MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. The Westlake High School football team had just completed a dominating performance against Roosevelt on Saturday, but, despite seven rushing touchdowns and a dominant ground game, none of the running backs wanted to take any credit after the 47-12 win.
All the credit goes to the offensive line, said senior running back Dan Bassi. When youve got those holes and those cutback lanes, its just a no-brainer: run to green grass. And thats what I tried to do.
Bassis teammate in the backfield, John Ray Policarpio, praised his blockers, as well.
Our line just did great blocking. Thats all I can say, Policarpio said. Its all up to the line. Without the line, I couldnt have done anything.
The Wildcats jumped on Roosevelt early, particularly Bassi, who scored the first two Westlake touchdowns and set up the third with a big gain, all of which occurred in the first quarter. The senior said the early lead was crucial to the teams success on Saturday.
When you get up early, it just raises the whole morale of the team, Bassi said. It gives confidence to the defense, and they did a great job, by the way. So getting up early is definitely important. We wanted to score early.
Bassi shredded the Indians defense throughout the afternoon, including a 60-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that made it 14-0 in Westlakes favor. The coaches pulled Bassi out of the game after some soreness in his side, as the Wildcats had a comfortable lead and did not want to take any chances with the seniors health.
The rest of Westlakes rushing attack did its share, as well. Policarpio broke free twice in the second quarter for a pair of rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Chris Gorman punched it in from third and inches in the first quarter a few plays after a big run by Bassi. And Jake Carpenter added another rushing score on Westlakes first possession of the second half.
The balanced rushing attack is something Bassi said the Wildcats would try to perpetuate throughout the season.
Thats why I think were going to be so successful, Bassi said. We have a lot of depth in our backfield. Weve got a lot of people who can run the ball. Weve got good athletes.
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