Westlake junior gains 246 yards, scores 3 TDs
By Jim Horvath
Over the first five games of the season, Westlake’s defense had been a big part of the Demons’ 4-1 start.
Friday night at North Olmsted, the Demon offensive line and senior fullback Amir Odetallah made their presence felt.
Oh, and then there was that junior tailback…that guy named Brick. Jonathan Brick, that is. From start to finish, Brick hit hole after hole that his line and Odetallah opened for him. When it was all said and done, he had run the ball 42 times for 246 yards and three touchdowns as Westlake prevailed, 21-7.
With the win, the Demons moved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Southwestern Conference. The Eagles, who had no answer for Brick the entire night, slipped to 2-4.
“Our offensive line tonight was amazing,” Brick said as his teammates headed off to the buses. “There were big holes…huge holes. After that first drive, I knew they couldn’t stop us.”
That first drive consisted of 17 running plays as Westlake ground it out from it’s 14-yard line all the way down to the Eagle 5. Brick had 12 of those carries for 56 yards, including runs for 12 and 10 yards. While the Demons failed to score, the tone had been set, the message delivered.
After the Demon D forced a three and out, the visitors took over at the Eagle 43-yard line. The drive didn’t last long, and went just as planned:
Brick, 18-yard gain.
Brick, 5-yard gain.
Brick, 16-yard run.
Brick, held to no gain.
Brick, four yards to his left for a 6-0 Westlake lead. The conversion kick went wide right, but it didn’t seem to matter. North Olmsted failed to answer before the half, missing on a field goal attempt and turning the ball over on an interception as Westlake’s Kyle Perkins stepped in front of a Mike Shoemaker pass.
On their second possession of the second half, Westlake went 65 yards on 13 plays. Brick took it in from five yards out, then threw the 2-point conversion pass to senior Oliver Mooney for a 14-0 Westlake lead with :28.8 left in the third quarter.
Westlake’s defense struck again in the fourth as Mooney picked off a pass. But North Olmsted finally scored with 3:21 left in the game when Shoemaker found Michael Gessner on a 20-yard touchdown strike. Nick Stone-Weiss nailed the kick, and it was 14-7, with everybody expecting the onside kick.
The attempt was made, but the Demons recovered without incident near midfield.
On the very first play, Brick took the handoff from quarterback Mike Massaad for an 8-yard gain, putting him over the 200-yard plateau. He would take five more handoffs, capping off his big night with a 20-yard touchdown run. Jess Buhrman made the conversion kick, and the Demons began to celebrate with :32.6 left in the game.
“We challenged our offense all week in practice,” said Westlake head coach Mark Campo, whose team went into the game holding the eighth spot in the region in the first state computer rankings earlier this week.
“We told them it was time for them to step up to the plate, to move people off the line of scrimmage,” Campo said. “Odetallah was blocking well, and Jonathan…he’s a special player. He always finds a way to gain yards.
“We definitely made a statement with that first drive,” he said. “We didn’t score, but we really needed that. We needed something to get us going, and it definitely carried us for the rest of the game.”
North Olmsted head coach Mike Ptacek said his team just couldn’t match the physical play the Demons brought to the game.
“They were mp physical than we were and just ran it at us,” Ptacek said. “They were physical, and we couldn’t match it. At 5-1, they’re playing well, and we just didn’t get them stopped.
“We still had the effort out there tonight, Westlake just had the better team tonight,” he added.