Senior quarterback Bo Berluti finished with 206 yards of total offense and running back Dan Roache had his fourth quarter interception rewarded with a 1-yard touchdown run as Division 4 Westwood opened its season at home with a statement win over Division 2 Needham, 36-26, Saturday evening.
Westwood found pay dirt on its first two drives against the Rockets, as a 2-yard run and a 34-yard sprint by Berluti and Roache, respectively, gave the Wolverines an early 12-0 lead. By the end of the first, another Roache scamper, this one for 18 yards, put Westwood on top, 18-0.
After a rough first quarter on both ends of the ball, Needham found its groove in the second. Senior captain Mike Panepinto scored twice in the frame, once from 25 yards and another from the Westwood 47 to put the Rockets on the board. Sandwiched between Panepinto’s scores was a Chris Hanley 38-yard touchdown reception from Berluti that put the halftime score at 24-14 in favor of Westwood.
Berluti hooked up with junior Will Jessup for an 80-yard score midway through the third, but the play was called back due to a penalty on Westwood. However, on the next play Berluti connected with sophomore Jimmy Fallon, who came back to meet the ball and shook the defense to push the lead to 22 points, 30-14.
Needham quarterback Ryan Charter connected with wide receiver Mike Elcock for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Roache’s 1-yard scamper with just over six minutes remaining sealed the win for Westwood.
Panepinto finished with 15 rushes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, while Charter finished 17 for 31 passing for 185 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions for the Rockets.
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