Football

High school football: Former safety shines at quarterback in Westmont victory

SAN JOSE — Longtime Westmont coach Mark Kaanapu found his next dual-threat quarterback on Thursday night. 

And all he had to do was look in the secondary. 

After playing as a safety for his junior year, Mason Pound began his senior season under center. 

His stat line? Eighty yards rushing, 42 yards passing, two touchdowns and a 23-7 victory on the road over a Del Mar team that aims to control the clock with its ground game. 

“When you’re going against an offense like that, you’re not going to get many possessions,” Pound said. “And it’s just a different game since we’re rivals and we know people on that team.”

On the other side, Del Mar’s senior quarterback Andre Latimore carried the Dons, rushing for 231 of his team’s 312 yards and scoring one rushing TD. It was almost twice as many as Westmont’s leading rusher Spencer Hoang, who himself ran for 121 yards and a TD, caught four passes for 38 yards and hauled in Pound’s TD pass.

“Andre is a stud, and he carries and leads this team,” Del Mar coach Robert Chapman said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m proud of the way the guys played.”

SAN JOSE - Del Mar QB Andre Latimore reacts after a play. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar high school in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN JOSE – Del Mar QB Andre Latimore reacts after a play. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar High School in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

After Pound linked up with Hoang on a rollout pass that ended in a jump-ball touchdown in the corner of the end zone on the opening drive, Del Mar answered by marching downfield on a clinical 16-play drive — all runs — that concluded with a three-yard Latimore score on a powerful QB sneak to make 7-7. 

Senior Bradley Tavish also had 47 yards as an interior rusher on Thursday. Del Mar did not complete any of its four passes. 

Keyed by a darting 28-yard run by Hoang down the right sideline, Pound punched in a seven-yard TD run with 1:35 to go in the second quarter. There had been three possessions and three scores up to that point.

The tone of the second half was set early in the third quarter. After Del Mar methodically worked its way down the field with run after run, the Dons had fourth and goal on the two-yard line.

Westmont’s interior lineman Adrian Parra led a charge that stifled the determined Del Mar runner and forced a change of possession. 

“That goal line play was probably the biggest moment,” Chapman said. “The quarterback stuck out the ball, there’s a pile of bodies, and they went the other way.”

Del Mar got a gift in the form of a fumble on Westmont’s ensuing possession, but the home team had a 35-yard field goal blocked to keep the deficit at 13-7. 

Westmont’s Demsin Bet-Varda knocked in a 37-yard FG with eight minutes left in the game to make it a two-score lead at 16-7, and then Hoang delivered the finishing blow with his late 62-yard TD with a couple of minutes left. 

“It’s hard to get a win on the road, and when you get the first one, then you can use it as a building block,” Kaanapu said, adding that he wanted his team to eliminate the penalties that was one of the reasons the game ran almost three hours long. 

Westmont will play at Fremont-Sunnyvale next Friday, and Del Mar will try to rebound at Sobrato on Thursday. 

SAN JOSE - Del Mar coach Robert Chapman addresses his team in the first half. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar high school in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN JOSE – Del Mar coach Robert Chapman addresses his team in the first half. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar high school in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN JOSE - A Westmont running back runs the football. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar high school in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN JOSE – A Westmont running back runs the football. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar high school in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN JOSE - Del mar running back Bradley Travish (24) runs the football. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar high school in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN JOSE – Del mar running back Bradley Travish (24) runs the football. Del Mar and Westmont played in a high school football game at Del Mar high school in San Jose Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

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