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Cats can't overcome slow start in loss to Gophers

Westview falls behind 21-0, rallies within one TD, loses 34-21


ROCK CREEK — There have been been challenges aplenty for the Westview football team in 2012 non-league play.

Friday night marked another of those when the Wildcats, hosting 11th-ranked Gresham, rallied from a 21-0 deficit and closed within one score in the fourth quarter before finally falling short 34-14 at Westview High School.

“I thought we played well in spurts, but it's a long game,” said Westview coach Greg Fisher. “We keep emphasizing to the kids that we need to be consistent.”

The Gophers (4-0) won on the consistency front as well as on the scoreboard, scoring in three of the night's four quarters while Westview didn't get to the end zone until the second half.

Gresham scored the only touchdown of Friday's first half when Micah Tolai hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass from Devon Shields to grab a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter.

Then, after a scoreless second frame, the Gophers added two more scores in the third, the first of those a 73-yard run by Devauntae Hoffman, the second a 29-yard burst from Issac Hinojosa that extended his team's lead to 21-0.

The Wildcats steadied themselves, though, and rallied with back-to-back scores at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. Westview notched its first score when Brendan Ralston grabbed a 14-yard touchdown pass from Julius Rucker and Matt Gorman added the extra point.

The Wildcats then closed within 21-14 in the fourth quarter when Rucker cashed in on a one-yard run and Gorman added the PAT again.

But Westview wouldn't score again, and Gresham pulled away with its final two TDs, first a 48-yard Hinojosa-to-Tolai TD pass, and then a nine-yard Hoffman scoring run.

“They're a good football team, but we need to get out of the gates better,” Fisher said. “We have some good kids who can do some things, but when opportunities present themselves, we have to capitalize.”

For the game, Rucker carried 14 times for 63 yards and also completed 16-of-30 passes for 141 yards, five of those to Teagan Lind for 72 yards. For Gresham, Hoffman carried 20 times for 205 yards.

On Friday, the Wildcats (0-0, 2-2) host top-ranked Aloha (1-0, 4-0) at 7:30 p.m.