Westhill football nips Cortland in final minute

Marcellus falls out of first place; Solvay also beaten

For more than 47 minutes of game time Friday night, the Westhill football team could not put it in the end zone against Cortland, and there was a very real danger that the Warriors' Class B playoff position would take a hit if it could not produce something at the end.

Just in time, though, Westhill came through, as a late scoring drive led to Ja'Shai Jamison's go-ahead touchdown with 30 seconds left, and the Warriors beat the Purple Tigers 10-6 to move to 3-2 on the season.

Each of the other local Class B West teams had far different results. Marcellus, tied for first in the league going into the week, got run over in a 37-19 loss to Chittenango, while Solvay, who saw its 26-game skid end at Phoenix on Sept. 27, ran right into undefeated, state Class B no. 8-ranked Homer and absorbed a 40-2 defeat.

Much of the drama was found at Westhill, where the Warriors sought to bounce back from its own 41-7 defeat to Homer the week before, but instead found itself locked in a defensive duel with Cortland as neither team would score in the first half.

Staying patient, the Warriors kept making stops on the Purple Tigers and then, taking advantage of a third-quarter turnover, moved the ball to Cortland's 10-yard line. The drive stalled, but Colin Henderson booted a 27-yard field goal to give Westhill a 3-0 lead.

Offering a quick response, Cortland put together its lone scoring drive of the night, moving to Westhill's four-yard line early in the final period before Zach Whelan found the end zone for the game's first TD.

From there, though, Westhill's defense stopped everything else, and as time ticked down Drew Derrenbacker led the Warriors down the field with a series of clutch passes and mixed in some key runs from Jameson. And it was Jameson, from five yards out, that found the end zone in the final minute.

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