West­lake shuts out McDonough Rams

Wolver­ines score 24 2nd-half points

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

The West­lake Wolver­ines showed how ex­plo­sive the of­fense can be in just one quar­ter dur­ing Saturday’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion football con­test.

Be­hind two touch­down passes from se­nior quar­ter­back Chad Palmer and a rush­ing touch­down from his younger brother Collin Palmer, the Wolver­ines scored 22 points in the third quar­ter en route to a 30-0 win over the McDonough Rams at North Point High School.

The con­test served as West­lake’s home­com­ing game as it was forced to play at North Point due to wet fields on its home field.

The Wolver­ines (4-1, 1-0 SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake), who bounced back from a 30-18 set­back of North Point in Week 4, will travel to take on host Lackey in a di­vi­sion game sched­uled for 7 p.m. Friday. Lackey (4-1, 1-0) eked out a 3-0 win on Friday at Patux­ent.

“The penal­ties are killing us and ev­ery time we had a big play in the first half it was called back,” West­lake head coach Tony Zac­carelli said. “When we take care of that, we can score points ev­ery time we touch the football. We just have to be more dis­ci­plined. In the sec­ond half we re­sponded well to it.”

The West­lake de­fense held the Rams, who fum­bled the ball away three times in the game, to just 57 yards of to­tal of­fense on only six first downs.

“This was a great win

af­ter a tough loss last week,” West­lake de­fen­sive end Dion­dre Greer said. “We had to get back to the tra­di­tion of West­lake football. We just want to keep it go­ing. Passing rush­ing is my thing and I get ex­cited go­ing af­ter the quar­ter­back. Our de­fense are ball-hawks. Next week is go­ing to be a show ver­sus Lackey.”

The game was score­less for much of the first half, but West­lake fi­nally broke the drought when se­nior run­ning back Ma­lik Opiyo scam­pered for a 43-yard touch­down run with 46 sec­onds left in the first half to give it a 6-0 half­time lead. The Wolver­ines, as a team, rushed for 174 yards on 34 car­ries.

West­lake, quickly got the of­fense go­ing in the third as Chad Palmer, who com­pleted 8 for 11 passes for 97 yards, threw back-to-back touch­downs. The first was a 20-yard touch­down pass to ju­nior Jor­dan Brum­field at the 9 minute 3 sec­onds mark to give the Wolver­ines a 14-0 lead af­ter the two-point con­ver­sion. The sec­ond was a 7-yard pass for six to ju­nior Johnathan Barnes to push the lead to 21-0 af­ter the Rams had fum­bled the ball away on the kick­off.

“At half­time our coach­ing staff made some ad­just­ments,” Chad Palmer said, “so we made some hy­brid and check reads and my of­fen­sive line gave me time to throw.”

With 1:26 left in the quar­ter, Collin Palmer found a lane on the hand-off and broke for an 89-yard touch­down run to give the Wolver­ines a 28-0 lead af­ter the ex­tra point.

“When I broke the long run ev­ery­one got so ex­cited and pumped up,” Collin Palmer said. “We just have to cut down on our mis­takes and we will be fine.”

West­lake tacked on two more points with 4:13 left in the game, forc­ing a safety af­ter tackling Rams punter Brant But­ler in the end zone from a fum­bled snap.

“We were banged up com­ing into the game and we don’t have a lot of depth al­ready,” McDonough head coach Jonathan Briscoe said. “It was a tough loss to­day, but like you said we fought hard in the first half, but we are go­ing to eval­u­ate the film and get ready for next week.”

The Rams have now lost four games in a row, two by shutout. They will take on host Thomas Stone at 7 p.m. Friday in a di­vi­sion con­test. The Cougars ral­lied from a 30-8 deficit ver­sus La Plata to win 31-30.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

West­lake se­niors Rae­shad Her­riott, left, and Pear­son Ben­son tack­les McDonough’s Avaughn Hol­ley in Saturday’s SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion football con­test. West­lake won 30-0.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

West­lake se­nior quar­ter­back Chad Palmer com­pleted 8 of 11 passes for 97 yards and a touch­down in Saturday’s 30-0 vic­tory over the McDonough Rams in a SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion football con­test at North Point High School.

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