six touchdowns against Liberty on Friday night.
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