After taking their first lead of the night with four minutes to go in the third quarter, the Santa Fe Wolves kept their feet on the pedal to take down No. 9 Westmoore 31-14 Friday night.
“(Our defense) played relentless and physical, made plays, came up with stops when they had to,” Santa Fe head coach Kyle White said, “really rose to the occasion and kept us in the game.”
Early misfortune plagued the Santa Fe offense. On its first drive of the night, the Wolves drove deep into Westmoore territory, coming three yards away from tasting their first blood.
A miscalculated center-quarterback exchange, however, resulted in a 90-yard fumble recovery for Westmoore, putting the Jaguars up by seven in the early minutes of the game.
Ethan Hychie got in the end-zone for the Wolves’ first score of the game on the following drive, tying the score at 7-7.
Both offenses stalled for most of the remainder of the first half until Westmoore’s Zane Chavez connected with Kaibren Grant for a 65-yard touchdown completion.
Caleb Bielamowicz knocked a 29-yard field goal between the pipes as the buzzer expired, putting the Wolves down by only four at the half-way point.
The Santa Fe defense made quick work of Westmoore’s first possession of the second-half, forcing a four-and-out and giving the ball back to the Wolves.
The Wolves inhaled more than six minutes of the game-clock on that possession before reaching the end-zone on a Hychie 4-yard-carry to take the lead.
“Ethan had a good night,” White said. “It was his turn to shine and he took advantage of it.”
Seconds later, linebacker James Stevenson found himself with the football in his hands 40 yards away from the end-zone after a forced fumble via Jeremiah Wulf-Cochrane.
“It felt good,” Stevenson laughed. “I looked up, the ball was on my hands, and I was like ‘oh, I’m gonna go score.’”
And that he did.
Stevenson took the ball the distance, and a 2-point conversion from Jorgen Olsen gave Santa Fe a 10-point lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
The Wolves never looked back.
“Second half, we got things going offensively and kind of took control,” White said, “but our defense played lights-out all-game.”
Hychie finished with 23 carries for 101 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win.
The now 6-2 Wolves take on No. 2 Jenks on the road next weekend.