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5-minute nightmare dooms Demons

21-point disaster leads to 28-14 loss

By Jim Horvath

With the score tied 7-7 in the third quarter, the battle between Amherst and Westlake had, up to that point, lived up to it pre game billing: a battle of unbeatens.

But with 5:22 remaining in that third quarter, things went wrong – no, make that horribly wrong – for the Demons.

After a 13-yard punt deep in their own territory, host Amhert soon went on 21-point run within a three-plus minute span. When the nightmare was over, a stunned Westlke team was looking at a 28-7 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. The final result was a 28-14 loss that knocked the Demons from the ranks of the unbeaten.

“You can’t let things like that happen against a team like Amherst,” said Westlake head coach Mark Campo. ” They’re good enough…they don’t need any help.”

To that point, the Demons had slowed Amherst’s high-powered offense to a mere crawl. They had allowed just one score, that coming on a 24-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter as the Comets held a 7-0 half-time lead.

Westlake was where no other team had been so far this season…within striking range. And the Demons’ defense, which had been so solid all season long, was holding up it’s end of the bargain. In fact, it was the defense that tied the score with 9:24 let in the third quarter when senior defensive back Alec Wargo stepped in front of a Brennan Hosier pass.

Wargo bet Amherst receiver Adam Herbert to the spot, picked off the pass and took it to the house as the Westlke sideline erupted. Jesse Buhrman made the conversion kick, and it was anybody’s game at 7-7.

Westlake’s D held again, and the Demon offense took over. But a pair of penalties, a quarterback sack, a 3-yard loss and a no gainer brought up a fourth down and 37 at the Westlake 7-yard line.

A shanked punt, however, gave the Comets an opportunity at point-blank range. It only took five plays for Amherst to score a touchdown, kick the conversion nd regain the lead, 14-7. Still, the Demons were in the game with 3:30 left in the third.

But on the very first play from scrimmage, the Demons tried a flee-flicker, with the ball getting kicked back out to quarterback Mike Massaad. The senior got blindsided by the Amherst rush, and Biilly Ressler took the fumble into the end zone for a 21-7 Comet lead.

Then on their next possession, the Comets ripped off a 35-yard run to set themselves up at the Demon 35. Two plays later, Jason Stump took it up the gut for a 34-yrd score.

Just like that, it was 28-7 with 18 seconds left in the third.

“We tried the flea flicker, and it was open,” Campo said. “But Mike got sacked, and the wheels came off from there. You would expect Amherst would try to take advantage of things like that, and they did.

“We always talk about taking the next rung on the ladder,” Campo said. “We didn’t get that fifth rung, but we got to about four and a half. We’ll continue to lern from our mistakes. We’ll lern to be. Little bit more focused on our assignments.

“And, we’ll get better. This is a good group of guys, and they’re tired of everybody saying they’re a fluke. This team is not a fluke,” Campo added.

 

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