It was a tale of two halves for the West Seneca West Indians as they overcame early mistakes and miscues to pick up their fourth-straight win, beating the visiting Noth Tonawanda Lumberjacks 34-7 in front of a full homecoming crowd on Friday night.
The win pushed the Indians to 4-1 on the season while the Lumberjacks fall to 1-4.
Despite the fact they never trailed to North Tonawanda, the Indians failed to take advantage of early opportunities and did everything they could to give North Tonawanda momentum in the Class A1 matchup.
Leading 7-0 thanks to a 23-yard pass from Liam Scheuer to Julian Maloney, West would see two out of its next three drives end due to interceptions. Set up with great field position, the Lumberjacks failed to put points on the board after turning the ball over themselves, both on downs, as well as fumbling it away after forcing a three-and-out.
“[It was] not so good at all,” Liam Scheuer said of his team’s first-half play. “They came out hard, and they kicked us around in the first half.”
On top of Scheuer’s two first-half picks, running back Isaiah Simmons was shut down as he managed just 22 yards through the first two quarters. Luckily for him and the rest of his Indians teammates, the player known as “Sizzlin” Simmons bounced backed in a major way.
Finishing with 173 yards rushing on the night, Simmons used his speed and elusiveness to put the game away for the Indians with 151 yards and three scores over the final quarter-and-a-half of play. He even helped his own cause by hauling an in an interception between his touchdown runs of 49 and 27 yards.
“It’s nice,” Scheuer said of Simmons. “I can just give him the ball, and he goes. That’s the type of talent we got.”
Simmons’ third score would come on a 75-yard run on his final play of the night with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
“I feel like anybody could’ve run through those holes,” Simmons said of his success. “The holes I had in the second half were huge, and I just took advantage of them.”
Those holes weren’t there for two-and-a-half quarters of the game as the North Tonawanda defense came prepared to play after giving up a combined 65 points in its two prior outings. The Lumberjacks even managed to tie the game at seven thanks to a 14-yard pass from freshman QB Nash Rieselman to his 6-foot-5 safety blanket Camerin Holmes, who finished with three catches for 62 yards on the night.
“I did not like that at all,” Scheuer said of the Lumberjacks tying the game. “I needed to take over the game and do something.”
Take over the game Scheuer did as the big senior took his team down the field in just three plays on the ensuing drive and put the Indians up for good with a one-yard touchdown run. It was then up to the defense to keep the Lumberjacks from getting back into the game, and they did just that, holding North Tonawanda to just 139 yards of offense and forcing two turnovers.
The Indians finished with 296 yards on offense.
West Seneca West finishes up its road portion of the regular season schedule next Saturday at Niagara Wheatfield. For the Lumberjacks, they have a Friday night tilt against Williamsville North in their final league matchup of the season.
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