REFORM — West Limestone's historic season came to an end Thursday night with a 48-13 loss to Gordo in the Class 4A state quarterfinals.
The Wildcats were no match for the athletes Gordo lined up all over the field. Gordo (12-1) outgained West Limestone 342-40 in the first half and had a 35-7 lead at the break.
West Limestone's only touchdown in the first half came on a 95-yard kickoff return by Thorne Slaton that briefly cut Gordo's lead to 19-7 early in the second quarter. However, that's as close as the Wildcats would get, as Gordo scored the next 29 points to lead 48-7 after three quarters.
Gordo quarterback Tanner Bailey was as good as advertised. Bailey, who has several offers from SEC schools, threw for 15 of 21 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns.
Three of those touchdown passes were short passes to the sideline that the receiver caught and made multiple defenders miss on their way to the end zone. The biggest one was a 52-yard hookup from Bailey to Hunter Ogden on the final play of the first quarter that gave Gordo a 13-0 lead.
Running back Rayshawn Williams had 122 yards on 13 carries, and also caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
After taking a 35-7 halftime lead, Bailey threw two more touchdown passes in the third quarter, 17-yarders to JT Billups and Wells Perrigen, respectively.
West Limestone had the only fourth-quarter score. Quarterback Colin Patterson tossed a pop pass to River Helms, who raced around left end and streaked 36 yards for a touchdown with 2:34 remaining.
Helms had four receptions for 52 yards and a score in his final game for the Wildcats. Slaton led West Limestone with 62 yards on 16 carries to go along with his kickoff return touchdown.
West Limestone finished the season with an 11-2 record. It is the second-most wins in school history, behind only the state runner-up 1988 team, which went 12-3. This year's Wildcats team is also just the second team in program history to win more than one playoff game in the same season.