Walker Valley's Zeke Westfield breaks away from several Stone Memorial defenders in route to a touchdown (Banner Photo: Patrick MacCoon)
CROSSVILLE — Walker Valley seniors Kolten Gibson and Zeke Westfield have been utterly dominant together for much of this season.
On a night where Gibson threw for the third most passing yards in state history (526) and scored eight touchdowns (T-3 state history) for the second time in his career to go with a school record seven touchdown passes, his elite receiver stole the spotlight again as well.
Westfield came into the night playing close to ’75 percent’ of his true ability, as he has a partially torn ACL and a torn PCL.
Still it was Westfield’s second 200-yard game of the season, both of which have been cut short with plenty of time left in the fourth quarter.
In a loss to Chattanooga Central and now Stone Memorial, Gibson and Westfield have connected 22 times for 450 yards and five touchdowns.
Gibson in those contests has thrown for a whopping 948 yards on 55-of-80 through the air and 12 touchdowns to just two interceptions.
Westfield, who missed the last nine minutes of action Friday night, still dominated enough to finish with 13 catches for a new school record 226 yards and three scores.
With sure-hands and sneaky speed with his long strides to take the top off a defense, the all-state track athlete has impressed in his first go at taking over the WVHS receiver unit.
After the graduation of star receivers Bryce Nunnelly (UTC), Cooper Melton (Tennessee) and Zach Eslinger, Westfield has done all he can and more. He and Brock Gibson (282 yards) have taken in the lions share of scores with six each.
Gibson tied his previous record for touchdown passes of five in the first half alone in a heartbreaking road defeat against the Panthers.
His star and unguardable target had nine catches for 185 yards and a trio of scores in the first half.
The hobbled Westfield leads all of the greater-Chattanooga area with 637 yards on 38 receptions this season and is on pace for close to a 1,600-yard regular season and 15 touchdowns.
Gibson has thrown for 1,353 yards, a total of 338.3 yards per game this season, and 15 touchdowns (16 total) for an offense forced to score at will with a youthful Mustangs defense allowing 49.7 points per game.
In a tough defeat in an old western movie-like shootout, Gibson moved into the Top 10 in the TSSAA record books in career completions with 534 (9th place).
He is just 11 touchdown passes and 298 passing yards away from joining the state’s Top 10 in those respective categories as well.
With interest from a few collegiate programs, more could be on the way for the Mustangs top two all-state caliber playmaker.
The WVHS record holder in every passing category has 90 career touchdowns in 35 games.
While Gibson sits just 16 total touchdowns away from the Southeast Tennessee record of 106, held by current UTC quarterback and former Bradley star Cole Copeland, wins are all that matters to Gibson and company going forward.
“Of course you want to accomplish goals and be the best player possible, but we are trying to do more things than just light up the stat sheet,” Gibson said. “We want to make the playoffs and we need to keep fighting to come up with those wins to get us there.”