A brilliant all-around performance by Dale Ross helped give the Westhill football team a chance to win its third Section III Class B championship in four years.
The multifaceted Ross carried the Warriors on both sides of the ball as it beat Holland Patent, 48-28, last Friday night at Solvay's Earl Hadley Stadium in the Class B semifinals.
The junior had 27 carries for a career --high 306 yards and four touchdowns. He also had two interceptions on the defensive side and threw a TD pass to Jake Burgess in the fourth quarter.
"That was the best performance I have seen throughout Dale's whole career," said head coach Gary Griffo. "He was phenomenal tonight. It seemed like whenever we needed to score, Dale made it happen."
In the first quarter, Westhill raced out to a 14-0 lead, scoring on its first two possessions. Using just four plays, it scored as Ross cruised through the right line of the defense untouched for a 51 yard TD run.
Moments later, defensive end Tom Trendowski recovered a fumble at the 50 yard line. Ross ran twice for good yardage, and Dan Fetter threw a 24-yard scoring pass to Trendowski, who doubles as the Warriors' tight end.
Holland Patent was resilient and, for a while, rose up to the challenge, scoring twice on its next three possessions to tie it, 14-14.
The Golden Knights' first scoring drive came when their offense drove the ball to the one yard line. Quarterback Jared Keyte plunged into the end zone for the first score.
In the second quarter, HP blocked a Westhill punt, and got excellent field position at the 26-yard line. On the next play, Keyte threw to the end zone and found Erik Porter to tie things up.
All this seemed to do, though, was push Westhill to a higher level of play, as it took command for good with 22 unanswered points before halftime.