Sep 21, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Bailey Gauthier, once his concussion symptoms are cleared out, is still the starting quarterback for the West Genesee football team.
But the Wildcats can be forgiven if it wants to wait for Gauthier’s return, since sophomore Dashon Turner provided a tantalizing glimpse into the program’s future during Friday night’s 62-21 rout over visiting Central Square in the Class AA-1 division opener for both sides.
Remarkably, WG scored on each of its first eight possessions, including all seven in the first half, and Turner was at the forefront, giving his side a viable and dangerous passing alternative to the ground game centered around Naes Howard.
By the time he sat down, Turner had thrown for 232 yards and four touchdowns. The first time he threw it deep, it went 57 yards to Colin Bevard for a score, launching a 28-point first-quarter Wildcat outburst.
That single pass not only gave Turner confidence, it relieved Wildcat fans that had seen Gauthier injured late in the fourth quarter of the team’s 44-26 defeat to Fayetteville-Manlius on Sept. 12.
Despite the longer week to prepare for 0-2 Central Square, Gauthier was not ready, so it was Turner calmly marching his team down the field over and over again throughout the opening period.
Howard still had 136 yards on the grounds, plus a pair of TD’s, including a nine-yard run that made it 14-0. Turner followed with a 14-yard scoring strike to Will Northrop on WG’s third possession, and when Turner hit Duane Rolf from 38 yards out, it was 28-0, and they hadn’t even reached the second period.
To counter the Red Hawks’ pair of second-quarter TD drives, the Wildcats gave it again to Turner, who again went deep from near midfield to find Bevard for a 56-yard scoring strike, this before Howard’s second TD on a 30-yard sprint.
When Joey Vetter found the end zone on a two-yard plunge, WG had made it 48-14 going into halftime. All sorts of reserves saw action in the second half, where Vetter and Bevard added short TD runs to push the Wildcats past the 60-point mark.
So at 2-1 on the season, WG, still waiting to see if it will start Gauthier or Turner under center, heads toward its biggest test yet, a visit to Alibrandi Stadium to face defending Class AA champion Christian Brothers Academy, whom it lost to in last year’s sectional semifinals.
The Brothers (3-0), no. 3 in the state AA rankings, have rolled to wins over Union-Endicott, Utica Proctor and Cicero-North Syracuse so far this fall and boast a formidable offense anchored by senior quarterback J.R. Zazzara and senior tailback Deshawn Salter, who scored four times in Friday’s 42-21 conquest of C-NS.