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WG football falls to Henninger, 40-37

Wildcats denied shot at AA sectional home game

West Genesee running back Naesean Howard (3) lunges past the goal line for a first-quarter touchdown in last Friday’s game against Henninger. Despite Howard’s 256 yards and four touchdowns, the Wildcats lost, 40-37, to the Black Knights.

West Genesee running back Naesean Howard (3) lunges past the goal line for a first-quarter touchdown in last Friday’s game against Henninger. Despite Howard’s 256 yards and four touchdowns, the Wildcats lost, 40-37, to the Black Knights. Dana Northrop

— For the briefest of moments, West Genesee's football team basked in the collective accomplishment of erasing a 21-point second-half deficit in Friday night's game against Henninger and started to look forward to a Section III Class AA playoff home date next weekend.

But the Black Knights quickly put an end to those plans, reclaiming the lead mere seconds after giving it up midway through the fourth quarter and hanging on to beat the Wildcats 40-37.

So it's Henninger who will get to stay at home and face Fayetteville-Manlius in the AA opening round, and WG going to Liverpool for its first-round game on Friday night.

This was the Wildcats' third close defeat of the season after one-point losses to Clarence and Fayetteville-Manlius in the first two weeks of the 2012 campaign.

But this game hurt more, because both teams carried 3-1 records in the Class AA-2 division going into the regular-season finale and were fighting for second place behind CBA in the final regular-season league standings.

Trailing 22-7 at halftime, WG got into further trouble on the third play of the third quarter. Dan Ginestro saw his pass slip through the hands of a receiver and into those of Henninger's Najee Everson, who returned it to the Wildcats' 14-yard line.

Three plays later, Chris Hicks scored, and the Wildcats were now down 28-7, but instead of panicking, it scored less than a minute later as Naesean Howard's two long runs, the last of them a 19-yard TD scamper, made it 28-14.

Late in the period, Ginestro's 31-yard pass to Brett Colvin set up Garrett Waldron's four-yard scoring run, plus a two-point pass to Waldron that made it 28-22. But Henninger quarterback Keisean Scott answered on third-down-and-long, finding Hicks on a 62-yard scoring strike that made it 34-22 going to the fourth quarter.

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