Weekly Feature



2007-10-17 / Sports

Sweet Home defeats East, clinch Class A North crown

by PATRICK J. NAGY Reporter

Sweet Home quarterback Casey Kacz races down the field in the first half while Ryan Gutt (11) blocks East's Ryan Duggan. Sweet Home's victory earned the Panthers the Section VI Class A North title. Photo by John Rusac Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Sweet Home quarterback Casey Kacz races down the field in the first half while Ryan Gutt (11) blocks East's Ryan Duggan. Sweet Home's victory earned the Panthers the Section VI Class A North title. Photo by John Rusac Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Sweet Home's 27-16 road win over Williamsville East on Saturday not only improved its record to 7-0, it also clinched the Panthers the Class A North title and a Federation playoff berth.

"(Winning a division title) is one of our first goals," said Sweet Home coach John Faller. "If you win that, you know you're in the playoffs. We'll represent the North division the best that we can as we move on. We still have one more regular season game against Lew-Port (7 p.m. on Friday) so we'll try to finish 8-0."

Sweet Home's win over East wasn't pretty. Sweet Home committed nine penalties; East was flagged 11 times. Twelve of the 18 penalties occurred in the first half.

"We had so many flags on us but we overcame it," said Faller. "It seemed like every time we had a big play it was called back and stopped our momentum. In the second half, we played a little bit better and got everybody in. That's what it was all about."

Williamsville East's Mike Langfelder tries to fend off the tackle of Sweet Home's Hanif Russell during the Panthers' 27-16 road win last Saturday. Photo by John Rusac Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville East's Mike Langfelder tries to fend off the tackle of Sweet Home's Hanif Russell during the Panthers' 27-16 road win last Saturday. Photo by John Rusac Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The Panthers' starting defense got better as the game progressed.

Senior Marcus Johnson blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by East kicker Joe O'Gorman with 2:41 left in the first quarter. Sophomore Ibrahim Ramadan recovered the blocked kick.

"That was disappointing because if we get Joe the proper protection, he has a strong leg and if he made it, it would have been 7-3," said East coach Henry Fumerelle.

The Flames got great field position on its next drive after East's Mike Silvestri recovered a fumble on a bad snap to Sweet Home junior quarterback Casey Kacz at the Sweet Home 34; however Ramadan tackled junior running back Mike Langfelder for an 8-yard loss on a fourth down pass from senior quarterback Zach Stubbendeck.

East also had a successful fake punt attempt late in the first half that got called back because of a false start penalty.

Johnson, who scored on a 28-yard sweep in the second quarter and a 7-yard TD run midway through the third quarter, also intercepted Stubbendeck in the third quarter to set up a 29-yard run up the middle by junior William Reese to put Sweet Home ahead, 27-0. Ryan Duggan blocked the extra point attempt.

Johnson finished with seven tackles and 94 yards rushing. Johnson has 766 yards, 11 rushing TDs and one receiving TD on the season.

Kacz threw a 39-yard TD to junior Noah Nwachukwu on the fourth play of scrimmage. Kacz completed seven of nine passes for 112 yards. He has thrown for 1,086 yards and 12 TDs this season.

Sweet Home finished with 330 total yards of offense (122 pass, 208 rush).

Junior Brandon Hudson recovered a fumble for Sweet Home. Sophomore Deshanaro Morris was in on 11 tackles.

Both of the Flames' touchdowns came late in the fourth quarter after Sweet Home had put in reserves. Stubbendeck hit Silvestri for a 26-yard TD pass and the two-point conversion with 2:47 remaining. After East forced Sweet Home to punt, Stubbendeck hit Silvestri on a 45-yard TD with 15.5 seconds to play.

Faller said East finished with 199 total yards (80 passing, 119 rushing). Langfelder recovered a fumble; MP Joseph recorded a sack. Fumerelle felt senior Tyler Durinka had his best game of the season on the offensive and defensive line. Langfelder led the East rushing attack.

East (1-5, 1-6) closes out the regular season hosting Grand Island in its homecoming game at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

"The kids competed hard and never gave up," said Fumerelle. "We haven't played like a 1-6 team. We've been in every game. Miscues have been hurting us."

e-mail: pnagy@beenews.com

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