Big time players make big time plays, and on the biggest stage in Western New York football, Southwestern’s Tywon Wright did just that in record-tying fashion.
Wright tallied 346 rushing yards and five touchdowns to lead the Trojans to a 53-21 win over Wilson in the Section VI Class C title game on Saturday night at New Era Field.
It was the Trojans’ first title since 2011 after losing in the championship game four times in the past seven years.
“I just woke up wanting to go get it. I just wanted it bad,” Wright said after his stadium playoff game record-tying five touchdown performance. “It feels great. I love my guys, they did everything for me, I did everything for them.”
In what was a matchup of David vs. Goliath proportions on paper in favor of Southwestern, the Wilson Lakemen sure didn’t play that way.
The Trojans (10-0) got on the board first with a 20-yard Wright score, but thanks in part to some trickery with a hook and ladder play, Wilson (9-1) answered with a one-yard Drew Westmorland rush.
It was Wright to give the Trojans the lead back, 14-7, with a Marshawn Lynch-esque effort, as he broke multiple tackles and took it 80 yards to the endzone. But again, trickery aided the Lakemen, as a pitch play to Westmorland on fourth-and-3 turned into a pass to Brayden Dunlap to knot things 14-14 at halftime.
“Just stay level-headed, I mean, we made a lot of mistakes in the first half that we aren’t normally known to make,” Southwestern coach Jake Burkholder said on his message to his team at halftime. “Being able to overcome that was huge.”
In the second half, Wright continued his rampage, and the Trojans managed to pull away.
His third and fourth rushing touchdowns of 66 and 46 yards, respectively, combined with a 23-yard Zishaun Munir score finally gave the Trojans the insurance they needed, and they held on from there. Conrad Thomas also got in on the scoring with a rushing touchdown of his own.
Despite a 74-yard receiving touchdown for Westmorland, Southwestern managed to build up a 41-21 lead in the early fourth quarter and cruise from there. A 54-yard pass play from Aidan Kennedy to Thomas and Wright’s record-tying fifth touchdown of the night capped off the scoring.
“I never thought I’d break a record like this,” Wright said. “It took all my teammates and coaches believing in me. I’m just proud, proud of myself and proud of my team.”
While it wasn’t the result the Lakemen hoped for, just making it to New Era Field for the first time since 1990 was special, and being able to do it in front of one of the largest fan contingents this weekend was even more special.
“I’m so proud of them, I walk out of here with my head held high,” Wilson coach Bill Atlas said. “Again, the Town of Wilson was the best traveling town in Western New York, and it showed right there.”
Southwestern’s win advances them to the NYSPHSAA Class C quarterfinals, where they will face Warsaw/Letchworth of Section V at 12 p.m. on Nov. 16 at SUNY Brockport.
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