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West Seneca West Routs Sweet Home In Season Opener

There was no championship hangover for the West Seneca West Indians as they came out firing on nearly all cylinders, defeating the Sweet Home Panthers 48-0 in the opening game of the season for both teams.

Whether it was through the air, on the ground or on defense, the Indians seemed to have an answer for everything the Panthers tried to throw at them.

West Seneca West scored halfway through the opening quarter thanks to a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown by Bryan Ball. After forcing a fumble on Sweet Home’s ensuing possession, the Indians marched right down the field for another touchdown drive that was capped by a nine-yard run by running back John Speyer.

While the Panthers did their best to stay in the game, the Indians seemingly took the wind out of the sails of Sweet Home after driving 55-yards in just 27 seconds at the end of the half to go up 28-0 on a 21-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Juston Johnson.

The Indians would add three second-half touchdowns to finish off Sweet Home.

Speyer led all rushers with 146 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Speyer was in position for a second touchdown in the fourth quarter inside the 10-yard line, but Vastola felt it was time to pull the junior out for the night.

“I always want to play football,” Speyer said. “I’ll never want to come out.”

In the first game of the post-Matt Myers era, it was Liam Scheuer that was tasked with starting under center.

He finished the game 5-of-10 passing for 122 yards and three touchdowns. He also contributed on the ground with eight rushes for 39 yards and a touchdown.

“We’ve been blessed with some athletes,” West Seneca West head coach Mike Vastola said of Scheuer’s play. “We knew he was a great quarterback, now we just have to get his conditioning up so he can do [things on] both sides.”

Of course, the elephant on the field, so to speak, was former Sweet Home quarterback Maurice Robertson standing on the other sideline for West Seneca West. Robertson, who is expected to be eligible for the Indians’ week two matchup against Kenmore West, transferred from Sweet Home just over a week ago.

His departure meant junior Alfred Jamel Lucas was pushed into the starting role for the Panthers where he was hit hard and often against a big front seven fielded by West Seneca West.

“It was his first start ever at quarterback, and he went up against a very good West Seneca West team,” Sweet Home head coach Jeremy Zimmer said.

Lucas ultimately left the game early with a rib injury that isn’t expected to keep him out of action. His replacement, Isaiah Killian, went just 1-of-8 for nine yards.

Sweet Home now has to regroup and get ready for the start of league play against North Tonawanda. Meanwhile, West Seneca West’s championship defense continues after the aforementioned Blue Devils of Kenmore West.

“It was a great game against Sweet Home, but we’ve got to keep being hungry,” Speyer said.

Vastola added: “The game’s over, we have another one coming up, and we have a lot of work still to do.”

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