SINCLAIREVILLE - For the first time in school history, the Cassadaga Valley Cougars' football team got to experience what it is like to play a night game in front of its home crowd.
In a community that usually shows a lot of support for its football team, a special occasion such as this one drew a crowd far larger than any in recent memory.
Unfortunately for the hundreds in attendance supporting the Cougars (2-3, 1-3), they were not able to see the home team come away with a victory as the Westfield Wolverines (3-2, 3-1) pulled away in the second half to take home an 18-0 win in the Class C matchup.
OBSERVER?Photo by Lisa Monacelli
Westfield quarterback Dylan MacCubbin (21) throws for a first down during Friday’s Class C high school football game. He is being pressured by Cassadaga Valley’s Andrew Ellis.
"You can see from a community standpoint what this meant," Cassadaga Valley coach Nick Spitzer said of playing under the lights. "This place was packed. The fundraising that was done was wonderful. The boys played hard, it was exciting for them. We all enjoyed it."
On Westfield's first possession of the game, it used a 45-yard run from Mike Okerlund to set up deep in Cassadaga Valley territory.
However, Westfield was unable to score as Justin Peck intercepted his first of two passes.
For the rest of the first half it was a defensive struggle, until with less than two minutes left in the second quarter, the Cougars had their chance to score.
Westfield's defense came up big and forced Cassadaga Valley to turn the ball over on downs and keep the game scoreless at the break.
It took Westfield a few more possessions before it was able to reach the end zone, but once it did, its offenses gained the confidence it needed.
With less than five minutes left in the third quarter, Dan Ferguson took a run 67 yards for the first points of the game.
"We talked about trying to run our leads a little bit wider at halftime," Westfield coach Bob North said. "When Dan Ferguson broke that long one off, we blocked it just the way we talked about. That was big because we got the six on the board."
On Cassadaga Valley's next possession, the team was able to gain some momentum offensively as it went on a drive deep into Westfield territory.
The Cougars attempted a field goal, but the try was unsuccessful, leaving the score 6-0 in favor of the visitors.
It didn't take much time for the Wolverines to go back on the prowl.
Dylan MacCubbin threw a perfect pass to Jon Coe who then went on a nice run down to the Cassadaga Valley 1 yard line for a gain of 80 yards.
"Then they put a lot of guys in the box," North said of Cassadaga Valley's defense. "If you leave Jon Coe one-on-one all night long, eventually he is going to hurt you. Dylan (MacCubbin) threw a great pass on that long one which gave us a little more breathing room."
Coe finished the game with three catches for 97 yards.
From there, Cameron Wright took a handoff from a yard out to put the Wolverines up 12-0.
"It was just a couple of big, big plays which happens in this game, but you have to put the ball in too," Spitzer said. "We have to finish drives that we start. We had our opportunities."
Westfield added a third touchdown with just a second left when Ferguson took his second score in from a yard out to make it 18-0.
Not only did Ferguson have 75 yards rushing on seven carries and two scores, but he also had a tremendous night on the defensive side of the ball.
"Dan Ferguson was unbelievable again for us on defense," North said. "He has stepped up and played great for us and continued to do that again today."
As for the Cougars, they had a standout game from one of their seniors.
"Tage Reuther played a really good game, both defensively and offensively," Spitzer said. "He had a very good night, being his last time playing on this field. It's just a shame that it didn't work out in our favor. We'll go right back to the drawing board for Southwestern next week. "
While the Cougars travel to Southwestern next week, the Wolverines will host Forestville on Brocton's football field as a part of Brocton's homecoming celebration.