West Seneca East reaches Class A semi­fi­nals for first time

The Buffalo News - - HIGH SCHOOLS -

“It feels great,” se­nior run­ning back/linebacker Shaun Do­lac said. “We sur­vived an­other week. We have to come to bat­tle next week.”

This marks the sec­ond straight sea­son a West Seneca school has reached the Fi­nal Four, with East end­ing West Seneca West’s reign as state cham­pion last week­end in the Sec­tion VI fi­nal.

“It’s crazy,” long­time Tro­jans coach Jim Mau­rino said. “It re­ally shows what West Seneca foot­ball can do. I’m just re­ally proud of our guys.”

Es­pe­cially the de­fense, which gave up a to­tal of 198 yards on 56 plays. The de­fense yielded just 55 yards dur­ing the sec­ond half.

The unit set the tone early in the third quar­ter when Do­lac (10 tack­les) stripped June at the Ea­gles’ 6 with Cam Cac­ciotti (six tack­les) re­cov­er­ing the fum­ble. On the next play, De­vare Mathis rammed his way into the end zone to break an 8-8 tie with 9 min­utes, 19 sec­onds left.

Iron­d­e­quoit threat­ened on its next pos­ses­sion, reach­ing the East 12. But a sack by Dy­lan McNulty (five tack­les, 1.5 sacks) on a third-down play fol­lowed by a false start by Iron­d­e­quoit ef­fec­tively killed that drive. It ended with an in­com­plete pass on fourth-and-20 from the 27.

That was the sec­ond of two drives by Iron­d­e­quoit that got in­side the red zone only to be de­nied by the Tro­jans. Late in the sec­ond quar­ter, East forced an in­com­plete pass on a fake field goal af­ter an Ea­gles drive stalled at the 6. That came af­ter Mathis broke up a po­ten­tial touch­down in the end zone with a nice de­fen­sive play on third down.

Iron­d­e­quoit’s fi­nal two pos­ses­sions ended with Zach Arnone notch­ing an in­ter­cep­tion and McNulty and Mathis sack­ing June on a fourth-down play at East’s 48 with 2:32 left.

The Tro­jans’ ground and pound of­fense milked the rest of the clock with Do­lac, who rushed for 137 yards on 31 car­ries, gain­ing 23 yards on his last three car­ries to end things.

“We’re phys­i­cal, we hit and it shows up in the fourth quar­ter,” Mau­rino said. “Our sec­ondary re­ally showed up tonight, break­ing up passes. Our D-line did what they did last week, they came through in the end, they got up field, they got to the QB. I think we kind of wore them out.”

A West Seneca East turnover pro­vided the open­ing the Ea­gles needed to take the early lead. Af­ter Iron­d­e­quoit cor­ralled Do­lac for a strip sack and re­cov­ered the ball at Tro­jans’ 26, it needed just three plays to score. June (22 car­ries, 64 yards) ran it in from the 1 and then ran in the con­ver­sion with 1:28 left in the first quar­ter.

West Seneca East re­sponded on its next pos­ses­sion, march­ing 64 yards with the aid of two 15-yard in­frac­tions by the Ea­gles. Do­lac tied it with an 11-yard run and then dove to have the ball break the plane of the goal line on the 2-point con­ver­sion.

Jadon Turner led the Ea­gles with 90 yards on 20 car­ries.

Harry Scull Jr./Buf­falo News

West Seneca East quar­ter­back Shaun Do­lac scores a two-point con­ver­sion against Iron­d­e­quoit dur­ing the first half of their Far West Re­gional Class C fi­nal.

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