West Seneca East reaches Class A semifinals for first time
“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.
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.