on November 17, 2013 - 12:44 AM
, updated November 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM
ROCHESTER – Having beaten the best Western New York had to offer, Depew now believes it can take down the rest of the state.
The Wildcats advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B semifinals for the first time in school history Saturday with a 29-9 win over Section V (Rochester area) champion Geneva in front of 1,500 at Sahlen’s Stadium.
One week after toppling top-ranked and defending champion Alden, The News’ No. 3 small school dominated from start to finish against a Geneva team that beat Depew to in its only previous Far West Regional game in 2007 and came into the rematch ranked No. 7 in the state in Class B, one spot in front of Depew.
“In our minds, Alden was that monkey on our backs that we could never get off and now that it’s gone, we’re going out there and playing football and looking to move on,” senior tight end and linebacker Nick Yelich said.
“You can tell their confidence has been building and that win built it even more,” coach Brian Wilson said.
The Wildcats (9-2) will be the first team in school history to play a 12th game when they returns to Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday to face the winner of today’s game between Section III (Syracuse area) champion Cazenovia and Section VI (Binghamton area) champion Maine-Endwell.
Depew built a lead it never relinquished in the game’s opening minutes.
Dan Golba intercepted a pass on Geneva’s first play from scrimmage and rushed for 39 yards on three consecutive carries before scoring from six yards out to put Depew up, 6-0, after just 1:28.
“That was a huge momentum shift and it set our offense up for success because we were so deep in their zone,” Yelich said.
Golba got the ball right back for Depew with a second interception he returned to the Geneva 10. That set up Tyler Anna’s 28-yard field goal that made it 9-0 less than four minutes into the game.
Golba, who has filled in for injured starter Rodney Turner during Depew’s playoff run, rushed for 68 of his 97 yards in the first half.
“Danny has done a great job for us,” Wilson said. “When Rodney went down, he stepped right in … He’s done well for us on defense all year and I can’t say enough about the kid. He’s a Wildcat through and through.”
Connor Fillebrown put Geneva (9-2) on the board with a 35-yard field goal in the last minute of the first half and converting a fake punt, but Depew opened the second half with a 12-play, 69-yard drive that culminated by Nick Perrine’s 1-yard touchdown to make it 16-3.
Dylan Sekuterski connected with Cody Penner on a 27-yard touchdown pass that made it 23-3 with 1:42 left in the third quarter.
Turner helped the Wildcats kill the clock in the second half, rushing for 45 yards on 16 carries after sitting out the entire first half. He appeared stronger and more confident in his injured left ankle than he was in limited action last week.
“He’s only got so many reps in him and we try to get them at the right time,” Wilson said.
Turner’s one-yard touchdown run with 1:48 remaining was the final score.