Sep 26, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
To win in football, it takes a combination of many things, from talent to desire to execution of a game plan.
And some luck doesn’t hurt, either.
Westhill didn’t need a lot of good fortune in its 3-0 start, but it showed up in a big way during Friday night’s 28-14 victory over the Homer Trojans.
First place in the Class B West division was at stake, and Westhill was bent on avoiding the sort of scare that Marcellus gave to them a week earlier. And it took less than one quarter for the Warriors to exceed its point total from that 10-6 Marcellus win.
Dan Ross immediately hurt Homer, intercepting Mike Sciera’s pass on the game’s second play at the Homer 32-yard line. Four plays later, on the 17, Jeff Law went to the end zone and found Ross, giving Westhill a 6-0 lead with the game just two and a half minutes old.
A defensive stop led to a Homer punt and another Westhill scoring drive – 54 yards in five plays.
From Homer’s 24-yard line, Law again went to the end zone, this time finding Nate Nigolian. Add Kevin Wilson’s two-point run, and Westhill took a 14-0 edge to the second quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Westhill moved the ball to Homer’s 20-yard line, where the drive stalled, and R.J. Chester came in to try a 37-yard field goal.
And here’s where the luck showed up.
Chester’s kick was low, and the Trojans blocked it. Normally, that leads to a dead ball, or a possible return by the team that blocks it. Either way, it’s a momentum shift.
But when a Homer player missed the ball and the ball rolled toward the left sideline, Nigolian raced to the ball at the 21-yard line, picked it up, and ran into the end zone for what was certainly the strangest touchdown of his varsity career.
Westhill reveled in the way it turned good fortune into seven points and a big 21-0 lead. But Homer was steamed – and as it turned out, was far from finished.
Off Wilson’s fumble at his own 30-yard line late in the half, Sciera redeemed his earlier interception with a 19-yard TD pass to Zach Hatfield, and the margin was down to 21-7 at the break.
Despite a second Ross interception in the third quarter and Wilson’s second fumble, both teams went through the third quarter without allowing a point.
Slowly, Homer improved its field position as the fourth quarter wore on, and used a short drive to cut the margin to 21-14 with five minutes left. Sciera, from the Warriors’ 18, threw a pass to Hunter Osborne, who powered his way past the goal line.
Still up by a touchdown, Westhill did not go conservative and run the clock, especially after the Trojans gave them nice field position due to a failed onside kick.
Instead, Law, who was 11-for-14 for 161 yards, went to the air and found tight end Tom Fisher for 26 yards. And Law kept throwing, getting three more completions – 11 yards to Ross, then 11 yards to Fisher, and finally 10 yards to Ross for the clinching score with 2:13 left.
Westhill now comes home for next Friday’s game against Skaneateles, who is 0-4 after a l3-3 loss to Solvay. Game time is 7:30.