The Wolverines took the field Saturday night in front of their largest crowd of the season. The student section was overflowing into the aisles, as fanatics in brand-new shirts chanted “Harvard-Westlake.”
It took all of one drive to bring the team crashing down to earth.
The St. Paul Swordsmen trounced the Wolverines 41-21 on Harvard-Westlake’s homecoming night. The Swordsmen took the lead on their first possession, a 4:10 series that culminated in a touchdown run. The Wolverines would not hold the lead once for the rest of the game.
“We really love having a big crowd,” team captain Zac Harleston ’17 said. “It’s just harder sometimes to go up against a team that’s so much bigger and has a good team.”
The Wolverines offense lacked rhythm for most of the night and didn’t score until late in the second quarter. Read-option quarterback Thomas Glover ’18 caught the Swordsmen off-guard at the goal line, running in the zone-read for a touchdown.
Quarterback Jameson Wang ’20 added a rushing score of his own halfway through the third quarter. The Wolverines were unable to score again until well into garbage time, when Harleston caught a short touchdown pass.
After a solid showing in the first half, the Wolverines defense collapsed at the end of the game. The Swordsmen pounded the ball into the end zone three times in the final quarter, sealing a blowout victory.
“I think they had a lot of guys,” Harleston said. “We’re pretty young, we don’t have a lot of guys on the roster so it’s just hard to continually keep up with such big opponents.”
The Wolverines’ special teams unit struggled throughout the night. Kicker Josh Lyons ’17 missed a mid-range field goal early in the second quarter. The Wolverines also surrendered a blocked-punt recovery for a St. Paul touchdown early in the second half. In the third-quarter, the Swordsmen returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score.
Despite the loss, Harleston said that the team would not be demoralized heading into their next matchup.
“I think on Monday we’re gonna be really motivated and hopefully practice really hard,” Harleston said. “Coach is gonna have a good game plan for us and hopefully we’ll be able to execute in the future.”
The Wolverines will face St. Francis at home Oct. 21.