The Westinghouse Bulldogs shut down the Farrell Steelers’ high powered offense—which averaged 42 points per game to that point—in a 34-6 drubbing that sent the House to the state semifinals.
The Bulldogs’ defensive line led the charge, crashing into the backfield on almost every play.
Senior defensive tackle Donte Taylor made his presence felt constantly, eating up blockers when he wasn’t making tackles for loss.
Taylor said the Bulldogs’ selfless play contributed to the unit’s success.
“My whole front five put in work. We show up, Sunday practices, do hard work,” Taylor said. “I’m happy, myself, to be with these guys.”
Taylor said that the Bulldogs don’t just want to win games: they want to win their way, playing as a family, taking after their mascot with a pack mentality.
“Dog mentality, we’re playing Westinghouse football. I mean, it’s really part of our culture,” Taylor said. “We bond as brothers, like even on our off time: even when we don’t [have] practice… we’re still together…outside of football, outside of school, we’re together as family.”
Taylor said that although Westinghouse has steamrolled opponents all season, they didn’t always play the brand of team football they rely on now.
“Even though… we [were] still putting up numbers on the other teams… we don’t count that win as an individual,” Taylor said. “We count wins as a family.”
The win over Farrell was a reverse of 2021, when the Steelers ended Westinghouse’s season. Taylor said the rematch began with trash talk, but that staying focused on the team prevented hot-headed mistakes.
“Last year we lost to Farrell, they talked a lot of stuff. Even this year, they talked a lot of stuff, but that [didn’t] faze us,” Taylor said. “Where we come from, how our culture is, our coach taught us different. We build off our mistakes, and we just go and play as family.”
Following each game, the Bulldogs huddle to shout out players who showed heart or made a difference.
After the win over Farrell, defensive end Michael Richardson’s name came up half a dozen times.
Taylor was one player who time to recognize Richardson, who effectively took up residence in Farrell’s backfield during the game.
“He’s a dog. He’s only a junior,” Taylor said. “He had like four sacks, I think…he kept his gap, he let the plays come to him…he was there, he showed up today.”