Westwood dominates Houghton in football season opener 42-0

By Blake Froling

The Patriots got off to a fast start at Sherman Field against the Gremlins and never looked back, winning 42-0 in the season opener.

Taylor Dellangelo broke the scoreless tie with a 33-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter. After a Houghton three-and-out, Westwood took over and scored again, this time courtesy of a 49-yard scamper from Nathan Beckman to make it 14-0.

Just seconds into the second quarter, Ashton Bergman got in on the fun and plowed through the Gremlin defense for a 39-yard touchdown score to put Westwood up 22-0 after a two-point conversion.

Late in the second quarter, Westwood drove 76 yards down the field and Beckman punched it in from four yards out to make the score 28-0.

Houghton only had one kickoff in the entire game and it did not go well. Dellangelo received it with a running start deep in Westwood territory, picked up several blocks and took it about 85 yards for a touchdown. 36-0 Patriots.

Westwood’s second unit entered the game in the second half and picked up where the starters left off, not allowing a single Houghton point. Sophomore Garrett Mann took over for Beckman at quarterback and led Westwood to a score on his first varsity drive early in the fourth quarter, giving the Patriots their 42-0 win.

Dellangelo was our ESPN UP Player of the Game for his performances in all three phases of the game. He rushed for 184 yards and a touchdown, he returned a kickoff for a touchdown and intercepted a pass on defense.

The Westwood defense as a unit stifled Houghton all night, holding the Gremlins to 46 total yards. Quarterback George Butvilas only completed one of his eight passes for six yards.

Offensively, Westwood looked like a well-oiled machine outside of a few penalties, rushing for 452 yards. Bergman totaled 116 of those yards on just nine carries, while Beckman had 87 yards on four runs. Erik Anderson rushed seven times for 23 yards and Adam Hyttinen carried the ball seven times for 41 yards.

Beckman was 6-11 through the air for 50 yards, hitting Jacob Adriano, Chad Pohlman and Dellangelo twice each.

Westwood’s next game will be against Iron Mountain at home starting at 7 p.m.

Note: all stats are unofficial

Kickoff Show: Westwood football coach Scott Syrjala

2017: 9-2, lost in district finals

Key Losses: OL Tabin Filizetti, OL/LB Ethan Homola, WR/DB Ethan Burke, TE David Delayre

Key Returners: QB/FS Nathan Beckman, OL/DL Sam Gilles, RB/LB Ashton Bergman, OL/DL Blake Hewitt, RB Taylor Dellangelo

Westwood football is coming off its best season in program history and its first playoff win since 2009. Now in a new conference, the Patriots have the target on their backs and won’t take anyone by surprise. Head coach Scott Syrjala joined the Kickoff Show to discuss expectations for his team and give his thoughts on conference realignment.