WESTFIELD, NJ — Although they lost, Westfield High School’s football team made strides in week two against Bridgewater-Raritan, especially running back Shane Carlin.

The senior ran for 51 yards on 19 carries, compared to 18 carries for 36 yards in week one. Carlin is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week.

“In between week one and two I spent a lot of time watching film to understand Bridgewater-Raritan’s defense,” Carlin said. “The offensive line also stepped up paving the way for a bigger day in the run game.”

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After having their opening game at Union canceled and being forced to stop practice for two weeks due to positive COVID-19 cases in the school community, the Blue Devils are 0-2.

“The two-week break greatly affected the guys as a group,” Carlin said. “Not being able to play or practice took away from the time as a team that we would’ve had to practice and better ourselves.”

In the 2019 season, Carlin carried the ball only 16 times behind Tim Alliegro, who plays at Susquehanna University now, but he has stepped up this year.

“Shane is one of our hardest workers on and off the field, and it’s starting to show on game day,” head coach Jim DeSarno said. “He’s a great example for our underclassmen.”

The Blue Devils graduated a big 2020 class, including three Division I offensive players.

“The guys on the team last year were a really big influence in my play,” Carlin said about his former teammates. “Their style of play really pushed me to be my best and run hard in my senior season.”