When the offensive line is firing off the ball and moving defenders wherever it wants, football becomes a relatively simple game.
West Seneca East made it look easy as 1-2-3 on a windy night in the Southtowns on Friday.
In a showdown between unbeaten Buffalo News Large Schools, the eighth-ranked Trojans breezed past No. 3 Starpoint, 59-22, before an estimated 1,200.
The meeting was a clash of styles featuring West Seneca East’s ground-and-pound offense versus a Spartans crew that had passed for more yards than any other Western New York team through three weeks.
The Trojans’ style didn’t just win out in this one. They pounded Starpoint into submission, scoring on six of their first seven possessions. They amassed all of their 517 yards in total offense via the run (48 carries).
With linemen Colin Wiley, Nick Hamme, Chase Pirro, Jack Turner and Cam Cacciotti along with tight ends Dylan McNulty and Jesse Pfeiffer and full back Anthony Bullis moving obstacles out of the way, running back Shaun Dolac put up some huge numbers. The senior rushed 22 times for 265 yards, scoring on runs of 27, 33 and 46 yards. He also rushed in a pair of two-point conversions.
Devare Mathis only carried the ball twice but scored each time on runs of 52 and 61 yards.
It was that kind of day for the Trojans.
“We have so much talent on this team,” said Dolac, who also made 11 tackles on defense. “The line was unbelievable. They just made huge holes for every back to run through.”
“It was amazing how our line really worked as a unit,” said Hamme, who also had two sacks. “We definitely sent a message to Class A-3 and all Class A not to take us lightly.”
West Seneca East (4-0) scored the first 38 points, leading 31-0 at halftime, and led 45-8 through three quarters.
On defense, East used primarily a 40-formation to hold the Spartans to 211 total yards, including just 123 through the air. The Trojans sacked quarterback Aaron Chase four times.
“I’m proud of my kids,” said Trojans coach Jim Maurino.
Mathis helped East get off to a good start when he recovered a fumble at the Trojans’ 42-yard line just 57 second into the game. Five plays later, Dolac scored from 27 yards out, making a nice side step to avoid the last defender standing between him and the end zone.
Starpoint did threaten on its next possession, getting inside East’s 15. Back to back sacks by the Trojans’ defense – the last by Bullis for a 9-yard loss thwarted that drive.
West Seneca East needed 11 plays to score on its next possession, a drive it kept alive with Dolac gaining 7 yards on a fourth-and-1 play from the Trojans’ 30. He ended that drive scoring on a 35-yard run with 9:13 left in the second quarter.
After a Spartans three and out, Mathis scored on a 52-yard run and the fans wearing the green and gold couldn’t help but howl at how the game was unfolding. They continued to hoot and holler throughout, even though the outcome was pretty much settled by halftime.
With the forecast calling for rain and wind, it figured to be conditions that favored West Seneca East. The rain stayed away but the Trojans thrived nonetheless.
They are enjoying this win but know their work is far from done. The next challenge that awaits them is old friend South Park next Friday at All High Stadium.
It’s another division game for the Trojans. It’s another chance for them to prove themselves.
“Each week is a new week,” Dolac said. “We just have to compete and bring it. We’re going to keep working.”