NIAGARA FALLS -- Hutch-Tech didn’t just experience victory Saturday afternoon, the Engineers enjoyed a historic moment at the Niagara Falls High School Athletics and Recreation Complex.
Hutch-Tech earned its first ever Section VI Tournament football triumph, taking down a six-win Niagara Falls team, 14-6, in a hard-hitting Class AA quarterfinal played in rather windy conditions.
Hutch-Tech’s Daemani Devonshire secured the win with under a minute left by tackling the Wolverines’ Cortese Myles 2 yards shy of the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 10. Two plays earlier, Engineers teammate Kevin Barney dove to knock down a pass to a seemingly wide-open Falls receiver.
Yes, Hutch-Tech received contributions from many in its sixth win, its most in a season since the ex-Harvard Cup member joined the Section VI Federation in 2010.
The Engineers will face old friend and unbeaten Lancaster on Friday night in a rematch of an earlier meeting this season between the Class AA South teams.
Play of the game: The Engineers defense limited Niagara Falls to just 45 yards, including minus-22 during the first half. But, Devonshire’s touchdown-saving tackle at the end winds up being the biggest just because it officially ended the Wolverines’ bid to tie things.
Player of the game: Faulk, who rushed for a game-high 84 yards on 13 carries.
Player of the game II: Falls junior defensive tackle Syquan Ralands looked unstoppable at times as he disrupted many Hutch-Tech plays. He had four tackles for losses in the first half – including a takedown for a 6-yard loss on first-and-goal from the 7 late in the second quarter that prevented the Engineers from adding to their 8-0 lead.
Pick to set up six: Tee Hunt returned an interception 22 yards early in the third quarter to set up twin brother Dee Hunt’s 4-yard touchdown run for Niagara Falls. That made it 8-6, but the Wolverines’ conversion run failed.
Key moment of the game: Shawn Faulk’s 55-yard touchdown run up the middle out of the wildcat. The score came with 2 minutes, 4 seconds left in the first quarter but provided the underdog Engineers a reason to believe they could move the ball against a much larger Wolverines defensive front. Before the score, Hutch-Tech had been thrown for losses four times on its first 10 plays. The Engineers gained minimal yardage on the other six.
Records: Hutch-Tech is 6-2 as is Niagara Falls.
Next: The Engineers have a Friday night lights Class AA semifinal date at Lancaster against the unbeaten Legends, who have a chance at moving up from No. 2 to No. 1 in the Buffalo News’ Large School poll.