They call him D Train --and for good reason. He’s built like a small locomotive, powerful enough to bulldoze those who stand between him and his next stop--the end zone.
Don Donester rushed for a career-best five touchdowns to lead Harvard-Westlake High to a 35-21 nonleague victory over St. Bonaventure on Saturday afternoon.
For Donester, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior tailback, it was a day like no other. Although he is in his second year as the starting tailback for the Wolverines, scoring multiple touchdowns is something new to him. But, it’s a feeling to which he is quickly becoming accustomed.
“I didn’t even have five touchdowns last year,” Donester said. “This was like a high for me--a football high.”
Donester, who ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns against St. Monica a week earlier, rushed for 178 yards in 30 carries and scored on five short-yardage runs, all six yards or less.
Donester amassed 717 yards in 149 carries as a junior, but found the end zone only four times.
“Our offensive line really sucked it up today. They did the job they had to do,” Donester said.
St. Bonaventure helped out too.
“Their linebackers weren’t that speedy so I tried to get outside as much as possible.”
St. Bonaventure (1-1), which beat Paraclete last week, stayed within striking distance until early in the fourth quarter when Donester’s final score gave the Wolverines a commanding 35-14 lead.
Harvard seemed to tighten its defense after assuming the 21-point margin. The Wolverines dropped St. Bonaventure backs for losses on three consecutive plays, and Andrew Montanegro punted from the Seraph 17 on fourth and 25.
But the Wolverines gave the ball back on the next play, when Montanegro intercepted Derek Lempkin’s pass at the St. Bonaventure 35.
Within three minutes, the Seraphs trimmed Harvard’s lead to 35-21. Jim Lyon (10 carries, 66 yards) capped a 65-yard scoring drive with a one-yard run, his second of the day. But, after an unsuccessful onside kick, Harvard ran out the clock on seven rushes to end it.
Harvard (2-0) scored on its first five possessions, grinding it out on the ground with the tag team of Donester and fullback Danny Mason, who rushed for 92 yards in 13 carries.
It took the Wolverines less than five minutes to score on their opening drive.
St. Bonaventure answered with an impressive march of its own, starting at its 30 and picking up three first downs. But the Seraphs stalled at the Harvard 17 when Brad Burnett’s pass fell incomplete on fourth and five.
The Wolverines increased their lead to 14-0 midway through the second quarter on a five-yard run by Donester.
But the Seraphs struck back with a 10-play, 80-yard advance, scoring on Burnett’s keeper from the three with 2:57 left in the half.
Harvard retaliated just before intermission, though, as quarterback Chris Gabriele completed three of four passes for 40 yards to help set up Donester’s third touchdown of the day for a 21-7 Wolverine lead with 29 seconds remaining.