Cicero All the plans for the West Genesee football team involved going to Henninger in next Saturday's regular-season finale at Sunnycrest Field with a chance to secure a second-place finish in the Class AA-1 division and a first-round Section III home playoff game.
But thanks to the Wildcats taking a 28-24 defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse at Bragman Stadium Friday night, the task grows a bit taller, as WG could finish as high as second in the division, or fall as far down as fourth place.
With Mitch Dunay anchoring a powerful ground attack, and the defense making key stops when it had to, the Northstars, who won just one game each of the last two years, inched closer to a playoff berth in head coach Joe Sindoni's first season at the helm.
C-NS's defense tailed Wildcats tailback Naes Howard wherever he went, holding him to just 66 yards on 16 carries while, at the same time, employing its own ground game to batter the Wildcats from start to finish.
Dunay, the imposing senior fullback, did most of the damage, carrying the ball 32 times for a career-best 219 yards and three touchdowns, all part of a running attack that accumulated 321 yards by the time the night was done.
It was Dunay putting up the night's first points, scoring from 16 yards out in the first quarter. WG quarterback Bailey Gauthier also found the end zone on a 16-yard run, but the Northstars blocked the extra point, setting the tone for failed Wildcat conversions the rest of the night.
During the second quarter, Dunay got loose again, going 22 yards for his second TD. Tyler Griffo, who made all four of his extra points, converted the PAT, and the Northstars' 14-6 lead held until halftime.
Once more, the Wildcats replied with Gauthier scrambling 11 yards for six points early in the third quarter Again, though, WG missed the conversion. Then the Northstars put together a long scoring drive late in the third quarter, Dunay going the final yard to make it 21-12.