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Wildcats brush past C-NS, reach .500 mark

WG could still host first-round AA playoff game

West Genesee's Naesean Howard (3) picks up an escort and returns an interception 102 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of Friday night's game against Cicero-North Syracuse, sparking the Wildcats to a 39-13 victory over the Northstars.

West Genesee's Naesean Howard (3) picks up an escort and returns an interception 102 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of Friday night's game against Cicero-North Syracuse, sparking the Wildcats to a 39-13 victory over the Northstars. Dana Northrop

— From its early-season frustrations, the West Genesee football team has recovered well enough to rise to a share of second place in the Class AA-2 division, with a chance to do much better still.

The Wildcats' 39-13 victory over visiting Cicero-North Syracuse Friday night not only pleased the home folks, it sets up an even bigger contest next weekend.

With a 3-1 league record (3-3 overall), WG shares the second spot in AA-2 with Henninger, who lost 27-12 on Friday to first-place CBA. The Black Knights must visit Camillus next Friday, with the winner to secure a first-round Class AA playoff home game.

None of this would take place, of course, unless the Wildcats first took care of C-NS, who arrived at this game with an 0-5 record, but looked like it would move out in front when it drove near the Wildcats' goal line early in the first quarter.

Then Naesean Howard offered the season's most spectacular play, on the defensive side. Intercepting an Avery Yarn pass just inside his own end zone, the junior took off on a coast-to-coast journey to the other end zone, a touchdown that covered 102 yards.

From that potential 14-point swing, the Northstars never recovered. And WG's much-maligned defense scored again late in the period when Garrett Waldron stepped in front of a Yarn offering and brought it back 44 yards for six points.

In between, the Wildcats got more conventional points when Howard scored on a seven-yard run. So it was 21-0 after one periods, and while WG was blanked the rest of the half, it still went to the break with a 21-6 advantage.

For the most part, the Wildcats kept it simple during the second half, three times finding the end zone. Howard got his third and fourth TD's of the night on twin eight-yard runs, while Dan Ginestro fired an 11-yard scoring strike to Brett Colvin.

Both Howard and Ginestro ran for 79 yards, with Ginestro completing seven of 11 passes for 89 yards, four of those passes to Colvin for 47 yards.

Henninger missed the sectional playoffs a season ago, but has rebounded this fall to post a 4-2 record. The loss to CBA was its first league blemish, but it has some potent skill players, with quarterback Keisean Scott able to hand it off to Darrel West or throw it to top receiver Chris Hicks.

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