WNY Athletics

Simmons, Special Teams Carry West Seneca West To Win Over Hamburg

There was no magic and no curses on this Friday the 13th as the West Seneca West Indians picked up their first win of the season against the visiting Hamburg Bulldogs, 28-14.

One week after an admittedly poor showing in their season opener against Kenmore West, the Indians bounced back thanks to the play of their special teams and a “sizzling” running back.

Sophomore running back Isaiah Simmons paced the night for the Indians, leading the way with 88 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He also tallied nearly 100 yards in returns, including a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

“All the credit goes to the people blocking for me,” Simmons said. “They made it easy to make the plays.”

He almost had two other returns for touchdowns, but one saw him tackled at the eight-yard line while the other was a 62-yard return that was nullified after offsetting penalties that resulted in a rekick.

For West Seneca West coach Mike Vastola, it was all about seeing how his team would respond after the disappointing loss.

“We were very poor early on in this game,” he said. “We’re still not clicking, but credit to our guys for stepping up. They did a great job to get the win.”

The first half started out with the Bulldogs taking a 6-0 lead on their first possession thanks to a three-yard run by running back Spencer Dix. It would be the last time Hamburg would lead in the game.

Simmons would put the Indians on the board early in the second quarter with a one-yard run. Just minutes later, Simmons added his second touchdown of the game on the aforementioned punt return.

Senior quarterback Liam Scheuer added a score of his own with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter to make it 21-6 at the half, a score that Hamburg just couldn’t overcome.

The Bulldogs did make it a one-possession game thanks to a well-placed 27-yard pass from Nolan Heavern to his tight end Josh Hine. West, however, took the next possession straight downfield, capping it off with another Simmons score.

“It was huge,” Simmons said of finding a way to use all phases of the game to pick up the win. “They shutout their opponent last week, so for us to come out and fight hard and get the win like this was great.”

The Indians finished with 201 total yards to Hamburg’s 106, 86 of which came in the first half.

West Seneca West hopes to continue their momentum when they host Williamsville East on Thursday night while Hamburg looks to rebound on Friday against Williamsville North.

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