The Westwood Patriots never trailed Thursday night, opening the 2019 football season with a 24-12 victory over West-PAC rival Houghton.
Westwood marched 70 yards down field on their opening drive, chewing up 8:39 of the first quarter clock before Taylor Dellangelo connected with Chad Pohlman on a 30-yard touchdown strike.
The Patriots then forced a stop on 4th-and-2 in Houghton territory, setting up a 39-yard scoring drive capped by a six-yard rushing touchdown by Pohlman to give Westwood a 12-0 lead. The Gremlins responded with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Milo Schafer on 4th-and-long to get within six points late in the first half.
Westwood appeared to regain a two-score lead but a 47-yard passing touchdown to Pohlman was negated by a penalty and Dellangelo was intercepted on the next play.
After the Pats forced another fourth down stop, Dellangelo capped a 76-yard scoring drive by racing 53 yards into the endzone, putting Westwood up 18-6 with 3:52 left in the third quarter.
Dellangelo increased the Patriot lead to 24-6 early in the fourth frame with a rushing touchdown from 12 yards out but Houghton responded immediately as Nathan Erva broke free for a 57-yard scoring scamper to get the Gremlins within twelve points with 8:03 to play.
Following a successful onside kick, Houghton drove deep into Westwood territory but Travis Uren‘s first career interception ended the threat and Houghton never possessed the football again.
Westwood improves to 1-0 and travels to Iron Mountain on Friday, September 6th. The Mountaineers topped Negaunee 17-14 on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.