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West Seneca East Remains Unbeaten, Beats South Park 15-6

The West Seneca East Trojans are Class A3 Division Champions.

Just one week after using their offense to overpower Starpoint, it was the West Seneca East defense that made the difference as the Trojans took down the now previously unbeaten South Park Sparks 15-6 in front of a raucous crowd at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium on Friday night.

The win moves the Trojans to 5-0 on the season while the Sparks fall to 4-1.

It was a game that was as physical as advertised with two of the top defenses in Western New York hitting each other hard and hitting each other often. It took just three plays for the tone of the game to be set as West Seneca East running back Shaun Dolac took a hit along the sideline that knocked his helmet right off.

“This is what football is all about,” Dolac, who finished the day with 105 yards rushing and a score, said regarding the physical nature of the night. “It was smashmouth football all game long.”

After a scoreless opening quarter that saw the Sparks defense force two straight turnovers on downs inside their own 10-yard line, the Trojans finally broke through with a four-yard run receiver Niam Bonner on a jet sweep midway through the second quarter.

With the half winding down and the team needing momentum heading into the locker room, South Park was able to take advantage great starting field position to get back into the game. After moving down field on the back of the versatile quarterback Dabeyon Humphrey, the Sparks found the endzone on a three-yard pass to the big tight end Jayon Renfro.

South Park would go for two after the score but the pass was batted away, keeping the score 7-6 at the end of the first half of play.

The game then began to turn a bit ugly after what the Trojans perceived to be a late hit on Dolac as the first half ended. The hit led to arguing between players on both sides with coaches having to be separated as they were leaving the field.

As the second half began, it appeared as though the Sparks were set to take their first lead of the game after a near 30-yard gain by senior Latrell London. Unfortunately for South Park, the offense couldn’t finish off the drive as they would turn the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass in the endzone.

After forcing a West Seneca East punt, South Park once again had a chance to move down the field to take the lead, but just couldn’t get out of its own way. Costly holding and personal foul penalties resulted in the Sparks having to attempt a punt from their own endzone where a poor snap resulted in the Trojans taking over the ball at the South Park five-yard line.

It took just three plays for West Seneca East to capitalize as Dolac took a direct snap in for a touchdown to extend the Trojans’ lead. He would then punch in the two-point conversion to make it a two-score game with 10 minutes remaining.

With South Park having one last chance to get back into the game late in the fourth, Trojan defensive back Jesse Pfeiffer made one of the biggest plays of the game as he broke up a pass that would have resulted in a long touchdown had it been completed.

“This defense, we just know how to follow the ball,” Pfeiffer said. “But a lot of credit has to go to the coaches. They trained us to be ready, they worked with us more than ever, and they put us in the right coverage all night.”

When it was all said and done, the team’s combined for only 308 yards of offense as the Trojans tallied 201 yards while South Park managed just 107.

“I thought our defense played well enough and it kept us in the game,” South Park head coach Tim Delaney said. “Offensively, we played well here and there but just couldn’t put it all together.”

Delaney added that there was plenty to take away from a tough game like this, and that they can use the result to prepare for the rest of the season, and the playoffs.

For the Trojans, with first place in the division locked up, it’s about continuing to push towards a Section VI championship.

“Everyone doubted us at the start,” Dolac said. “But, this year, we came out to prove something to everyone, and I think we are. We just need to keep it going.”

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