Westhill blasts VVS, goes to Class B final

Westhill's undefeated football team is formidable enough without the need to give them much help.

But Vernon Verona Sherrill turned out to be quite generous to the Warriors in Friday night's Section III Class B semifiinal at West Genesee High School.

Six Red Devils turnovers, leading to 24 points, made the primary difference as Westhill won, 37-7, and advanced to its fourth consecutive Class B title game.

The Warriors will face Marcellus, playing in its first-ever sectional final, next Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. The Mustangs shut out Solvay 24-0 in the other semifinal in Camillus.

All season long, the Westhill defense had proved dominant against any kind of opponent, giving up just 65 total points on its way to eight consecutive victories.

However, VVS provided a stern challenge, at least on paper. The Red Devils built a 7-1 mark with an explosive offense that produced 266 points, an average of better than 33 points per game.

Knowing what it needed to do, the Warriors began to assert itself after Mark McAnaney's punt dropped on the one-yard line following Westhill's opening possession.

Kevin Wilson forced the first turnover, stepping in front of a Tyler Mautner pass at the 10-yard line and returning it to the Red Devils' one before Tyler Nigolian scored on the next play.

At first, the Red Devils shook it off, answering with a 55-yard drive where Mautner's 25-yard pass to Tyler Curtis on the right sideline was the big blow. Colin Way's two-yard TD run, plus a successful extra point, gave VVS a brief 7-6 advantage.

So it remained until the second quarter. After stopping VVS on its own 30-yard line, Westhill went 70 yards, often extending the drive with third-down passes from Jeff Law to Dan Ross.

However, at the Red Devils' 25, Westhill changed things up. Ross lined up behind center in a variation of the "Wildcat" formation, and VVS expected a run. Instead, Ross threw to Law on the wing, and the senior quarterback took off with sprinter's speed up the middle to the end zone. Law then returned the favor with a two-point pass to Ross, and the Warriors, up 14-7, would not trail again.

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