On the second play of the game, star quarterback Aaron Bailey exited the game with a minor knee sprain. Later in the first quarter, receiver John Howard broke his ankle at the conclusion of a big gainer, requiring a stretcher and ambulance to leave the field.
Bolingbrook took a fair amount of lumps in the first half, but at halftime, Westphal, who is usually quiet, spoke up and rallied his defensive unit and the Raiders held the powerful East offense to only seven second half points.
"I just had to talk to the defense at halftime and get them to fight back," he said. "We only let up seven points after halftime."
Losing Bailey was a big blow for the Raiders, who predicate their offensive philosophy on the running ability of their backfield. Once Bailey comes back, Westphal believes it will be an uplifting change for the team.
"The team's aura changes in a positive direction," said Westphal. "You could see people on the sideline putting their heads down, but when Aaron comes back, that's a major piece to the puzzle. It's very important to have him. Him having the ball changes the game, because you know he's going to score."
In the meantime, opposing teams have been avoiding Westphal on a regular basis. It's a big testament to a player when an opposing offense respects him enough to not throw his way. But Westphal wouldn't mind having a few throws come his way.
"I've only really been getting tackles when teams run deep," he said. "They don't really throw my way. Teams haven't been throwing my way but I hope they do."
No surprise that teams know about him, and it's not a surprise that colleges do as well. Westphal has an impressive offer list, but still remains humble about it.
But his recruitment might get turned up a notch soon, as he's starting to hear from a couple of the top-tier programs in the country.
But Illinois has one advantage no other team has when it comes to Westphal's recruitment. Westphal and Aaron Bailey have a very close friendship, and that could come into play when Westphal goes to select a school.
"We're like best friends," he said, "so going to school with your best friend, that would be great. Plus we have an ex-teammate (Robbie Bain) down here, so that would be fun. I know it wouldn't be uncomfortable going to school when I have someone I know there."
Westphal does see a lot of opportunity at Illinois for both Bailey and himself potentially.
"The offense they're putting in and the fact that he can make an impact early on the field (are great for Aaron)," Westphal said. "I know what he can do on the field, so I wouldn't have to worry about the offense. Early playing time would be something I'd have to decide."