6 game losing streak in Mission League concludes Football squad's season

Following a 47-6 loss to Cathedral Friday, the Wolverine football team finished its 2013 regular season on a six-game losing streak, and with a 4-6 record. In its last game of the season, the team was not able to enter the red zone until the final 35 seconds of the game, when the Wolverines scored their first touchdown in its last two games just as time expired.
The Harvard-Westlake score was a Ryan Dominick ’17 completion to Julian Shabahang ’14.
But that play was a representation of the season as a whole, a team that suffered countless injuries and more than its fair share of bad luck, but stayed tough until the end, fighting to the last minute of every game.
“Obviously the season didn’t go as we wanted it to, losing six straight games,” Head Coach Scot Ruggles said. “But the kids could have easily quit and used every excuse in the book. Hats off to our eight seniors and our football program for showing up under adverse conditions and playing until the last whistle of every game.”
The team will not make the CIF Playoffs after finishing winless in Mission League play, but players echoed the ideas expressed by Ruggles.
“Our team was a band of brothers that refused to quit on each other,” Captain Desmond Butler ’15 said.
The team’s season started with a surprising 27-21 win at home against Loyola Aug. 30. Led by first year quarterback Marshal Cohen ’16, the team’s offense trounced its next three opposing defenses, scoring an average of 54 points per game. The team’s defense was forcing turnovers, and the team won those three games by an average of 35 points per game.
But starting with a 45-18 Homecoming loss to Palisades Charter Oct. 5, and continuing throughout the entirety of the Mission League season, for one reason or another the team was unable to recapture its early season success.
“We had a lot of injuries to key players that really set us back,” starting free safety Carter Begel ’17 said.  “This made us a young football team very quickly. A young team is hard to win within the Mission League”
Jack Temko ’14, echoed similar ideas, saying, the team “Started off well and ended [the season] badly due to injuries.”
Hassan Smith ’15, Alec Dominick ’15, and Garret Robinson ’15 all missed games with injuries throughout the year, but Cohen’s injury proved to be the most severe. The quarterback suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in the team’s 23-31 loss to St. Paul Oct. 18 and was out for the rest of the season.
Freshman Dominick  attempted to fill the void, and although players say he played well under immense pressure and in such a tough position to succeed, the Wolverine offense was only able to accumulate 20 points in the three games he started under center.
Ruggles was thankful for the efforts of his team, especially his seniors, and is excited to enter next season with a fresh start.
“In the two years I’ve been here, you learn that you’re never going to replace Shabahang, a  captain David Hartmeier ’14, a Chad Kanoff ’13, and Thomas Oser ’13 of the world,” Ruggles said.  “We just look forward to a year from now and hope to be able to answer the question of how to replace a Robinson, a Butler and a Smith.”
“Every year you hope somebody steps up into a new leadership role and becomes one of the better members of the football team, and I hope that cycle continues as long as I’m here,” Ruggles said.

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