Coming off of a 35-21 Homecoming victory against La Salle, the Wolverines entered this de facto Angelus League matchup with Cathedral looking to capture their first league title since Jonathan Martin’s 2006 team.
During the Phantoms’ first drive of the night, Phil Thompson ’16 sacked quarterback Andrew Tovar ’17 in the end zone to put the Wolverines up 2-0.
What many expected to be an offensive shootout coming into the game, turned out to be a defensive battle.
Both teams’ defenses set up the offenses with very good field position consistently throughout the first half, but quarterbacks Noah Rothman’ 16 and Tovar were unable to get into a rhythm. At the end of the first quarter, the Wolverines led 2-0.
The score remained at 2-0 until Tovar found Arex Flemings ’17 on a seven-yard touchdown pass with under two minutes left in the second quarter. However, a Cathedral two-point conversion attempt went awry as Tovar bobbled a bad snap and was sacked for a ten-yard loss.
At the half, Cathedral led the Wolverines 6-2.
The Wolverines received the ball to start the second half, but Rothman was unable to complete a pass on 4th and 16 to Alex Barnum ’16.
On the Wolverines’ next drive, Rothman looked to Barnum again, but the deep pass was picked off by Cathedral.
The stingy Wolverine defense stopped the high-powered Phantom offense in its tracks to end the third quarter and keep the score at 6-2 in favor of Cathedral.
The turning point in the game was on a 4th and 4 deep in Cathedral territory, Rothman completed a 34-yard screen pass to Thompson to set up a Wolverines’ first and goal at the two-yard line. Two plays later, Rothman punched it in for a touchdown, helping the Wolverines regain the lead.
On the kickoff, Josh Lyons ’17 kicked the ball straight up in the air, catching the Phantom return team off guard, and the ball was recovered by Donovan Econn ’19 with 9:24 left in the game. Despite two 15-yard penalties on the Phantoms, the Wolverines were only able to get three points on the drive, extending their lead to 12-6.
On Cathedral’s next possession, Tovar could not convert down field passes to Flemings and Washington State commit Renard Bell ’16. On third down he was sacked by Mike Mapes ’16 to give the ball right back to the Wolverines.
Harvard-Westlake took over with 3:30 left in the game and a six-point lead, but could not pick up a first down and Cathedral was able to conserve the clock and start their next drive on their own 37 with three minutes remaining.
After a questionable pass interference call on Sultan Daniels ’19, Cathedral scored a touchdown on a Marcos Lopez ’16 14-yard run. The extra point was good and Cathedral took a 13-12 lead.
The Wolverines could only pick up one first down on their next drive and could not pick up the necessary yardage to continue their drive. The Phantoms took two kneels to end the game.
Harvard-Westlake moved to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the Angelus League after a 13-12 defeat. The Wolverines will still have the opportunity to win the Angelus League outright with a win over Salesian next week and a Cathedral loss to St. Paul.