Wolverines fall 42-14 in 1st round of playoffs

Tyler Graham

The Wolverines’ season came to an end following a 42-14 loss to Crescenta Valley last Friday in the first round of CIF Playoffs. The team finished with an overall record of 7-4 and a 3-2 record in the Angelus League. The game marked the football program’s first playoff appearance in two years.
After a scoreless first quarter, Crescenta Valley scored first with three minutes left in the first half on a trick-play “fumblerooski.” Just two minutes later the Wolverines answered with their own touchdown on a nine-yard pass from quarterback Marshal Cohen ’16 to Albert Choi ’15. Seconds before the end of the first half Crescenta Valley scored on a touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.
Defensive end Olan Moon-White ’15 set the school’s single-season sack record with a sack in the first half, finishing with 12 on the year.
The Wolverines’ lone second-half touchdown came on a 91-yard kick return by running back Garrett Robinson ’15. Cohen threw two second-half interceptions that led to two Crescenta Valley touchdowns.
“I think we just should’ve been a bit more emotional,” Robinson said. “We were a little flat, especially toward the end of the game, and this game is very much determined by mentality and emotion.”
Robinson, who was voted October’s Athlete of the Month by the SAAC, was the first Harvard-Westlake running back to break the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season since 2008. Robinson ran for 1,213 yards on 190 carries, with 16 rushing touchdowns, in the regular season.
“Rushing for over 1,000 yards was something I was looking to do last year, but because of my injury I wasn’t able to,” Robinson said. “I put in a lot of work in the offseason, and I’m glad to see that it all paid off. My linemen and receivers also did a great job blocking, so these yards are also theirs. I’m definitely glad to have put up those numbers this year.”
Cohen was the Wolverines’ second leading rusher on the season with 594 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Cohen also threw for 547 yards.
The loss against Crescenta Valley marked the last time this year’s senior class will ever put the pads on for Harvard-Westlake.
“My most treasured memories would definitely be all the times with the team just having fun and getting rowdy to music in the locker room and the chants after we won games,” safety Desmond Butler ’15 said. “Any time spent with the team was incredibly enjoyable, I love every guy on the team like a brother and couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to end my high school career with.”
Butler finished the season with two interceptions and 55 tackles on the regular season. Another standout on the defensive side of the ball was defensive tackle Zeph Williams ’15, who led the Angelus League with 28.5 tackles for loss in the regular season.
Despite an early exit in the playoffs, the Wolverines enjoyed a stellar season.
“I thought we overall had a great season,” Butler said. “There were a few games that we felt we should’ve won as a team, but we still greatly improved on last year’s record. Obviously losing in the first round was tough, but I think we left the program better than we found it and hopefully the underclassmen will continue on.”