Wildcats make stop, edge past Corcoran

An entire season, and the reign of West Genesee as state Class AA football champions, hinged on a single play.

The Wildcats led by one over Corcoran with 21.3 seconds to play in last Friday's Section III Class AA first-round playoff game in Camillus, but had just seen the Cougars go in the end zone when Rasheid Burns threw a five-yard touchdown pass to LaQuan Rouse.

Without a kicker, the Cougars had no choice but to go for two points and the win. Yet it still looked good for Corcoran since it had tailback Henry Bradley, who had tortured WG's defense all night, piling up 295 yards on 35 carries, and was quite capable of gaining three more yards.

At this moment, though, when it absolutely had to make a stop, WG did so, stuffing Bradley short of the goal line.

Moments later, the Wildcats had recovered the onside kick and were the relieved survivors of a 27-26 thriller where it had to rally in the second half, then hung on against Bradley and his determined Corcoran mates.

Though the Cougars came into this game 3-4, it had not lost any of its games by more than nine points all season, including one-point defeats to Liverpool (23-22) and Baldwinsville (27-26), so WG knew it would be a challenge.

Playing for the first time this season on its Field Turf facility, the Wildcats went through a nervous start, requiring its defense to make the first big play.

Corcoran was driving deep in WG territory when Burns tried a swing pass to the sideline -- but Jake Fietkiewicz anticipated it, got the interception, and took off, untouched, 91 yards to the other end zone.

Bradley answered early in the second quarter, going 23 yards for his first TD of the night, only to see WG stage its first good drive of the night, capped by Sirron Wright's one-yard scoring plunge to make it 13-6.

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