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Westlake Football Finds Balanced Rushing Attack

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – The Westlake High School football team dominated Roosevelt Saturday in a 47-12 win thanks to its running game.

The Wildcats racked up seven rushing touchdowns as the offensive line, led by senior Tommy Hopkins, opened up holes for the running backs all afternoon. Westlake coach Rich Hennessy said he made a concerted effort to get the running game going early.

“The line has been our strength. We knew that coming into the season,” Hennessy said. “We knew our backs were going to hit the holes. Our primary purpose was just to move the ball the best we could and just continue getting positive yards every time.”

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of Westlake’s rushing attack was its balance. Four different rushers scored for the Wildcats -- Dan Bassi, John Ray Policarpio, Jake Carpenter and quarterback Chris Gorman.

Hennessy said both the line and the rushers did their jobs, but he also was pleased the backups had success.

“When you put all those kids in like that, it really is the execution on everybody’s part,” Hennessy said. “It’s the line doing their job. But just to see how our guys … were able to mesh together and to get the plays off, that’s what we look for with the kids is to have no let up between the first and second teams.”

The balanced rushing attack is something Bassi said would be crucial to the Wildcats’ season.

“That’s why I think we’re going to be so successful,” Bassi said. “We have a lot of depth in our backfield. We've got a lot of people who can run the ball. We've got good athletes.”

Westlake lost a 34-25 contest to Class B powerhouse Our Lady of Lourdes in its season opener. But Hennessy said the win against Roosevelt could give the Wildcats momentum when they play at Byram Hills at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“A win’s always good,” Hennessy said. “A win on your home field is great. It gets you going in the right direction and hopefully starts the ball rolling in for more.”

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