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Indians Hang On to Finish Undefeated Regular Season

In a game that felt like there was more than just bragging rights on the line, the top two teams in Section VI Class A football collided as the West Seneca West Indians traveled crosstown to take on the rival Trojans of West Seneca East. Backed by an aggressive defense that has become a staple of West Seneca West play as well as timely big plays on offense, the Indians were able to survive a late surge by the Trojans to win 30-16, finishing the regular season a perfect 7-0.

“We made the plays we had to make,” head coach Mike Vastola said. “That’s what good teams need to do, and we did that.”

The win secured the West Seneca Helmet for the Indians for at least another season while ending West Seneca East’s bid for a perfect season as the loss knocked the Trojans to 6-1 on the year.

“It means a lot to me,” a choked-up Maurice Robertson said about getting his first win in the West vs. East rivalry. “This team is like a brotherhood. It feels like they’re my blood brothers; I love them to death.”

Robertson was Mr. Everything for the Indians offense on Friday night, rushing for three touchdowns while also throwing for a score. He finished the day with 111 yards rushing and 100 yards passing, accounting for more yards on offense himself than West Seneca East had as a team.

As a team, the Indians finished with 254 yards on offense while the Trojans accumulated 162.

The game started out as physical as one would expect with both teams trying to set the tone early.

West Seneca East had a chance to get on the board early with a 1st and 10 from the Indians’ 16 yardline, but costly mistakes drove them back to the 40, forcing a punt.

Both offenses failed to muster up anything of note for the remainder of the opening quarter, and it ultimately was defense that produced the first points of the game when Trojans running back Shaun Dolac was tackled in his own endzone for a safety.

Dolac finished with double-digit tackles on defense, but was held in check for most of the night on offense.

The Trojans then had another chance with great field position after a fumble on the ensuing free kick set them up inside the Indians’ 40. Once again, however, the West Seneca West defense was up to the task, forcing a Trojans punt.

On the next West Seneca West possession, the offense finally got going, and capped off a three-minute drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Robertson to receiver Jake Cooper to make it a 9-0 game at the half.

The Indians would add another touchdown on their first drive of the second half as Robertson would take it in from the one-yard line to make it a 16-0 West Seneca West lead. Robertson would add another touchdown following a botched Trojans punt to make it 23-0 game just minutes later.

It wasn’t all perfect for Robertson, however, as he did throw an interception deep in Trojan territory that was returned 87 yards for a touchdown by Devare Mathis. The interception return came just moments after West Seneca East finally got on the board thanks to a Dolac fumble recovery in the endzone after a high snap on a punt attempt.

“Actually, from an adversity point, it was good that we had to face that challenge,” Robertson said of West Seneca East getting within a score in the fourth quarter. “We came out and scored, but, you know, there are little things we need to work on at practice.”

Though West Seneca East would get to within seven points in the fourth quarter, the West Seneca West defense was able to continuously stop any attack the Trojans tried to put forth to get the game tied.

With a chance to drive down the field, Dolac was sacked by Indians defensive end Liam Scheuer to force a fourth and long late in the game. It turned out to be the play that put the nail in the West Seneca East coffin on the night.

“Just watching a lot of film,” Scheuer said about being able to take advantage of the East offensive line. “We learned their tendencies and took advantage. My teammates filled their gaps, and made the plays that had to be made.”

“It was a good night for us, but we still have to work on our execution overall,” he added.

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