With senior quarterback Andy Smigera running things for West Seneca East, no wonder they're off to a fast start.
Smigera displayed tremendous speed among his all-around talents as the balanced Trojans started the season 2-0 with a 28-14 victory over Williamsville East Friday night.
An estimated 750 on hand in "Trojan Territory" - which is painted in green-and-gold on the concession stand wall as you enter the field - watched West Seneca East take a 14-8 halftime lead and go up, 28-8, after three quarters.
"In the offseason, we're in the weight room and we're out here [on the field], and we're reaching our goals," Smigera said. "We're seeing it, which is the greatest thing."
Smigera completed 7-of-13 passes for 130 yards and rushed for 161 yards on 16 carries.
"He's just a huge part of what we do," West Seneca East coach Jim Maurino said. "Obviously he is fast and obviously he is a great athlete, but the No. 1 thing for me is his leadership."
The game was an early showdown in Class A South between teams which were coming off high-scoring league wins in Week One. West Seneca East opened its league schedule with a 48-6 victory over Bennett, while Williamsville East (1-1) beat Lake Shore, 40-19.
The Trojans distanced themselves from the Flames in the third quarter as the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Smigera set up one score with a big pass, had key plays from his defensive back position and also sped to an 81-yard rushing touchdown.
Entering the second half up only by six, West Seneca East scored early in the third. Smigera completed a 46-yard pass to senior Austin Spindler down the left side to set up a a 5-yard touchdown by senior Scott Ackerman (six rushes, 39 yards; seven tackles) on the next play to give WSE a 21-8 lead with 7:09 left in the third.
Smigera ended Williamsville East's next drive by breaking up a fourth-down pass. The Flames would move the ball well on their next drive behind 6-foot, 180-pound junior back Jaleel Battle, who scored both of East's touchdowns - one on a run and one on a reception - and also lined up at quarterback on several plays.
However, Smigera came up with a huge play to keep the Flames from drawing back within a touchdown as he won a jump-ball battle for a pass hung up down the left side, making an interception in the end zone.
Two plays later, he put on a show. On second and 11 from the WSE 19, Smigera rolled right to pass, then burst through the line, juked a defender and then held his own track meet. He ran past several defenders down the right sideline for a 28-8 lead with 4:37 left in the third.
"They played man and the safety came over the top," Smigera said. "It just opened up and I just took off."
Ryan Johnson (six tackles) ran nine times for 50 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown on WSE's first possession. An interception by junior Sam Crabtree helped enable WSE to take a 14-0 lead. With 5:49 left in the second quarter, Spindler ran behind some nice blocking for a 20-yard run to the wide left side.
Senior Zach Osmanski had 9.5 tackles and a sack for WSE. Junior Brandon Reilly had seven tackles and two sacks.