By A.J. Calabrese
For the second straight home game, there was a packed student section as the Wolverines held on to beat the John Burroughs Indians 27-15 last Friday. The win propels the team to a three win and no losses start, their first perfect opening since joining the Del Rey League.
âWe played hard and had to work hard for control of the game, because (Burroughs) is a heck of a team,â Head Coach Vic Eumont said. âThey beat us last year because they were better conditioned, but our team this year is better conditioned than last yearâs at this time.â
The conditioning showed in the sturdy Wolverine defense, as they held the team which last year racked up 422 yards and 35 points to five punts and a turnover in nine total drives.
âWe just stepped up,â defensive tackle Jakarri Hamlin â08 said. âWe had to buckle down and keep our system to stop their drives.â
Offensively, the Wolverines struggled in the first quarter until quarterback Sean Berman â09 broke for a 42 yard scamper down field. This set up a short touchdown run for Terhon OâNeal â09 to gain the early 7-3 lead. The run marked OâNealâs sixth rushing touchdown of the year.
âThe offensive lineâs been making it easy for me; all I need to do is keep my head low and keep driving my feet,â OâNeal said.
The Wolverines then took a 14-3 lead in the second quarter after two back-to-back passes by Berman. The first was 36 yards to Corey Vann â09 to get into scoring position, and the second found Jackson Ligouri â10 in the end-zone. The 26 yard pass gave the sophomore wide receiver his first career touchdown.
âI think [later in the game] we really made a statement on how we could play,â Berman said. âWe had some adversity at first, but we managed to stop the penalties and mistakes and stick it to them.â
Berman found Vann again in the third quarter for a 37 yard pass to set up a five yard throw to tight-end Mike Blum â09 for the score, putting the Wolverines up 20-3.
With under a minute in the third quarter, Burroughs finally capitalized on a long run by junior running back Dominique Barnes to add six to their tally. Just before the end of the quarter, the Indians recovered a Wolverine fumbled snap and only cut the lead to five.
The next Wolverine drive, an attempt to stretch the lead with a field goal was thwarted as the kick was blocked and recovered at mid-field by the rallying Burroughs team. However, a big sack by Ross Gruber â08 contributed to a defensive hold of the Indians.
With momentum on their side again, the Wolverine offense rolled as Berman and Vann connected once again, this time for a touchdown with less than five minutes left in the game. An interception by cornerback Stephen Adamson â08 the next drive sealed the game for the Wolverines.
With three wins under its belt, the team is excited about the rest of the season, notably the next game against Carson, who they edged in an exciting bout last year at the Home Depot Center.
âOur play has been good enough for Carson, but we canât let it get to our heads,â Berman said.
The rematch against Carson will take place at Slavin Field in two weeks after a bye this upcoming week.