Gary Wellman had no inkling before Thursday night’s game that his Westlake Warriors would dominate San Marcos in the opening football game of the season for both high schools.
“But after the first series,” Wellman said, “we suspected a lot of things would go our way.”
A lot of things went Westlake’s way.
The Warriors, behind Wellman’s running, rolled to a 42-7 win over the Royals at Thousand Oaks High.
Wellman, a senior, rushed for 172 yards on 12 carries, including three touchdowns on runs of 40, 11 and 29 yards.
The Warriors dominated the undermanned Royals, compiling 424 yards in total offense.
“The magic number in football is 24,” Westlake Coach George Contreras said. “If you score 24 points, you will win eight out of 10 games.”
Westlake had more than that by halftime.
The Warriors led, 35-0, by intermission, holding the Royals to just 56 total yards.
Westlake scored the first time it had the ball, marching 74 yards in seven plays.
Quarterback Brad Gossen hit Todd Thompson from four yards out to make it 6-0 with 6:35 remaining in the opening quarter. The extra point was blocked.
After San Marcos turned the ball over at the Warriors’ 48-yard line, Westlake needed just two plays to score again.
Gossen, who completed 13 of 16 passes for 161 yards, hit Chris Mann for 12 yards on the drive’s first play.
Wellman then dashed 40 yards for a score. Gossen’s pass to Thompson accounted for a two-point conversion and a 14-0 Westlake led with 5:30 remaining in the first period.
Early in the second period, Westlake moved 78 yards in seven plays for another score.
Wellman capped off the drive with an 11-yard run 3:45 into the second period.
Westlake scored again on its next possession, this time economically moving 52 yards in seven plays.
Gossen connected with Steve Sidler from six yards out to increase the margin to 28-0.
After San Marcos’ Conrad Nolan fumbled at his 26-yard line, Westlake struck again.
On a fourth-and-16 play from the 32, Gossen threw his third touchdown pass, this one to Gary Slavin.
The score came with 1:18 left in the half and after Westlake had called two timeouts on the drive.
Contreras defended his two timeout calls, saying his team needed to practice its two-minute offense.
“Also, we were once ahead 19-0 in a playoff game in the first half before losing, 20-19,” Contreras said. “I’ve learned you don’t call off the dogs in the first half.”
San Marcos Coach Moe Claydon didn’t appear angry about Westlake’s last TD drive of the half.
“It’s all part of the game,” he said. “They are just more experienced.”
The second half was merely time for the reserves to see action.
Wellman, who had 125 yards on nine carries in the first half, opened the second half with a 64-yard run for an apparent score.
But the Warriors were called for holding, one of the few mistakes they made.
The Royals’ only score came on a two-yard run by quarterback Mark Simkins. That was the only bright spot for Simkins, who completed just four of 16 passes for 63 yards.
Westlake’s final score came on Wellman’s 29-yard run with 10:51 remaining in the game.