Big third quarter keys Westlake
Wolverines stay unbeaten with win over Hurricanes
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.”