MOORE — Westmoore quarterback Jhames West admits he doesn't praise his wide receivers near enough.
Thursday night, though, he was certainly delivering praise about them.
West had every reason to as he connected for three touchdown passes and also ran for one to lift Westmoore past No. 8 Norman North 29-16 at rainy Moore Stadium to complete Class 6A nondistrict play.
“After this game, they will get a lot more respect from me,” West said. “I trust them, I really do, and I'm glad they came through.”
West, a junior, threw for 205 yards, but more importantly guided his team during a strong second half following a scornful speech from coach Billy Langford at halftime.
The Jaguars (2-1) didn't open the game strong and fell behind 9-0. At halftime, down 9-7, Langford delivered his message.
And on the second possession in the third quarter, the offense responded. West delivered a pump fake and found receiver Lexus Lee streaking down the sideline wide open for a 64-yard, go-ahead strike. After the two-point conversion pass to Austin Dodd, Westmoore never looked back.
“I'm going to start lighting them up before we come out,” Langford said. “They responded. They've got a lot of character, they're pretty tough kids and they're competitive.”
After the Westmoore defense forced Norman North (2-1) to turn the ball over on downs, West orchestrated a nine-play drive that resulted in his 1-yard TD run early in the fourth.
Norman North quarterback Peyton Gavras immediately responded with a 55-yard TD pass.
But the next possession, West found Lee in traffic for a 23-yard, game-clinching TD pass. Lee finished with 157 yards receiving on four catches.
“It's just a normal thing to do this in practice now,” Lee said. “To put it out there where everybody can see it, I think we did well.”
While the Jaguars' offense piled up more than 400 yards, their defense held the Timberwolves to just 226, of which 215 came through the air.
And after last week's stunning loss to Southmoore in double overtime, the Jaguars wanted to make a statement.
And much like the one Langford delivered, it was received loud and clear.
“Our guys played really well,” Langford said. “We turned them into a passing team.
“It kind of rights the ship for us and gets that confidence back to us because we beat a good football team.”