Weekly Feature

2018-10-10 / Sports

West football clinches playoff spot with win


Kenmore West clinched a playoff spot and evened its record to 3-3 on the season with a 36-13 victory over Hamburg Saturday. A strong running game and solid play on defense led the Blue Devils to victory.

Things started slowly for the Blue Devils, but some big plays just before the half changed everything for both teams. Neither team scored until the 5:30 mark of the second quarter, when Hamburg took a 7-0 lead. West had been struggling all half, but with just over a minute left before the break, Zac Boyes found Ramon Hill for a 48-yard touchdown. Hill ran for a two-point conversion to take an 8-7 lead.

“We had the momentum going at halftime,” Kenmore West coach John Haynes said. “Then we came out and scored right away, so that was a huge momentum builder for us.”

The Blue Devils really turned things up in the second half when Joe Stewart ran for a 16-yard touchdown to go up 14-7. The score would remain that way until the 5:15 mark of the fourth quarter, when Cam Crosier took off for a 34-yard run, while a Stewart two-point run made it 22-7. Soon after, Crosier punched in a 14-yard score to extend the lead to 29-7. Hamburg scored on the ensuing kickoff, but the Blue Devils struck back with a Dosyear White pick six to close out the game.

The Blue Devils had a strong game on defense, allowing just 191 yards total, 7 passing yards and just 3.4 yards per play. Dominic Brown led the team with 12 tackles while Chris Schiavone had 11, Chris Kaszynski had six tackles and Jared Dias and White each had five tackles.

“They didn’t really throw the ball that much,” Haynes said. “The three or four times that they did, we had great coverage. They did a really nice job of running the ball against us, and we made an adjustment right at the end of the second quarter right before halftime, and that’s when it changed things up a little bit and slowed their running game down.”

Meanwhile, the ground game led the Blue Devils on offense. Stewart had 17 attempts for 102 yards. Boyes took off seven times for 82 yards. Crosier racked up 54 yards on four runs.

“We were able to run the ball really well,” Haynes said. “We spread the ball out between three or four different guys and each one contributed, which helped. Going into the season, that’s what we wanted to do. We have a lot of weapons.”

The win clinched a playoff spot for the Blue Devils, which could be either a fifth or sixth seed in Class A. Haynes believes they will be sixth and play West Seneca East.

But before that, they’ll have to take on rival Kenmore East Saturday in the final regular season game. The Bulldogs are led by star running back D’Anzo Young, who has been a problem for pretty much everyone this year.

“They have a pretty good running attack; they have a really good running back,” Haynes said. “I expect them to try and run the football and control the line of scrimmage and keep the ball out of our hands. I think we have a pretty explosive offense. I think that’s what they’re going to try to do; we’ll see what happens. The other thing is, in rivalry games, it doesn’t matter what the records are. You just throw everything out because you never know what could happen.”

Getting a win over East is always important for local bragging rights, but it’s also a chance for the Blue Devils to tune some things up before the playoffs begin.

“I think it’s huge,” Haynes said. “We have to get the momentum going into the playoffs. We have to have a good week of practice for our rival, and then we have to get right back at it going into the playoffs. We have to have a great game against our rival.”

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