The Kenmore West Blue Devils christened their new football field Saturday afternoon with a 23-14 victory over Niagara Falls.
Junior tailback Joe Stewart rushed for eighty yards and scored on a 3-yard run in the 1st quarter to lead his team over the Wolverines. Stewart also caught a 14 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Fron in the 2nd quarter that ultimately proved to be the difference. “We’re all just so excited right now to come out here and get the win today,” Stewart said postgame. “It’s the way we wanted to start our season.”
The game featured a host of Niagara Falls penalties that killed Wolverines scoring drives. In the third quarter, junior QB Deonte Mathews connected with senior wide receiver Rodney Barnes at around the 25-yard line, who then zigged and zagged his way to the end zone only to have the play wiped out by an illegal block.
“That was ridiculous,” Niagara Falls head coach Don Bass said after the game. “Just an absolutely horrendous call.” Many agreed but Ken West coach Johnny Haynes said that’s the type of play they are taking out of the game now. “Twenty years ago that would have been perfectly fine, but the officials told us at the scrimmage last Saturday we will be looking for that and will call it when we see it.”
The Wolverines found a groove, led by the scrambling of Mathews who was able to escape a collapsing pocket on several occasions. He broke away from a sure sack in the 3rd quarter and scored from 34-yards out giving Niagara Falls its first TD of the day. SyQuan Ralands hauled in the 2pt conversion to cut West’s lead in half.
West fumbled the ensuing kick-off and gave the ball back to Niagara Falls at midfield. But the Blue Devils defense shut the Wolverines down.
Not long after Niagara Falls would have possession. Mathews again hooked up with Barnes who made a nice TD catch that pulled the Wolverines to within two points (2pt convo was unsuccessful).
With the momentum clearly shifting towards the away team, Haynes went into his bag of tricks and called for the Home Run. Ken West caught the Wolverines defense napping and pulled off the reverse option. QB Faisal Ahmadi launched a 35-yard strike to a wide open Cam Crosier who had a clear path to the end zone. Following a successful point after by Jacob Poumitt, West extended their lead to 23-14.
Niagara Falls fumbled the ball on two of its last possessions, including what figured to be their final offensive play, at the Blue Devils two-yard line. Junior William Klopp recovered not one but three fumbles for Kenmore West.
“We just took too many penalties today, we lost 16 players from a year ago. We have to be better in that area for sure. We are young but I like our guys and they made some great plays. Give West credit though.” The loss will not hurt Niagara Falls in the grand scheme due to this now being a non-league contest.
“We’re better than what you saw today, we have a lot of skill on this team, we can regroup.” Barnes said.
Next week the Wolverines (0-1) will travel to Clarence (0-1) to play the Red Devils.
Kenmore West (1-0) will face Starpoint (1-0) in what will be a very good Class A contest.