Football’s home opener ends in tie after late rally by Fairfax

By Luke Holthouse and Judd Liebman

The football team’s first home game of the year ended in a 14-14 tie after the Wolverines surrendered a 14-0 halftime lead to Fairfax on Friday night. 

Kicker Will Oliver ’11 missed a 54-yard field goal attempt as time expired. Because it was not a league game, no overtime was played.

The Wolverines drew first blood with approximately nine minutes to go in the first quarter when quarterback Max Heltzer ’11 connected with wide receiver Noor Fateh ’11 for a diving catch in the endzone. The touchdown was the end to a long drive made up primarily of runs by Jamais Jones ’12.

The Wolverines’ other score came on a 24-yard pass from Heltzer to wide receiver Lewis Dix ’11.

Fairfax’s offense was kept off the field, for the most part, in the first half. Defensive lineman Andrew Green ’12 had a lot to do with the defensive success. Green did not play last game against Venice due to a hip injury.

With Green and the other linemen putting the pressure on the quarterback, defensive back Richard Chung ’12 intercepted a Fairfax pass to the end zone with 13 seconds left in the half.

After tight end Ethan Neale ’11 was injured in the second quarter, the Wolverine offense came to a halt. Harvard-Westlake had many opportunities to score after starting from good field position. Defensive back Dylen Papazian ’13 came up with an interception with three minutes left in the third quarter. The Wolverines set up shop on their own 27-yard line, but the offense failed to convert on this opportunity.

Fairfax got on the board for the first time with seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter off of a five-yard touchdown run. The Wolverine special teams unit stopped the two-point conversion attempt.

The Wolverines had the ball and the lead with three minutes left in the game; however, with another three and out, Oliver was called on to punt. Fairfax would receive the ball in good field position for their last possession of the game.

The drive ended with a 38-yard touchdown run with two minutes and 40 seconds left in the game. Fairfax scored on the two-point conversion to even the score at 14. â€¨â€¨

After a 42-yard punt return by Cameron Komisar ’12, the Wolverines were stopped short on all attempts to gain a first down. With less than 10 seconds left in the game, Head Coach Vic Eumont signaled for the kicking unit to step on the field. But Oliver’s last-second attempt fell short and wide right. 

In the frosh-soph game preceding the varsity game, the Wolverines lost to Fairfax 22-7. The Wolverines were hindered by injuries to several key players, including starting quarterback Anthony Ulloa ’14, out for the season with a torn MCL.

Jack Temko ’14 accounted for all seven Wolverine points, rushing for a touchdown and then kicking the extra point.

The team plans on splitting into JV and Freshman teams when they face opponents capable of fielding JV and Freshman teams as well.