Oct 15, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Forget the elements on hand, or the road setting, or the improved nature of the opposition. The Westhill football team was not about to surrender the Class B West division title, even if it had to share this time around.
Skaneateles is also bound for the post-season – but it received the full brunt of the Warriors Friday night, especially in the second half as a tight,tense affair transformed into a 51-14 rout that secured for Westhill a tie for the league title and, again, a top seed for the Class B playoffs.
It did not take too long for Westhill to establish itself against a wounded Skaneateles defense, despite the howling wind and cold rain that blew through the Lakers’ home field and the emotions everyone felt on Senior Night.
Twice in the first quarter, the Warriors came up with scoring drives, the offensive line punishing the Lakers as R.J. Chester, fast becoming Westhill’s feature back, climaxed both marches with touchdown runs – one of three yards, the other of 33 yards. He also made both extra points and would go seven-for-seven on the night with PATs.
When Matt Trendowski scored on a four-yard run early in the second quarter, Westhill had a 21-0 lead and threatened to end it quickly. To its credit, though, Skaneateles would climb back into the contest before halftime.
Though it was tough to throw in the gusty conditions, Conor Herr still pieced together a pair of scoring marches, ending them with short touchdown passes – five yards to Jacob Cooney, then (after a Westhill fumble that Luke Drancsak recovered) eight yards to Brandon Barron, who also caught a two-point pass. Thus, at halftime the Lakers only trailed 21-14, and was one big play from pulling even.
And a big play happened – only it was Westhill’s defense doing the honors as it recorded a safety early in the third quarter, just the start of an avalanche of 30 unanswered points.
Trendowski hit on his second and third TD’s before the third period was done as he scored on runs of one and eight yards. Not to be left out, Nathan Nigolian returned a punt 45 yards for six points in the fourth quarter, and Nick Vitagliano broke loose for a 57-yard touchdown in the final minutes.
Herr threw 48 passes, completing 19 of them for 169 yards. James Smith had a team-high six catches, though it covered just 37 yards as Cooney had three catches for 53 yards. Ryan Sherman led the Lakers’ defense with eight tackles, as Drancsak and Tyler Saunders each got seven tackles and Ryan Dick got six tackles.
Skaneateles now knows that it will face Class B East division champion Cazenovia next Saturday in the first round of the sectional playoffs. Meanwhile, Westhill had to wait until the weekend to find out that it would host Oneida Friday night in the opening round as it looks for back-to-back sectional titles.