Weston Ley had himself a night to remember Friday.
The junior racked up more than 300 yards of offense and found the end zone five times in leading the Fredonia Hillbillies to an impressive 56-8 thumping of Gowanda on Friday in Class C North high school football action.
It was just the kind of win the Hillbillies needed after falling to Wilson last week.
OBSERVER?Photo by Roger Coda
Gowanda’s Brennan?Geiger (28) is tackled by Fredonia’s Chris Saden during Friday’s Class C high school football game.
"I don't think I could point out one player that didn't have a great game," Fredonia coach Bob Ball said. "Obviously Ley was our go-to guy with Zach Buckley out, but really whoever we called on came up big for us."
The Panthers started off the game with a strong push on the offensive end, behind running back Brennan Geiger.
However, penalties drove Gowanda backwards ending its' early drive.
"He is a tough back and was getting some good chunks of yardage," Ball said of Geiger. "We were getting into the backfield and hitting him, but we weren't making the tackles. That was the biggest adjustment we had to make at halftime."
Nick Nocek led the Fredonia defense with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery.
On Fredonia's first drive, it only took three plays to reach paydirt as Ley connected with Hunter Halberg for the 16-yard score.
The Hillbillies ended Gowanda's next drive quickly as Ley came up big on the defensive side of the ball as well, when he picked off Chase Williams.
A 35-yard passing play to John Piper set up the 12-yard rush from Ley for Fredonia's second touchdown of the night.
The Hillbillies scored once more in the first quarter on a 58-yard sweep play from Ley.
"We knew they were going to pack the middle," Ball said of Gowanda's defense. "We've been running up the middle a lot lately, so we made an effort to get some of our guys on the edge."
Ley continued his dominance in the ground game as he took one to the end zone from 59 yards out, as a part of his 13 carry, 248-yard rushing performance.
A 30-yard reception by Piper put the Hillbillies in scoring position once again which was capped off by a 5 yard Ley score.
Piper finished the game with three catches for 82 yards.
Tyler Cassidy had a 20-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter to make it 42-0.
On the next play from scrimmage, Cody Smith stripped a Gowanda running back and took the ball into the end zone.
Sean Sluberski capped off the scoring for Fredonia with a 10-yard rushing touchdown.
As for the Panthers, they were able to find some positives out of the loss.
"We don't quit ever," Gowanda coach Sean Gabel said. "We preach heart to our players. We are a young and immature team, but we are a family and that is exactly what we need right now during this tough season."
In the fourth quarter, Geiger was able to punch the ball in from 7 yards and also scored the two-point conversion. The score was Gowanda's first points of the season.
Geiger finished the game with 20 carries for 89 yards and a score.
"I just want to let my coaches and players know that I'm proud of them," Gabel said. "They have continued to believe in each other and continue to build."
Gowanda will look to continue to build its program next week when it takes on Salamanca.
As for the Hillbillies, they will also have a big test as they host Cleveland Hill in a game which will have big implications in the Class C North division.
Westfield 18, Falconer 6
WESTFIELD - Westfield's Mike Okerlund's 99-yard touchdown run in the third quarter highlighted an 18-6 victory over Falconer (1-3, 0-3) on Friday in Class C high school football.
Dan Ferguson started off the scoring for the Wolverines (2-2, 2-1) as he scored from 10 yards out. The toucdown capped off a 60-yard drive.
The 6-0 lead held up into halftime.
Then in the third quarter, after Falconer pinned the Wolverines deep in their own end, Okerlund took a handoff off tackle and scampered 99 yards for the touchdown and a 12-0 lead.
Westfield coach Bob North noted a key to success in the second half was due to offensive line coach Brian Johnson.
"Brian Johnson does a great job with the offenisve line," North said. "He made some adjustments at halftime. We haven't had him lately and it was key having him back tonight."
The Golden Falcons cut the deficit in half when Cody Dustin hit paydirt from 2 yards out.
The Wolverines responded as Ferguson broke off a 25-yard touchdown run for the final score.
Ferguson finished with 18 carries for 82 yards and two scores while Okerlund ran for 163 yards on 18 carries.
"I was hoping we could run the football and we did," North said. "We didn't give up on it."
Ferguson was also stellar on defense as he recorded 10.5 tackles. Cameron Wright and David Figley combined for 11 tackles.
Jacob Youngberg ledFalconer's ground game with 82 yards on 19 carries while Dustin finished with 35 yards on 15 attempts.
"The kids were much more focused this week," North said of his team. "After the game, I could see they are already focused for next week. We said playoffs started this week. We got one we needed and now we have a huge one next week against Cassadaga Valley."