Two games into his first year at the helm of the football program, Scot Ruggles and his varsity football team have only faced one true test. The Wolverines demolished a weaker North Hollywood side last Friday 57-13, but were unable to maintain a halftime lead against arch rival Loyola in the first game of the season.
“No discredit to North Hollywood, but Loyola is a Pac-5 team and it was going to be a tougher game,” receiver Chris Sebastian ’13 said after the North Hollywood win. “But we played hard and we were flying around out there. That will always produce a good result.”
In Ruggles’ first game as Head Coach, the Wolverines had a 14-7 lead at halftime against three-touchdown favorite Loyola. The Cubs, winners of two CIF titles in the past decade, took over in the second half and ultimately won 42-27. The Wolverines have a roster of 36 players, almost half the size of the 64 Cubs, and had six players leave the game because of cramps.
“They made the plays when they needed to,” Ruggles said. “We just didn’t have it in the tank in the second half.”
The Wolverines then answered with the North Hollywood win on Friday. Quarterback Chad Kanoff ’13 led the Wolverines with three touchdowns in the air and two touchdowns on the ground. Kanoff now has 729 passing yards on the season after 287 against North Hollywood and 442 against Loyola.
Play was stopped for about 15 minutes in the second quarter when the on-field lights temporarily stopped working.
“I’m not an electrician,” Ruggles said. “It was good to see somebody fix that.”
The Wolverines visit Granada Hills this Friday, host Sylmar the following week on Sept. 14 and then travel to El Camino Real on Sept. 21 before beginning league play. The Wolverines record in league games will determine whether or not they make the playoffs.
Kanoff said that the move of offensive lineman Thomas Oser ’13 from left tackle to center has significantly helped the team’s running game. He added that the passing game needs to improve against man-to-man coverage. The Wolverines did not lose any of its players to cramps in the second half. Defensive lineman Chase Klein ’13 said that the Wolverine defense may have been able to handle Loyola’s second half surge without the cramps and it will be crucial for the Wolverines to avoid injuries on defense due to their lack of depth.