SANTA FE SPRINGS -- Well, the good news Friday was sophomore Chad Kanoff made quite a debut as Harvard-Westlake High's new starting quarterback, replacing struggling two-year starter Max Heltzer.
In a Mission League game against host St. Paul, the youngster went into unfriendly confines at the Pit – that's what everyone calls St. Paul's home stadium – and completed 24 of 34 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns, including going 10 of 13 in the first half.
The bad news? Harvard-Westlake lost again in a 30-28 defeat that officially knocked the injury-strapped Wolverines (2-6-1, 0-5) out of playoff contention, as St. Paul drove 79 yards in 10 plays in the final minutes to score the winning touchdown on David Cabral's 1-yard run.
"I think Chad did a really good job for us tonight," Harvard-Westlake coach Vic Eumont said. "Everyone on the offense really went to work for him, especially our senior receivers in Clinton Hooks, Noor Fateh, and Ethan Neale. They all did what they could to find the open spots for Chad. Chad has the instincts in moving around but showed just how mobile he is.
"I am very pleased in what I saw with Chad tonight. He is our starter now."
Ethan Neale, who missed much of the early season with a knee injury, had eight receptions for 108 yards and a 13-yard touchdown.
"I can only really give credit to the offensive line for giving Chad the time to step up to throw and find the holes in the secondary," Neale said. "Chad did a hell of a job tonight for us. We were up there and should have kept it up. We did not execute well in the last drive, and we couldn't stop St. Paul."
Noor Fateh caught nine passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. He has 48 catches for 771 yards and eight touchdowns.
But the Wolverine defense has no answers for the dynamic rushing duo of Michael Ortega and Cabral, who combined 324 yards on 37 carries. Ortega, with 20 carries for 234 yards, busted a 70-yard run on the second play from scrimmage. He had 10 carries of 10-plus yards and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass. Cabral, with 17 carries and 90 yards, and scored the winning touchdown.
St. Paul 30, Harvard-Westlake 28
Harvard-Westlake 0 14 7 7 -- 28
Serra 7 7 3 13 -- 30
STP – Reyes 12 pass from Telles (Gonzalez kick)
STP – Ortega 25 pass from Telles (Gonzalez kick)
HW – Fateh 20 pass from Kanoff (Oliver kick)
HW – Kanoff 1 run (Oliver kick)
HW – Fateh 14 pass from Kanoff (Oliver kick)
STP – Gonzalez 28 field goal
HW – Neale 13 pass from Kanoff (Oliver kick)
STP – Serrano 12 pass from Telles (Gonzalez kick)
STP – Cabral 1 run (kick failed)
HW: Kanoff: 24-34-1 276 yards 3 TDs. STP: Telles: 11-17-1 158 yards 2 TDs.
HW: Kline15-30. STP: Ortega 20-234, TD, Cabral: 17-90 TD
HW: Fateh: 9-113 2 TDs; Neale: 8-108 TD; Hooks: 5-42; Dix: 2-24. STP: Ortega: 2-39; Carrillo 1-12 TD, Gonzalez 2-20 TD, Serrano 1-12 TD; Cabral 1-34; Gallegos 1-7