After two straight Angelus League miracles against St. Paul and St. Francis, the Wolverines took a more conventional route to defeat La Salle 35-21 on Homecoming.
The Wolverines opened the scoring with a 66-yard read option run by Noah Rothman ’16 to put the home team up by 7. On their next possession, Rothman threw a 59-yard dart to wide receiver Mason Rodriguez ’18.
On one of the last plays of the first quarter, La Salle’s star running back, Amon Milliner ’17 ran for an 80-yard touchdown, which was called back due to a holding penalty.
However, Milliner ended up punching the ball in from the 13-yard line to come within a touchdown of the Wolverines.
Only a minute and a half later, La Salle’s other running back, A.J. Akobian ’17 ran for a 44-yard touchdown of his own to even up the score with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
The Wolverines had the answer though. Rothman scored on a one-yard touchdown run, which was set up by a 69-yard bomb to Cameron Jones ’18. The squad forced a fumble right at the end of the half, but was unable to convert, which left the Wolverines leading 21-14 at halftime.
To start the second half, the Lancers continued almost solely running the ball, and Milliner scored his second touchdown of the night on a 21-yard run.
On the Wolverines next drive, they were forced to punt deep in their territory, but the La Salle returner muffed it, and Harvard-Westlake recovered the ball on the 32-yard line.
However, Rothman was sacked a couple of times and was faced with a 4th and 21 on the 24-yard line, which ended up defining the game. On a scramble, Rothman threw across his body to Alex Barnum ’16 who scampered into the end zone to put the Wolverines up 28-21 at the end of three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Rothman threw a touchdown pass to Jones to seal the victory for the Wolverines. The team was aided in this win by captain Nick Richmond ’16 who had two fumble recoveries late in the game for Harvard-Westlake.
“We’re taking it game-by-game right now,” Rothman said. “We know that every team in our league can beat anyone, so we have to put our best effort forth every week.
During halftime, the athletic department inducted ex-NFL players Jonathan Martin and Alex Holmes, along with former coaches Jim Brink and Jim O’Connor into the Harvard-Westlake Hall of Fame. The school also honored the 20th anniversary of their boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball state championship teams.
“We need to stay focused,” Barnum said. “We can’t let these past few weeks get in the way of what we have to do next week against Cathedral. We have to take it step-by-step and make sure that we have our priorities straight.”
The Wolverines will play Cathedral Fri. Oct. 30 in their final regular season home game. The game will begin at 7 p.m. and will be livestreamed by HWTV.
“All we need to do is beat Cathedral,” Head Coach Scot Ruggles said. “That’s it. It’s that simple.”