Oct 20, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Penalties, turnovers, touchdowns called back for flags, missed assignments, more markers — there was enough for the Cazenovia football team to be mad about in Saturday’s Section III Class B opening-round playoff game against Westhill at Buckley-Volo Field.
And it did not matter one bit, as the Lakers dismissed the Warriors 48-6 behind the usual mix of big plays on the offensive side and consistent, physical domination on the defensive side.
This was a Westhill side that came into the playoffs at 2-5, far removed from its heyday late in the last decade, when it ruled the Class B West division and reached the sectional final four years in a row, winning it all in 2009.
Wasting little time, the Lakers were on the board less than 90 seconds into the game, even though it kicked off and the Warriors went through a full set of downs.
Ryan Cook, in the first of many big plays he would make on this day, returned a Warrior punt 30 yards to Westhill’s 15-yard line, and Jake Wilson found the end zone on the next play, putting his team in front 7-0.
That margin doubled to 14-0 late in the first quarter. Facing a fourth-down-and-three at the Westhill 36, Kevin Hopsicker gave an option pitch to Andrew Vogl, who ran right, picked up the first down, and then cut back to the left, sprinting past the defenders to the goal line for the first of his two TD’s.
Briefly, Westhill rose up, cutting it to 14-6 early in the second quarter as Reed Derrenbacker’s 34-yard pass to Dan Gratien set up a four-yard scoring pass from Derrenbacker to Chris Brusa.
But a botched squib kick got returned by Carter Franz deep into Warrior territory, and with the short field Cazenovia scored less than two minutes later, Vogl finding the end zone from six yards out.
Hopsicker’s only TD pass of the afternoon involved some good fortune. From the Westhill 29 with 4:22 left in the half, Hopsicker sent a jump ball to the end zone, and a Westhill defender tipped it – but Colligan snared it anyway for the six points.
Alex Sullivan’s fourth consecutive successful extra point made it 28-6, where it stood at halftime before the Lakers put Westhill away early in the third quarter.
Wilson accounted for most of the yards on a 65-yard march where the Lakers used its “Jet” package, with Cook taking the snaps and even throwing a pass on one play. Wilson went the final seven yards for the score to make it 35-6.
Minutes later, Westhill appeared to be heading for its second score when, at the Warriors’ 15, Brusa fumbled after catching a pass. Cook sprinted to the ball, picked it up and was gone, 85 yards down the far sideline for the TD.
Wilson added a 16-yard TD run in the fourth quarter before the starters went to the bench. Both Wilson and Vogl broke the century mark on the ground as Wilson finished with 127 yards on 16 carries and Vogl gained 108 yards on 11 carries.
Cazenovia’s defense forced three turnovers in the second half as Nick Bobbett led with 11 tackles, followed closely by Mike Nourse (nine tackles) and Mark Dewan (eight tackles).
In next Friday’s Class B semifinal at 8 p.m. at Rome Free Academy Stadium, Cazenovia will face Camden, who advanced out of the opening round with a 37-20 victory over Homer, a game where the Blue Devils’ quarterback, Ryan McCarthy, threw four touchdowns, ran for another and kicked a field goal.
The Lakers beat Camden 33-7 in their regular-season meeting on Sept. 29. The winner of the rematch plays Chittenango or Oneida in the Class B final Nov. 3 at the Carrier Dome.