Big third quar­ter keys West­lake

Wolver­ines stay un­beaten with win over Hur­ri­canes

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Fol­low­ing a first half in which both teams squan­dered good scor­ing chances, West­lake High School ex­e­cuted su­perbly in all three phases of the game in the third quar­ter en route to a 27-10 vic­tory over visit­ing Hunt­ing­town on Fri­day night in a South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence non­di­vi­sion foot­ball con­test.

West­lake (3-0 over­all) owned a 6-3 lead at the in­ter­mis­sion cour­tesy of a 6-yard run by Ma­lik Opiyo on its first play from scrim­mage fol­low­ing a blocked punt. Hunt­ing­town scored the only other points in the first half when Thomas Weiskircher con­nected on a 23-yard field goal with 9 min­utes 25 sec­onds re­main­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

West­lake, how­ever, wasted lit­tle time at­tain­ing the up­per hand in the third quar­ter, scor­ing at least one touch­down on of­fense, de­fense and spe­cial teams in the frame to forge a com­mand­ing 27-3 lead less than five min­utes into the quar­ter. It was a piv­otal se­quence of plays quickly re­called by both first-year coaches af­ter­ward.

“I think we came out with a lot more emo­tion and in­ten­sity in the third quar­ter than we did at the start of the game,” said Wolver­ines head coach Tony Zac­carelli, whose team will travel across town to face North Point at 7 p.m. Fri­day. North Point lost to Calvert in Week 3, 28-7. “We talked about that at half­time. I thought we came out a lit­tle flat to start the game, but in the third quar­ter they re­ally played well in all three phases.”

On West­lake’s sec­ond play of the third quar­ter, Jordan Brum­field bounced off left tackle and scam­pered 64 yards for a touch­down to ex­tend the West­lake lead to 14-3. West­lake’s spe­cial teams pro­vided the next score after forc­ing the Hur­ri­canes to a three-and-out in which Hunt­ing­town lost 20 yards in three plays.

An­drew Pawlowski got off a clean punt, but West­lake’s Mitchell Lewis III caught the ball near the Hur­ri­canes’ 40-yard line, bounced off sev­eral would-be tack­lers and then raced down the left side­line for a touch­down and a 21-3 lead with 8:46 left in the third quar­ter. On the Hur­ri­canes’ next pos­ses­sion, the Wolver­ines de­fense would not al­low the spe­cial teams to up­stage them.

On third down and 11 from his own 14,

Pawlowski was sacked by West­lake se­nior de­fen­sive end Pearson Ben­son and the Hunt­ing­town quar­ter­back was stripped of the ball. Line­backer Dion­dre Greer scooped up the bounc­ing ball and jogged into the end zone for the Wolver­ines’ third touch­down in the open­ing five min­utes of the quar­ter, this one push­ing the lead to 27-3.

“We go to­gether like black and white and ying and yang,” Greer said of com­bin­ing with Ben­son for West­lake’s fi­nal score. “He makes plays and I make plays and we al­ways work to­gether. It all came down to want­ing to play harder in the sec­ond half. We just didn’t play clean in the first half. But it’s not how you start, it’s how you fin­ish that mat­ters.”

Hunt­ing­town (0-3) again failed to get a first down on its next pos­ses­sion, but this time the Hur­ri­canes ben­e­fited from a Wolver­ines spe­cial teams mis­take. Brum­field dropped the snap and then at­tempted to run from his own end zone rather than punt and was tack­led at his own 3e.

Pawlowski gained one yard on first down and then plowed for­ward from two yards out on sec­ond down for a touch­down. Weiskircher added the ex­tra point to bring the Hur­ri­canes within 27-10. Hunt­ing­town promptly forced a fum­ble on the Wolver­ines’ next pos­ses­sion, but the Hur­ri­canes failed to net a first down and came away empty.

“We’ve had some break­downs in each of our three games,” said Hunt­ing­town head coach Paul Friel, whose team will face win­less Great Mills next week. The Hor­nets were shut out in Week 3 by Patux­ent, 42-0. “We [the coach­ing staff] were just talk­ing about that after the game. I don’t know if it’s con­di­tion­ing or men­tal. Some­times it’s hap­pened ear­lier, but it has hap­pened to us in each of our games and tonight it hap­pened in the third quar­ter.”

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