Sep 19, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Less than two minutes remained in Friday night’s game in Camillus, and the West Genesee football team again found itself on the receiving end of a crucial two-point conversion attempt.
Only this time, the Wildcats made the stop – and by doing so, held on to beat Utica Proctor 21-20 for its first win of the 2009 season in the Class AA-2 division opener.
Seven days earlier, WG saw its non-league game with state-ranked Liverpool turn around when the Warriors faked a tying extra point late in the third quarter, instead having kicker Jimmy Wright throw a two-point pass to Mike Donitzen.
But when Proctor paid a visit to the artificial-turf version of Wildcat Stadium on a chilly September evening, the important conversion try would come at the end – and stopping it might have saved WG’s season in the wake of losses to Baldwinsville and Liverpool.
WG had a 21-6 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Proctor made a strong late surge to make every Wildcat fan nervous.
First, quarterback Will Hawkins threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Walkery Mills, and the pair connected for two points to cut the margin to 21-14.
Then, with 1:44 left and the ball on his own 42, Hawkins took off from the pocket through a huge hole, going all the way to the end zone to cut the margin to one.
Without confidence in its kicking game, the Raiders went for two points and a possible win. But the Wildcats, burned on two big plays, broke up Hawkins’ two-point pass, then recovered the ensuing kickoff to hold on and win.
All this threatened to negate the vast improvement displayed by WG’s defense. Having allowed 77 total points to Liverpool and B’ville the Wildcats clamped down against Proctor, blanking them in the first half.
So instead of keeping up with a potent offense, WG instead had time to get in front – and did so.
Connor Zeman threw a 10-yard pass to Josh Phillips for a first-quarter TD. Sean Howard scored on a one-yard run which, combined with Zeman’s two-point pass to Matt Naton, made it 14-0 as they went to halftime.
Amid Proctor’s second-half revival, WG would score once, on Sirron Wright’s one-yard run, his sixth TD of the season. No one, at the time, realized how important Mike Moran’s extra point would be.
WG will go for back-to-back wins on Friday, at Henninger, where the Black Knights will try to shake off losses to CBA and Corcoran where it scored just 18 total points.