Sep 30, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Now the West Genesee football team entered the portion of its schedule where it would be quite easy to lose focus and look forward to bigger battles ahead.
Perhaps some teams fall into that trap — but not the Wildcats.
Instead, when WG ventured east to face Utica Proctor last Friday night, it showed a vast improvement on the defensive side. That, combined with another star turn from quarterback Jim Marks, led to a 37-6 romp over the winless Raiders.
This marks the Wildcats’ 10th win in a row, dating back to last year’s state Class AA title run. And with the top spot in the state AA rankings, WG is quite aware that every opponent will take their best shots.
In the case of Proctor, going in with an 0-3 mark, that meant holding the Wildcats scoreless in the first quarter. Maybe the long bus ride had something to do with it, but the bottom line was that WG could not produce anything, leaving the teams 0-0 — and leaving Raiders fans to dream about a shocking surprise.
Marks would start to suppress those thoughts, though, in the second period. He put WG on the board by finding his favorite target, Jake Fietkiwiecz, for a 22-yard touchdown strike. It was Fietkiwiecz’a ninth TD of the season, which is tops among Class AA-1 division players.
Then came an even bigger blow. From his own 15-yard late in the half, Marks threw deep and found John Glesener, the California transfer and hero on the Wildcats’ state championship lacrosse team last spring. The touchdown strike covered 85 yards, the longest play of the season, and helped WG move in front 14-0 going into the break.
That margin would double in the third quarter as Marks continued to pounce. He hit Joe Fazio on a 30-yard scoring pass, then took off himself on a 14-yard scramble to the end zone, his second rushing TD in as many weeks.
For a fourth-quarter encore after Fazio’s 30-yard field goal, Marks found Glesener again, this one a 32-yard scoring connection.
Behind a stout line anchored by Stefan Cavedine and Craig Simmons, Marks threw 28 passes, completing 16 of them for 298 yards.
While all this was going on, WG’s defense, led by Fietkiewicz, Cavedine, Dave Hildman, Tom Flynn and Christos Dimkos, beat up on the Raiders, not allowing a point until the fourth quarter, when the game was well out of reach. It was a vast improvement on having allowed 35 points to Auburn and 34 points to Liverpool earlier in the season.
WG confronts a similar scenario to Proctor when it visits Fayetteville-Manlius Friday night at 7 p.m. The Hornets have started 0-4, the latest blow a 36-7 loss to Cicero-North Syracuse, and will be desperate to turn things around.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats sit tied for first in Class AA-1 with CBA and CNS, both of whom are also 4-0. Since WG plays the Brothers and Northstars the last two weeks of the regular season, it will take every bit of the team’s concentration to avoid looking ahead to those showdowns — just like it did at Utica Proctor.