Wildcats begin playoffs with statement win

West Ranch senior Jackson Reyes celebrates a touchdown in a playoff matchup with Quartz Hill at Harry Welch Stadium Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

West Ranch football started playoffs with a statement and snapped its losing streak on Friday night at Canyon with a 35-6 win over Quartz Hill in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 playoffs.

“It feels amazing,” said receiver Brandon Wyre. “Especially after how we ended league, it was a great confidence booster to come out and play like that and get a big win first round.”

West Ranch jumped on the scoreboard with 11:12 left in the first quarter as Walker Eget threw a 77-yard pass to Brandon Wyre.

“Since way back in like June we’ve been building a chemistry, at 7-ons, practice,” Wyre said. “I feel like we’re on the same page mostly all the time and same with everybody else. We’re all on the same page. We’ve got each other’s backs. We come to play.”

West Ranch sophomore Derek Miranda runs the ball in a playoff matchup with Quartz Hill at Harry Welch Stadium Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Jackson Reyes reached the end zone just five seconds into the second quarter on a 14-yard run to give the Wildcats a 14-0 advantage.

Eget threw an interception on the Cats’ next possession, but a helmet-to-helmet call on Quartz Hill set them up on the 41-yard line.

The Rebels rattled off six plays, but four incomplete passes kept them from advancing. West Ranch wasted no time and scored on the ensuing possession on a 1-yard run to make it 21-0 with 5:02 to go until halftime.

Shortly after, Wyre intercepted Rebels quarterback Bryce Dickson and returned it all the way to the 1-yard line. Thierry Sirias took over from there, punching in a touchdown at the 3:35 mark.

West Ranch senior Thierry Sirias runs the ball into the end zone in a playoff matchup with Quartz Hill at Harry Welch Stadium Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

“They were running that same play, it was trips with the two slants,” Wyre said. “I almost jumped it the one time and I was just sitting on it and he threw it and jumped. We’re building on top of the momentum we have from a score. It just gives us more to score again back-to-back.”

The third quarter was scoreless, both teams were able to add a touchdown in the final five minutes of the fourth frame.

Eget threw his second touchdown pass of the night to Wyre for a 31-yard strike with 4:29 left on the clock.

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“He’s been our go-to all season and that’s just another example,” coach Chris Varner said of Wyre. “Starter on offense, starter on defense and just couldn’t be more proud of him.”

As the running clock ticked away, Quartz Hill was able to score its lone touchdown with 2:05 to go. West Ranch blocked the extra point.

West Ranch next plays Woodrow Wilson, which beat Fullerton 54-0 on Friday night, in the second round of the Division 7 playoffs.

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