By Judd Liebman
After having its two game win streak snapped by Bishop Alemany High School on Oct. 1, the varsity football team had a new agenda in its bye week in order to be ready for the next game against Chaminade.
The Wolverines had back-to-back victories against Leuzinger and Sylmar, 42-8 and 24-14 respectively, before losing to Alemany 49-17 at Alemany’s Homecoming game. The game was one of revenge for Alemany, as the Wolverines upset the Warriors at Harvard-Westlake’s Homecoming game last year.
The team had little offensive production in the first quarter while the defense was not ready for the Warriors’ speed and fundamental skill, Head Coach Vic Eumont said.
“We had a lot of [young] players who were in total shock by the speed and skill of Alemany,” Eumont said. “They wore us out early on both sides of the ball and we got too far behind to catch up.”
Alemany put up more points on the Wolverine defense than any other opponent thus far. The Warriors’ tactics as well as physical strengths were too much for the Wolverines to overcome, Eumont said.
“We didn’t even touch them [on their] first three touchdowns. They do a lot of unbalanced lines and stuff, and [for] this game we prepared for everything they were doing. But then we couldn’t adjust when they would motion, and it’s bad enough that the other guys are faster than you,” Eumont said of Alemany’s offensive control.
The Wolverine offense started just as slowly as the defense did against Alemany. Starting quarterback Max Heltzer ’11 threw two interceptions to end the first two possessions of the game.
“Well I like to think we’re on the upslope even though we played a good team and didn’t play well. We have to think [of the game] that way,” Offensive Coordinator Dave Levy said.
“As a quarterback, you need to have amnesia about a game like Alemany. Someone once told me that ‘mental toughness is the #1 attribute required to be a good quarterback.’ I am looking forward to the Chaminade game, not back on the Alemany game,” Heltzer said.
Heltzer said he takes it upon himself to ready the team for its next game against Chaminade.
“As a leader [on] offense, and being the quarterback, it’s my responsibility to get the offense and team focused and ready to play [the next game],” he said.
After his rough start against Alemany, Heltzer was replaced by quarterback Chad Kanoff ’13, who led the offense to 17 points. Kanoff has not taken the starting position from Heltzer because he and Heltzer are considered a dual threat, Eumont said.
“Now we have two good options in case things aren’t going well. It’s also hard on other defenses. If they prep all week for one guy and then a new guy comes in, they’re going to do this and that differently and that’s hard to react to in the moment,” Eumont said.
A recurring problem for the team is injuries. The team is depleted on both offense and defense at this point in the season. Eumont said he looks to other players’ resilience to get through holes on both sides of the ball.
The team’s next game is against Chaminade, who defeated the Wolverines 24-17 last year.
Focusing on Chaminade during the bye week, the team constantly watched film and prepared for the opponents’ toughness, Heltzer said.
“Chaminade is our main focus right now,” Heltzer said. “Last year we played one half of really good football against Chaminade, and if we can do that for four quarters, we will put ourselves in a good position to win.”
The Wolverines will play rival Cathedral at the Homecoming game on Oct. 23.