Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe it was the fact that it was Friday the 13th, but Friday’s game at Westview High had a supernatural feeling to it. The Poway Titans were on the road to to defend their perfect standing in league. Although they left it all on the field, luck was not their side in the end as the Wolverines would barely squeeze out the game with an overtime victory.
Starting with two back-to-back three and out drives indicated that a tight contest would be on display. But the biggest piece of foreshadowing might have come from the Wolverines’ Benjo O’Brien when he cracked open the scoreboard with a spectacular punt return. Remember the name because it would be him that closes it as well.
The Titans responded right away when Donovan Bercasio seven-yard touchdown tied the score. However, the rest of the first half was silent as they entered the the break down 14-7.
A little under five minutes left in the third, quarterback Beau Nelson launched the ball down-field to C.J. Franklin. Franklin leaped over his defender and took it home for a 57-yard touchdown.
The lead grew to 21-7. The home crowd was pumped with energy, and it seemed Westview would have a happy ending to their homecoming game. But the game was far from over.
Titans chipped at the lead with a long connection of their own between quarterback T.J. Elkington and Jack Blanco. The 54-yard touchdown pass was followed by the defense forcing a turnover on downs. Thanks to a bad snap on a punt, the end zone was three yards away. Poway’s Garrett Van Nostrand capitalized with a touchdown run to make it 21 all.
Westview retook the lead with an eight yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Zack Ratzlaff. After the Wolverines ran it in in on a fake field goal attempt, the game once again seemed out of reach.
But once again, the Titans had a response.
Their backs were against the wall, time was winding down, and it was do-or-die on what would certainly be their last drive to get the tie. On fourth down with two yards to go, Poway decided to run it. The result? A 76-yard touchdown run by Josh Buttler with the two point conversion a success. The once rowdy crowd was silenced. We were tied at 29.
On to overtime.
Poway worked the ball up to their opponent's one-yard line. On fourth down with just one yard to go, Van Nostrand finished the job by running it in. After the extra point went through, Poway had a seven point advantage.
Westview’s first play was a 23 yard reception that set up the touchdown run on the next play. Knowing they had to go for it, the stadium went dead silent in anticipation of the final play of the game. Beau Nelson dropped back with the ball. With the rushers on his trail and the endzone full of defenders, Nelson still managed to find the cutting punt returner Benjo O’Brien, open enough to connect.
The crowd erupted with emotion, the sideline stormed the field. The Titans on the other hand, lethargically left the field. After three hours of battle, the final score read 37-36 in favor of the Wolverines.
Underneath the Friday night lights at Westview High, the Poway Titans are making the bus ride over to face the Wolverines in the third league game of the Poway Unified School District.
Poway is fresh off winning the Kiwanis Cup against Mt. Carmel to remain perfect in league play. Westview, on the other hand, will be trying to bounce back after a convincing loss to the Ramona Bulldogs. That evened their win and loss column to one apiece.
The Titans showed versatility proving they can play on the ground and in the air, as they put up 38 points to route the Sundevils. The team is led by senior TJ Elkinton who threw for multiple touchdowns. Helping him out in the backfield is senior Garrett Van Nostrand, who flashy touchdown run last week made the final four for the play of the week honors.
Wolverines have Beau Nelson as their signal caller. After scoring only 13 points in last week’s loss, they’ll be looking get back on their offensive pace. Prior to last week, the team averaged 23 points per game. They are tested with strong competition however as all three of their losses this season has come at the hands of some of San Diego County’s best teams.
The game will begin at 7:00 PM. And of course, if you can’t make it or just want to catch the highlight, you know the Pre Pigskin Report will have the what you need to get your recap of this game and more. It’s all on KUSI starting at 10:30 PM.