The West Seneca West (WSW) football team jumped out to a big first half lead on opening night against Class A South rival Amherst and never looked back. The offense cruised and the swarming defense buried the Tigers as the Indians rolled to a 54-6 victory at home under the lights.
Star quarterback Matt Myers led the offensive onslaught with five first half touchdowns. His first was a short keeper up the middle at the nine-minute mark in the first quarter after a failed Amherst fake punt to which he received a “Welcome home, Matt Myers” from the game announcer. The rest of the first quarter consisted of possessions by both the Tigers and Indians and remained mostly a defensive struggle with neither team making big gains. “Amherst battled us and gave us some early adversity,” said Indians head coach Mike Vastola of the defensive first quarter. Amherst held onto the ball for over six minutes following the Myers touchdown with junior quarterback Ja’kye Womack orchestrating the offense.
The game burst open early in the second quarter following a botched Amherst punt where the Indians recovered at the Tigers’ thirty-three-yard line. On the next play, Myers connected with running back Bryan Ball on a swing pass to which the speedy junior took to the end zone with help from down field blockers. On the Tigers next possession, a bad snap led to a fumble recovered by the Indians’ Liam Scheuer at the Amherst nine-yard line. On the very next play, Scheuer lined up as the quarterback, handled the shot gun snap to which he tossed to the reversing Myers, who then found junior receiver Kyle Haettich in the end zone for his first of three receiving touchdowns.
Amherst returned the kickoff to midfield putting the offense in an advantageous position. However, the Tigers’ offense couldn’t move the ball on the stout Indian defense led all night by junior Josh Wilson. Womack looked to connect downfield with receiver Brandon Fowler on two straight plays but could not convert. The Tigers were forced to punt and the Indians took over at their own twenty-three-yard line. Again, on the next play and with 9:03 remaining in the second quarter, Myers took off on seventy-seven-yard keeper up the middle to put the Indians up 27-0.
The following possessions for the Indians featured back up Liam Scheuer in at quarterback while Myers was briefly tended to on the sideline. Junior running back John Speyer also got more involved and was a workhorse for the Indians throughout the remainder of the game. For nearly three minutes the Tigers’ defense countered the Indians offense as the Indians looked to keep the ball on the ground. Solid runs by Speyer and Scheuer moved the chains, but a sack of Myers briefly held the Indians at bay. On the next play, Scheuer was back under center and scampered up the middle from thirty-two yards out for what looked like another touchdown until an Amherst defender caught up and made a score-saving tackle. Indians’ receiver Jesse Broad got the pitch from Scheuer on the next play from scrimmage only to be stopped short again by the Tigers’ defense. However, Scheuer would punch it in himself on the next play for a one-yard quarterback sneak to put the Indians up 34-0.
Following a short Tigers possession Myers was back in at quarterback and dished a fifty-seven-yard touchdown pass to receiver Juston Johnson that was called back on a penalty. It wouldn’t take long though for the Indians offense to find the end zone again. With less than thirty seconds left in the half Myers found Haettich for a fifteen-yard touchdown pass and a 41-0 Indians half time lead.
Amherst received the second half kickoff and was able to hold the ball for a large chunk of the quarter. Womack and senior Charles Kilgo carried the ball safely for the Tigers. Kilgo was a work horse for the Tigers all night, starting on both offense, defense, and special teams and was also the Tigers’ punter. With 5:47 left in quarter the Tigers punted and the Indians set up at their own twenty-yard line. A long drive by the Indians resulted in a late quarter touchdown pass from Scheuer to Haettich to put the Indians on top 47-0.
Most of the fourth quarter consisted of a defensive battle by both sides. With 4:37 left to play Womack found receiver Sean Murphy in the end zone for the Tigers’ only points of the night. The two-point conversion attempt was stopped short of the end zone. A late twenty-two-yard touchdown run by Scheuer for his third score of the night capped the scoring for both teams as the Indians would roll to a 54-6 win. John Speyer added 143 yards on the ground on only fourteen carries for the Indians as well.
“We had an idea of what we had, but we wanted to create an identity,” said Indians coach Mike Vastola following his team’s dominate win. “We wanted to spread the ball around, be up tempo, and I think we passed a test today.” The Indians did just that, with four players finding the end zone and Speyer adding 143 yards on the ground. Junior kicker Josh Clifton was six of eight on point after kicks as well. Coach Vastola added “We wanted to control what we could control both on offense and defense and just execute the way we think we can.”
The Indians will face McKinley, coming off an opening night victory over Orchard Park, on Friday, September 8th at McKinley. “We get to enjoy this for one night and we’ll take a look at film tomorrow. McKinley is a very very good football team. We’ll see what we’re made of.”
Amherst will meet South Park on Thursday, September 7th at All High Stadium at 6pm.