Westchester High School was down by only a field goal after the first half despite three offensive turnovers, but Fremont pulled away in the second half to defeat the host Comets 16-0 in a non-league football game Friday, October 8th.

The Comets (1-4) suffered their fourth-straight loss after opening the season with a 32-27 victory over Morningside High.

The Comets hung in tough with the undefeated Pathfinders (5-0) for the first half with the help of junior running back Jamal Sutherland, who saw his first action as a lead rusher this year.

Westchester’s other top running backs, Joshua Henry and Gregory Ray, have been out with ankle injuries, but Ray saw some minor action against Fremont.

Sutherland picked up yards for Westchester on the ground, but the Comet passing game had some early trouble.

The first three offensive drives of the game for Westchester ended in turnovers, including a fumble and two interceptions by junior quarterback Duron Sylvester, who finished 8-of-19 passing for 75 yards.

Fremont was unable to convert the three Westchester turnovers into points, but Lorenzo Bernal put the Pathfinders ahead 3-0 after a 29-yard field goal with 5:31 left in the first half.

“We have put several first halves together but we crumble in the second half,” Westchester first-year coach David Williams said. “We’re plagued with injuries and youth.

“We’re saddened that we couldn’t get a victory.”

Fremont opened the second half with a bang after a long 80-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Danny Williams, who finished with 120 yards receiving, from quarterback Carlos Lopez, putting the Pathfinders ahead 10-0.

Sutherland, who finished with 22 carries for 104 yards rushing, led the way for the Comet running game in the second half, but the Westchester offense was unable to execute a successful drive.

“I tried to come in and prove what I can do as a running back,” Sutherland said. “It was mostly the line stepping up, and I just went through the holes.

“We had to stick to the basic plan of running the ball.”

While the Comets had trouble scoring off the run, Fremont was able to find success from its rushing attack. With 7:35 left in the third quarter, Williams returned a Westchester punt to the 14-yard line.

Running back Andre Bouvay, who finished with 21 carries for 102 yards rushing, completed the drive with a six-yard touchdown run to stretch the Fremont lead to 16-0 after a blocked point after attempt.

Fremont again had a chance to score on a fourth-and-goal play from the one-yard line in its next drive, but the Pathfinders were unable to break through the wall of the Westchester defense.

The Comets will next focus on their pre-season goal of contending for the Western League title, when league play begins at home against Palisades High School at 4 p.m. Friday, October 15th.

In order to make a strong run at the league championship, the Comets need to have their players healthy, according to Sutherland, and Williams agreed with his running back.

“We’ll hope the injured are healthy and in short order,” Williams said.

In other local high school games last week:

St. Monica senior quarterback Mitch Smith was a factor in three of his team’s four touchdowns to help lead the Mariners to a 32-29 non-league victory over visiting Cantwell-Sacred Heart Friday, October 8th.

Santa Monica High School’s Christoff Neuman scored on an eight-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Kevin Poindexter with only two seconds left in the game to boost the Vikings to a 21-14 victory over Roosevelt Friday night, October 8th.

St. Bernard High School made the first scoring move with a touchdown in its opening drive, but two interceptions grabbed by Verbum Dei resulted in a 21-6 non-league loss for the visiting Vikings Saturday night, October 9th.

Venice High School did not play October 8th due to a bye week.

Next week:

St. Monica begins Camino Real League play against Verbum Dei High School at St. Bernard at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 16th.

Santa Monica will play at home against Inglewood High School for the first game of Ocean League play at 7 p.m. Friday, October 15th.

St. Bernard will play at home against Bosco Tech High School for its first Del Rey League game at 7 p.m. Friday, October 15th.

Venice plays its first Western League game at University High School at 2:30 p.m. Friday, October 15th.