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This time, the breaks go Servite's way
WESTLAKE VILLAGE – Other than coming out on the right side of a coin flip, which guaranteed Servite a berth in the CIF-SS Pac-5 playoffs, nothing much has gone right for the Friars in the past two weeks.
Servite reversed its recent fortunes at the perfect time.
The Friars broke free from a halftime tie and defeated Westlake, 42-21, in the first round of the CIF-SS Pac-5 playoffs Friday night at Westlake High.
Servite (6-5) moves on to the quarterfinals and will host Alemany, which defeated Lakewood in its playoff opener.
“It feels good, feels good for the seniors to get another opportunity to play football,” Friars coach AJ Gass said.
Prior to the game, Gass said his team learned that it needed to play a complete game after suffering losses to JSerra and St. John Bosco to end the regular season.
Thanks to the running game, the Friars were able to put together the complete game they needed to advance.
The Friars marched 82 yards on the opening drive of the second half, which helped them break away from Westlake. The eight-play drive was capped off with Travis Waller's 9-yard touchdown run.
Tate Beachley ran for a 38-yard score on Servite's next possession, putting the Friars up by 14.
Any chance Westlake (8-3) had to gain some momentum vanished when a punt hit returner Nick Rodriguez and was recovered by Servite at the 8-yard line.
Waller made the Warriors pay for their mistake when he ran for his second touchdown of the quarter from 3 yards out.
“In the first half, we saw how they adjusted to what we were lining up in,” Gass said. “We made our adjustments in the second half and it ended up working out for us.”
Gass also compared the Warriors to JSerra. The first half played out like Servite's game against the Lions, a shootout.
Westlake, behind quarterback Malik Henry, moved the ball with ease on its opening drive, which resulted in a touchdown.
The Friars answered with two long touchdowns – a 90-yard kickoff return by Beachley and an 85-yard pass from Waller to Tony Brown – to grab a 14-7 lead.
Servite added another touchdown, but the Warriors scored twice more to tie the score at 21.
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