Football starts season unbeaten after three games

Fueled by red-shirted Fanatic fervor, the Wolverines look to enter league play, starting with their Homecoming game versus St. Bernard on Oct. 18.

Taking advantage of a light early schedule, the team has accumulated a 2-0-1 record in the first month of its season in non-league play. Running back TeRhon O’Neal ’09 has established himself as a force, scoring six touchdowns thus far.

Last Friday, the Wolverines took advantage of a diminutive Rosemead team with a 45-6 victory that was as one-sided as the score suggests. In the game, O’Neal scored two touchdowns in the first quarter that, along with Malcolm Caldwell-Meeks’ ’10 scoring reception, put the Wolverines ahead 21-0 at the end of the opening period.

The Rosemead team was operating with a small staff as 13 players, including star running back Tra Sumler, were not playing due to disciplinary reasons.

“[The Panthers team] is better than they showed tonight,” Head Coach Vic Eumont said.

The team had opened up the season in style with a 45-0 trouncing of Franklin. In the game, O’Neal established his leading role on the team, scoring three touchdowns.

The ease of victory came as a surprise to many members of the team, including Eumont, who had compared the team to that of city powerhouse Carson prior to the game.

“We were surprised, [Franklin] was a very good team last year,” Eumont said after the game. “We made some big plays tonight, but we made some silly penalties. We can never relax, though, and I hope we learned that tonight.”

The Wolverines drew a tie versus Lynwood sandwiched between the two blowouts. Eumont said that Lynwood’s defense focused on trying to shut down O’Neal, who proved his danger in last week’s thrashing of Franklin.

“They were determined to stop [O’Neal] this week, but we tried to work around that,” Eumont said.

However, the tie put the team into a type of purgatory in terms of morale.

“For a tie, you think about all the little things you could’ve done to win it,” Berman said. “In some ways, it’s worse than a loss.”

The three successful games, in the eyes of Eumont, portend little for the remainder of the season.

He used the example of the successful USC team that was upset by the unranked Oregon State team last Thursday as proof that even the team with the best record can lose any game.

“The rest of the games from here on out are going to be tougher,” Eumont said. “You can’t tell anything about the league from these games.”

Offensive coordinator Dave Levy attributes the early success of the team to the core of the offense.

“The way you win, obviously, is having good players making good plays,” Levy said. “We don’t have a great many, but we’ve got a few. And when that happens, you’ve always got a chance.”

In only the second season since light stands were installed at Ted Slavin Field, the atmosphere of the game was similar to the traditional “Friday Night Lights” style of high school football.

The cheer squad, doing stunts for the first time in years, entertained the bleachers full of students and parents who had come out to watch the games.

The Harvard-Westlake Fanatics made their presence known, dressing in capes and face paint and leading chants ranging from the standard “Har-vard West-lake” to, as the outcome of the first game against Franklin, became more and more clear, asking the opposing crowd “Why so serious?”