The562’s coverage of St. Anthony Football is sponsored in part by Wasco Development Corp in Honor of B.I. Mais.
St. Anthony had plenty of opportunities on Friday night but failed to finish their drives as the Saints came up short against visiting Harvard-Westlake 14-0 at St. Paul High School.
“We struggled like hell on offense, and it forced our defense back out there [on the field] tired,” said Saints head coach Raul Lara.
Friday night was Senior Night and Homecoming all at once while the Saints played for their postseason lives. There was heavy emotion and high passion on both sidelines, so the game turned into an early defensive slugfest.
Miscues, penalties, missed assignments and sacks by both teams ruined each others’ drives. The first quarter ended with no score.
The Wolverines threatened with early field goals, but both missed, and the Saints defense stood tall. Harvard-Westlake relied on some misdirection to strike first as senior wide receiver Josh Dixon took an end around 60 yards for the touchdown. The Wolverines were up 7-0 with 5:54 left in the first half.
Despite a valiant two-minute drill effort by the Saints, miscommunication and overthrows would force them to turnover on downs. The Wolverines attempted their own hurry up offense to score again, but senior cornerback Jonathon Ferguson would pick off Harvard-Westlake to end the half.
Coming out of the locker room, the Saints defense terrorized the Harvard-Westlake offense with tremendous sacks by senior Alex Cobbs.
On the other side of the ball, the Saints were threatening to score thanks to explosive runs from senior running back Elijah Lolesio-Pua and a roughing the passer penalty. However, a failed 4th & 17 forced a turnover on the Harvard-Westlake 27.
At the end of the third quarter, it was still 7-0 Harvard-Westlake, however Wolverines quarterback Henry Wendrof found Aiden Greenfield up the seam for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 8:33 left to play.
With a last second effort in the red zone, the Saints tried a hail mary, yet they were picked off in the endzone to end the game.
“I wish we could have done better [for the seniors],” mentioned Lara, as it was also Senior Night for the Saints.
St. Anthony faces St. Pius X (8-1, 3-0) for their last game of the season next week. The Saints still have a chance to make the playoffs if they win. If they do, the seeding and standings would fall into “madness” Lara and other St. Anthony staffers commented.
St. Pius is undefeated in the Del Rey League, averaging about 58 points in league play. On the other hand, St. Anthony is 1-2, on the outside looking in as the fourth place in Del Rey, hoping to cause the upset.
“We got one more game, and it is going to test us big time,” told Lara.
Kickoff is Oct. 28, 7 P.M. at St. Paul High School. St. Pius X will be the designated home team.