This, at last, was supposed to be the year that the Westhill football team, reigning kings of Class B West the last two years, got surpassed.
Marcellus had provided the proper prelude, starting 3-0. It had a highly-touted quarterback in Will Fiacchi, an explosive offense, an improved defense, and a chance in front of a loud, massive Homecoming crowd last Friday night to take charge of the league race.
And by the time it was done, absolutely nothing had changed. Westhill still ruled.
Playing a near-perfect first half on both sides of the ball, the Warriors plunged the Mustangs into a 26-0 hole and made sure the hosts never got out of it, eventually winning 39-20 to improve to 2-0 in league play.
What was already an intense rivalry between the two schools got hotter in 2007. Westhill beat Marcellus twice -- once in the regular season, the other time in the Section III Class B semifinals -- and scored 107 points as running back Dale Ross set all kinds of records.
In the minds of Mustang fans, the Warriors had gone too far, running up fat point totals when it wasn't necessary. Westhill fans objected to the objections, and the exchange continued right up to the time they met again.
Dale Ross was no longer around for Westhill -- but Mike DeCarr was. Without its star senior quarterback the first two weeks of the season, the Warriors got pummeled, Bishop Kearney and Oneida handling them by a combined 85-24.
When DeCarr's separated left (non-throwing) shoulder healed enough and he returned on Sept. 19, Westhill bashed Homer 51-13, DeCarr connecting with Dan Ross on four touchdown passes. That was an ominous warning to Marcellus, who had accumulated 118 points of its own in wins over Holland Patent, VVS and Phoenix.