By Rob Tetro
The Phoenix varsity football teams’ struggles continued when they took on Westhill Oct. 11.
Westhill wasted little time putting the game out of reach. During the second quarter, Phoenix scored its only points of the game after Westhill built a 35-0 lead. Westhill tacked on a couple of more touchdowns during the second half en route to a 56-6 win over the Firebirds.
Early in the first quarter, Westhill took a 7-0 lead when Ryan Orbist blocked a Phoenix punt and returned it 33 yards for the score. Later in the first quarter. Ja’Shai Jamison ran for a 62-yard touchdown to put Westhill ahead, 14-0.
Westhill continued to pour it on during the second quarter. They took a 21-0 lead when Reed Derrenbacher tossed a 55-yard touchdown pass to Jack Centore. Later in the second quarter, Derrenbacher struck again, finding Joesph Rainone for a 29-yard touchdown pass to give Westhill a 28-0 lead.
Westhill expanded its lead when Brendan Fesinger recovered a Phoenix fumble and returned it 31 yards for the touchdown to put Westhill ahead, 35-0.
The Firebirds got onto the scoreboard on the ensuing kickoff when Tim Gandino returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for the score to cut Westhill’s lead to 35-6.
Just before halftime, Westhill took a 42-6 lead when Brendan Fesinger caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Reed Derrenbacher to give Westhill a 42-6 lead headed into halftime.
Westhill capped off an impressive performance with a couple of touchdowns during the second half. During the third quarter, they took a 49-6 lead when Ja’Shai Jameson ran for a 31 yard touchdown. During the fourth quarter, Wyatt Torrance ran the ball in from 30 yards out to bring the score to 56-6.
Phoenix was led by running back Tim Gandino, who had 38 yards on 18 carries against Westhill. He also returned a kickoff 85 yards. Dylan Doupe had 7 rushes for 31 yards, Brock Maruscak had 14 carries for 5 yards and he completed a 26-yard pass to Kameron Miller.
Defensively, Phoenix was led by Ashton Morrison, with 8 tackles, followed by Austin Wirth and Dylan Doupe with 4 tackles each and Brock Maruscak and Zach Young had 3 tackles each.
Phoenix now has an 0-6 overall record. Up next for The Firebirds is its Senior Night Game against Marcellus Oct. 18. It will be a history making day for the Phoenix football program as it will be the first ever night game ever played in Ph