Football loses in quarterfinals


Kick it: Josh Lyons kicks off the game in the Wolverine’s game against St. Francis. Credit: Bennett Gross.

Bennett Gross

The Wolverines’ season came to an end Friday night after a 68-42 home loss in the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs.

The squad ended the year with an overall record of 8-4 and an Angelus League record of 4-1.

In the team’s first league game against St. Paul, the Wolverines overcame a three-touchdown deficit with eight minutes left in the game. Harvard-Westlake rattled off four quick scores to defeat the Swordsmen 28-21 in Santa Fe Springs.

Harvard-Westlake’s next Angelus League contest was highlighted by the 95-yard touchdown pass from Noah Rothman ’16 to Alex Barnum ’16 and their hail mary at the end of the game to put the Wolverines to 2-0 in Angelus League play.

In the squad’s Homecoming game against La Salle, the Wolverines handily defeated the Lancers with a 35-21 victory in Harvard-Westlake’s second consecutive Homecoming win. However, fortune could only take the team so far, as they were defeated by Cathedral 13-12 at home.

But, the Wolverines’ luck was not completely out, as in their next matchup against Salesian, the squad defeated the Mustangs on the road 48-44 in another thriller, which saw Rothman account for seven touchdowns.

This win also signified that the Wolverines would be Angelus League co-champions with Cathedral.

In the squad’s first playoff matchup, the Wolverines faced off against the second place team in the Suburban League, Mayfair. After giving up a touchdown on the first series of the game, each team turned the ball over a combined 12 times, before the Wolverines eventually scored in the fourth quarter to even the game. On Mayfair’s next possession, they returned the favor, putting them up six with two minutes to go in the game. However, Rothman connected with star receiver Cameron Jones ’18 on a 94-yard slant to give the Wolverines the lead. The Monsoons ended up following the theme of the night, and fumbled the ball on a snap deep in Wolverines territory to relinquish the game.

In the second round, the Wolverines faced the top-seeded La Serna Lancers, in what ended up being a shootout. Harvard-Westlake ended up coming up short in this Quarterfinal matchup with the 99th ranked team in California.

Rothman, a first-year starting quarterback, ended the regular season with 1557 yards passing, a 47.8% completion rate and 16 touchdowns.

The run game was evenly split during the regular season, with Thomas Glover ’18 racking up 541 yards, and Princeton lacrosse commit, Philip Thompson ’16 carrying the ball for 396 yards on the season.

Rothman’s two favorite targets, Jones and Barnum piled up 595 and 346 yards receiving respectively.

On defense, Mike Mapes ’16 had 133 total tackles and 100 solo tackles during the regular season. The next leading tackler, Sultan Daniels ’19 had 56.

Next season, some uncertainties will be the quarterback situation, due to the graduation of Rothman and Marshal Cohen ’16, and the departure of all but one starting offensive lineman.

However, with another summer of growth from Glover and Jones, the Wolverines have a good chance of making the playoffs for a third consecutive season.