A large banner in the Depew section of the stands at PAETEC Park on Saturday read:
"Wildcats on the Road to the Dome."
But a Depew trip to the Class B state finals at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse was derailed by Jeremiah Allen and the Geneva Wildcats.
Allen, a powerful 190-pound back with speed and balance, ran for a state playoff record 394 yards on 36 carries and four touchdowns as Geneva (9-2) rolled to a 32-14 victory over coach Dan McGrath's Wildcats (8-3).
Allen had 218 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in the first half alone, including a 70-yard scoring run and a 37-yard gallop on Geneva's first play from scrimmage.
"He's a good back, but we let him get downhill on us and then we didn't get any good hits on him," said McGrath.
Geneva outgained the Wildcats, 534-128, rolling up 32 first downs to 14 for Depew. On the ground, it was a 452-83 advantage for the Panthers. Matt Strychalski led the Depew rushing with 62 yards on 11 carries with a 9-yard touchdown run.
After the Wildcats failed to cash in on a fumbled punt at the Geneva 44, the Panthers took over. Two plays later, from the Geneva 30, Allen broke through the right side and went down the sideline to the end zone on his 70-yard jaunt. He added a 13-yard run in the second quarter. Geneva didn't look back from there.
Depew quarterback Joe Christiano (4 for 14, 91 yards, four sacks) began to find the range on the Wildcats' next possession, connecting with Greg Osika for 18 yards and with Mike Boccio for 29 as Depew marched 52 yards in six plays to score on a 1-yard sneak by Christiano.
Before the half ended, though, junior quarterback Bobby Martin directed a drive that produced a Geneva score with 8 seconds left in the half. Martin connected with Shamar Bridges from 26 yards to make it 20-7 at the half. Depew couldn't get any closer than that in the second half.