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Tuesday, 24 November 2015 12:24

Heading to States: Black Horses Stampede!

By | Sports

Schuylerville Shuts Out Westlake 35-0 In Semis

KINGSTON – Short course: Total supremacy – on both sides of the ball.


Schuylerville unleashed their diversified and dominating rushing attack, gaining over 400 yards on the ground, and completely dismantled their State Semifinal opponent, Westlake, en route to an impressive 35-0 shutout at Kingston’s Dietz Stadium on Saturday, November 21. They will make their first appearance in the State Class B Final game next Sunday, November 29, at noon, in Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. 


The Black Horses, now 12-0, won as they have all season, by near-flawless execution of their ‘flex-bone’ offense. Their sometimes-overlooked defense was just as impressive in registering its fourth shutout of the season. The defense limited Westlake to just 158 total yards (with the bulk coming after the game was out of reach) and caused five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumble recoveries). 


Coming in to the contest, Westlake’s defense had not allowed a touchdown in four games. Schuylerville made short work of that record with a 15 play / 71 yard scoring drive, lasting over six minutes, to begin the game. QB Will Griffen was stopped short of the goal line, but had the presence of mind to pitch the ball back to Zach Pierce, who ran it easily from the 1-yard line for a 7-0 lead.


Midway through the first quarter, and Schuylerville had all the points it would need. But they were hardly finished. 


Senior Skyler Bateman capped another long drive (12 plays / 81 yards) with a 3-yard TD run to put Schuylerville up 14-0 with :58 left in a near-flawless first half, in which the Black Horses converted all three fourth-down plays they needed to keep drives alive.


The third quarter was perhaps even more impressive, as Schuylerville put together a lightning-fast sequence that doubled their margin in a mere 1 minute, 27 seconds and exemplified their dominance on this day. 


With 2:12 left in the quarter, Griffen kept for a 37-yard TD run. On the following kickoff, Benjamin Phillips forced a fumble, which was recovered by Brandon Weed. Shortly thereafter, Derek Willson rumbled for 36 yards and a TD that put the Black Horses up 28-0 with :45 left. In the process, Schuylerville accumulated the most yards that Westlake surrendered to anyone this season – and there was still over a quarter to go.


At 9:51 to go in the fourth quarter, Schuylerville’s offensive line delivered its final exclamation point in the contest – opening a hole wide enough in the middle of the field to drive the team’s bus through, as Bateman romped easily for 79 yards and his second TD to make it 35-0. Backup QB Mitchell Burroughs took over the offense with about 7:30 left, but the Black Horses’ defense still had their own exclamation point to deliver when Willson hauled in their third interception of the afternoon. 


Schuylerville came into the contest ranked #4 in the State, and faces another supreme test in the final next Sunday, when it will meet #1 Cazenovia. Given the character it has demonstrated throughout their undefeated season, they probably wouldn’t want it any other way.

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