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Harvard-Westlake Reverses Field, 18-0

October 04, 1998|TRIS WYKES

Two teams headed in opposite and surprising directions played Saturday when Nordhoff High met at Harvard-Westlake in a nonleague game.

Harvard-Westlake's 18-0 victory boosted the Wolverines to 4-0, an eye-opening start for a team that was 3-7 last season.

Nordhoff (1-3), expected to match or improve on its six victories last season, was shut out for the second consecutive week and extended its scoreless streak to 11 quarters.

Predictably, Harvard-Westlake players and coaches staged an ecstatic postgame celebration while the Rangers searched for answers.

"Everyone's in great shape and a lot more determined this year," said tailback George Witter of Harvard-Westlake, who rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown in 25 carries. "Last year we had a lot of guys who were apathetic."

Nordhoff Coach Cliff Farrar, who led the Rangers to Southern Section division title games in 1994 and 1996, said his team lacks a dominating running back and the line to pave the way.

"We felt we had a pretty good team this year and we stepped up our schedule," Farrar said. "But we're just not responding as well as we'd like and that's a little discouraging."

Harvard-Westlake took a 6-0 lead with six seconds remaining in the first quarter when Matt Felder threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alex Holmes. Holmes, who finished with four catches for 59 yards and a touchdown, ran over two defenders on his way to the end zone.

The Wolverines went up, 12-0, on a three-yard touchdown run by Witter with 4:32 left in the first half.

The final touchdown came with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter when Felder hit Alex Clark on a 23-yard touchdown pass play.

"I think our receivers are a lot better this year and Felder has a lot of confidence in the pocket," Witter said.

"He's very collected back there."

Felder completed six of 12 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.

Brandon Titus of Nordhoff completed six of 12 passes for 62 yards and Joey Briglio had 76 yards in 15 carries for the Rangers.

Nordhoff's wing-T offense produced only 84 yards rushing, 34 in the first half.

The Rangers' best scoring chance came on fourth and goal at the Wolverine two-yard line with 3:31 to play. Titus was sacked by Lerato Simelane to squelch the threat.

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