WESTFIELD - In close games, it may only be one play that decides the difference between winning and losing.
The Westfield Wolverines (3-2, 4-3) found that out the hard way as they fell victim to one big play that made the difference in the team's 7-6 loss to the Salamanca Warriors (4-1, 6-1) in a game which had playoff implications in Class C high school football Friday.
Towards the end of the third quarter with the score still tied 0-all, the Warriors were faced with a 4th-and-15.
From there, Salamanca's quarterback Tanner John threw a 40-yard scoring pass to well-defended Jarron Ball.
"Our defense was playing great up to that point," Westfield coach Bob North said. "Salamanca was faced with a fourth and long and our kid had the play covered perfectly."
The Warriors kicked the extra point to make it a 7-0 game in favor of the visitors.
However, on the ensuing kickoff the Wolverines' Nolan Hunt took the run back 65 yards for the touchdown.
Westfield went for the two-point try after the touchdown, but was unable to convert on the play.
"We decided to go for two and Dylan MacCubbin rolled out on the play," North explained. "He tried to throw a pass to Hunt, but Salamanca intercepted the pass."
Down by just a point, the Wolverines continued to play outstanding defense as they waited for their opportunity to strike again.
Some of that outstanding defense came when Salamanca drove down to Westfield's 1-yard line, but the Wolverines defense was able to keep the Warriors out of the end zone.
A few possessions later, Westfield was driving with just minutes left on the clock, but the team's hopes came to an end when John came up with a key interception on a pass intended for Jon Coe.
"Salamanca is a very talented offensive team," North said. "Their only score was on a fluke play that our defender was in perfect position for, so that is very encouraging going into the playoffs even though the loss hurts."
Dan Ferguson led the Wolverines with 19 carries and 53 yards rushing, while also piling up nine tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss on defense.
Hunt led the team in receiving with three catches for 39 yards.