The Westinghouse Bulldogs hand the Commodores first loss of 2017 football season this past Friday night.
By: Chris Ward
In Week 1, Perry defeated Carrick 49-0. On Thursday night, the Commodores were on the other side of the spectrum, as they were mercy-ruled by Westinghouse 38-0.
“Discipline is the biggest thing,” said Perry, Head Coach, Rod Rutherford. “Getting lined up and pre-snap penalties were our biggest issues. We have to get more physical upfront with are down guys, but discipline and getting lined up are the most important thing to correct heading into our next game.”
The first score of the game came from Westinghouse. The scoring drive benefited from good field position after a deficient punt by Perry, starting their drive on Perry’s 30-yard line. And was later finished by a 2-yard rushing score from Jerimiah Nash to put the Bulldogs up 7-0.
Early in the first quarter with Perry trailing 7-0 and backed up on their own 1-yard line, running back Maleik Hemingway had a 64-yard run down the left sidelines, but the big gain was negated due to an illegal procedure penalty called on the Commodores. On the next play, an erred snap went over the quarterback’s head for a safety to extend Westinghouse’s lead to 9-0. A William Ford 60-yard touchdown return on the following kickoff and a converted two-point conversion enhanced the Bulldogs lead to 17-0.
“It’s just overcoming adversity,” Rutherford said. “Momentum is always going to swing, you have to be able to fight when you’re up high and fight when you’re down low. You just have to have high character kids that understand that no matter what the game is still going to be played.”
Westinghouse would continue to capitalize off Perry’s mistakes. Half way through the second quarter, Perry’s Jakar Tucker fumbled the ball after a 10-yard reception and Westinghouse would recover the loose ball on Perry’s 22-yard line. Three plays later, Nash rushed in for a 5-yard score to extend Westinghouse’s lead to 24-0.
Hemingway returned the ball to Westinghouse’s 35-yard line on the following kickoff, but Perry was unable to capitalize off the good field position. Hemingway came up with another big play late in the second quarter, as he picked off Westinghouse’s Tayvon Lee Mattox’s deep pass down the left sidelines. But again, Perry couldn’t build off Hemingway’s impactful plays. Two plays later, Perry’s quarterback David Freeman was sacked in the end zone to make the score 26-0.
“He’s a solid kid, it’s unfortunate that every time he had a successful play, it was called back due to a penalty or something unnecessary,” said Rutherford on Hemingway. “He’s a big-time player, we just got to continue to find ways to put the ball in his hand and tighten up on the offensive line.”
Late in the second quarter, Westinghouse running back Jermain Rodger rushed for a 34-yard touchdown to make it 32-0. Westinghouse’s two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful. On the following kickoff, Perry muffed the kick and Westinghouse recovered the loose ball. Two plays later, Eryk Kane-Burgess rushed in for a two-yard score to improve Westinghouse’s lead to 38-0. Westinghouse’s point after attempt was no good.
Perry will host South Park High School (Buffalo, NY) at George K. Cupples Stadium on Sept. 16. Coach Rutherford will stress the fundamentals this week on the practice field in preparation for South Park.
“We just have to be more disciplined, that’s the key thing,” Rutherford said. “Discipline and tackling the ball carrier are things we need to work on.”