Marcellus Right away, the local high school football teams in the Class B West division found themselves in tight, low-scoring affairs on the opening Friday night of the season.
Westhill went up against rival Solvay at Earl Hadley Stadium and had, by its own standards, a subpar effort. But it was still enough to win 14-7 and spoil the debut of new Bearcats head coach Matt Shutts.
Not far away, the Marcellus Mustangs had a golden chance to knock off Homer, one of the league favorites, but slipped in a narrow 7-6 defeat to the Trojans.
Before the opener, Shutts promised lots of variety in the playbook as he counted on a young (just six seniors) lineup to make it happen.
What the Bearcats got, instead, was turnovers on each of its first two possessions, the second a fumble deep in its own territory that Mark Vadala returned seven yards for a touchdown, putting Westhill ahead 7-0.
The Warriors had its own large share of issues, breaking in a new set of skill players around an experienced offensive line.
That led to early mistakes, and Solvay capitalized on the last of them by moving to the Warriors' 13-yard line, from where Nick Cometti found John Savor for the tying TD, Savo adding the extra point.
Settling down a bit, Westhill would regain the lead in the second quarter on Jacob Redmond's three-yard run.
And so the stalemate began. Solvay did a tremendous job on the defensive side, maintaining energy there. However, its offense got shut down, Westhill making up for all the other problems with fierce resistance that, for this night, allowed for an escape.
Marcellus beat Homer in 2010 on its way to a share of the B west title. Homer looked for a bit of payback and, in a hard-fought battle, got it.