Depew emphatically secured its playoff spot Friday night. The Wildcats dominated every facet of the game en route to a 45-16 win over Eden at the Constantino Athletic Complex.
With the win, Depew, ranked seventh in the small school poll, finished 4-1 in Class B South, moving to 5-1 overall with their season finale a non-league meeting with rival Lancaster next week.
“This was big for us,” said junior running back Rodney Turner. “We needed it bad. We had to start out fast and we did that tonight.”
It was indeed a fast and efficient start as the Wildcats scored on all six of their possessions in the first half behind their strong running attack.
Turner set a school record with five touchdowns, four of them coming in the first half. He finished with 21 rushes for 198 yards.
“He’s just a great kid and he’s such a good player,” Depew coach Brian Wilson said. “He’s really the heart and soul of what we’re doing now on offense. He’s just a great player.”
He may be the heart and soul of the offensive plan at the moment, but Turner is quick to give credit to his teammates.
“Our fullback Nick Perrine and the offensive line was the key to the running game,” Turner said. “Without them, I couldn’t do what I did tonight. All of my credit goes out to them.”
Junior quarterback Dylan Sekuterski (118 yards passing) connected with his older brother Derrick (80 receiving yards) for a 22-yard play for the Wildcats’ other score in the half while Tyler Anna (interception) hit a 29-yard field goal in the final seconds for a 38-0 halftime lead.
The offense was set up by a dominant defense which held Eden without a first down for the first quarter. The Raiders didn’t get a fresh set of downs until just under seven minutes left in the first half when senior quarterback Nick Sarratori hit senior Alex Smythe for a 19-yard pick up. But that drive was cut short when Mike Thornton pulled in an interception with 4:29 left in the half.
“Eden has a different offense than what we normally have to face and I thought our defense executed exactly what we wanted to do,” Depew coach Brian Wilson said. “Their offense changes pretty much every technique we do defensively and the kids did a really good job with that, bottled them up pretty good.”
In the first quarter, Depew’s worst field possession came on its first drive – a start from its own 49. With the help of a personal foul call, the Wildcats scored three plays later on a 15-yard run from Turner.
Their second possession began at the Eden 40 and the first play was a 19-yard pick up on a pass from Sekuterski to Turner. Two plays later, Turner ran into the end zone from 19 yards out.
It took three plays for Turner to get his next touchdown, a 14-yard run after the Wildcats took over on the Eden 44.
On their last possession of the opening quarter, Depew began on the Eden 37 and needed just two plays to score – this time on a 22-yard pass play between Dylan and Derrick Sekuterski.
Depew needed to move the ball more in the second quarter with drive starts at their own 20 and 32. But only once did the Wildcats need to convert a third down, on their final possession of the half.
The Wildcats took the opening kickoff of the second half and constructed a 16-play, 70-yard drive which lasted 7:26, capped by an 11-yard touchdown run by Turner.
Eden got on the board when Smythe caught the ensuing kickoff around the 10-yard line and broke free for a score. Sarratori connected with Jesse Vondell in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion, making it a 45-8 game.
Depew punted for the first time in the game with 36 seconds left in the third quarter as the Wildcats put in different players in different positions.
Eden added another score with 3:29 left when Cole Simmons ran the ball in from the 1-yard line.