With both Marshal Cohen ’16 and Noah Rothman ’16 unable to play due to injuries, the Wolverines were forced to start Jake Grode ’19 at quarterback, and he did not disappoint in his first varsity start.
The Wolverines defeated the Jefferson Democrats 44-23. The squad started the game with a Mike Mapes ’16 fumble recovery deep in Jefferson territory.
Then, after three Phil Thompson ’16 carries, Grode ran the ball in from the one-yard line for the first touchdown of his career.
Following a failed extra point attempt, the Democrats took over from their own 14-yard line on the ensuing kickoff and fumbled for the second time in the game. However, Harvard-Westlake returned the favor by giving the ball right back to the Democrats on the Jefferson 12-yard line.
After several forced turnovers by the defense, including a Nick O’Brien ’17 fumble return for a touchdown, the Wolverines’ thwarted any opportunity the Democrats had to score.
The Wolverines finished the half with a 44-7 lead, including a Grode pass to Cam Jones ’18 in the corner of the end zone.
“I got my first touchdown in four years which was pretty sweet,” Mapes said. “I have to thank Coach Ruggles for giving me the ball. We played with heart and intensity and we just rebounded as a team from the Loyola game. We’re looking forward to a bright furure.”
Grode finished the night with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
As the Wolverines played most of their freshman during the second half, the squad did not score any more points. The latter two quarters was highlighted by a 53-yard carry by O’Brien.
“I never expected to start and play an amazing game,” Grode said. “I would like to thank my offensive line for giving me all the time in the world tonight.”
The Wolverines will try to get above the .500 mark in their next game against Granada Hills Charter High School next Friday at Ted Slavin Field.
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