Oct 22, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
After a one-year absence, the Westhill football team returned to the Section III playoffs – but it wasn’t anywhere near triumphant.
Cazenovia, the Class B East division champions, turned back the Warriors 48-6 in last Saturday’s opening-round game at Buckley-Volo Field, part of a full weekend for local teams inside and outside the playoff realm.
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. Ryan Cook 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. It was 28-6 at halftime.
The Lakers put Westhill away early in the third quarter. Wilson accounted for most of the yards on a 65-yard march, including the final seven 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.
This followed a weekend where Marcellus, in crossover play, won a 40-34 overtime epic over Oswego and Jordan-Elbridge saw some history made, even though it lost 48-44 to Cato-Meridian.
In the latter of these games, the Eagles’ Colby Trexler ran 30 times for 222 yards. In doing so, he set the J-E single-season school record for rushing yards in a season with 1,349, shattering the mark of 1,260 that Mitch Merrill held.
Trexler scored three times in the first half against Cato, including an 82-yard kickoff return, to help his side gain a 36-22 halftime lead. But the Blue Devils put up 26 points in the fourth quarter to snatch away the win as Phil Schroeder scored the winning points on a seven-yard run. Luke Schwarting led the Eagles’ defense with 17 tackles as Dan Kopp added 10 tackles.
Marcellus, meanwhile, erased a 14-0 first-half deficit, tying Oswego 14-14 at halftime. They went back and forth from there, the Mustangs rallying again in the fourth quarter when Tom Keegan threw TD passes of 14 yards to Will Coon and 18 yards to Nick Nye.
Through one overtime period, it remained 34-34. But the Mustangs stopped the Buccaneers in the second OT period and won it on Keegan’s one-yard TD plunge. Nye led the way with three TD’s, including a 54-yard scoring run.