As the Wilson football team slowly made its way through the postgame handshake line Friday night, the Lakemen player leading the procession kept repeating the same four words:
''You guys are awesome,'' he said.
Few at windswept Charles A. Lawson could disagree.
Southwestern Trojans defeat Wilson in Section 6 football
The Southwestern Trojans, behind a lights-out performance on offense, defense and special teams, shut out Wilson, 41-0, in a Class C interdivisional game.
The victory, the Trojans' 36th straight, raised their record to 7-0 heading into next Friday's Section 6 Class C quarterfinal against Gowanda.
The Panthers will have a daunting task.
Southwestern’s David Tapia sacks Wilson quarterback Joseph Parrott during Friday’s Class C interdivisional game.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
Senior John Mistretta ran for two scores to move into second place on the school's all-time rushing touchdown list; junior Jake Swan passed for one touchdown - a 60-yarder to senior Nick Austin and ran for another; junior Dan Petruccello added another rushing TD; and junior Nick Swanson booted field goals of 38 and 43 yards, the first tying a school record and the latter setting a school mark.
In other words, Southwestern continues to do what it does best - win.
The Trojans scored touchdowns on their first five possessions, while keeping Wilson (4-3) and its vaunted passing attack bottled up the entire game. By halftime, the lead was 35-0.
The only drama after intermission was whether Swanson would be successful on two long field goal tries in the fourth quarter. He didn't disappoint, splitting the uprights from 38 and 43 yards.
''Now was the time to try it,'' Southwestern coach Jay Sirianni said. ''He kicked the ball well. How many touchbacks did he kick? Four? He kicked the ball well tonight.''
The only true cause for concern for Sirianni was an apparent hamstring injury to Mistretta, who finished with 88 yards on just eight carries and TD runs of 25 and 4 yards, before leaving the game in the second quarter. The latter score - his 37th career rushing TD moved him into second place ahead of Jason Burch on the school's all-time list. Dustin Bowser leads with 61.
''I don't know how Johnny is,'' Southwestern coach Jay Sirianni said. ''We'll find out (today). We're erring on the side of safety. I think he could have gone back in. At the point when he was about ready to go in, it was 28-0 and I looked at Johnny and said, 'That's it.' We weren't going to risk it. We've got more football to play.''
With Mistretta on the bench as a precaution, Petruccello filled in nicely, rushing for 80 yards, including a 20-yard TD burst. When added to another highlight-reel effort by Swan (5-of-7 passing for 88 yards and a 42-yard TD run), who was filling in for Jimmy Rauh at quarterback, it was just another impressive evening for the offense.
''The kids just have faith in one another, knowing that whoever is in there is going to get the job done,'' Sirianni said. ''(Petruccello) ran hard and (Swan) did a nice job directing the offense.''
But the defense did its share, too.
Senior David Tapia led the way with six tackles and a fourth-down sack which snuffed out Wilson's lone scoring chance inside the Trojans' 10 in the third quarter. Seniors Pat Langworthy and Tyler Uber also had six tackles and the ever-present Swan added an interception.
See TROJANS, Page B-3
''The kids really stepped up against a passing team,'' Sirianni said. ''Last week we were a little shellshocked. Fredonia threw the ball all over on us. Tonight we really played well on pass defense. We got some nice pressure on the quarterback, shut down the running game again, disrupted routes and made plays. I was really happy with that.''
NOTES: Rauh was successful on all five extra point attempts and performed the punting duties a week after bruising his shoulder against Fredonia. ... Swanson's 38-yard field goal tied the school record held by Chris Stoddard (2006). Swanson's 43-yarder later in the fourth quarter gave him the record all to himself. ... Following is Sirianni's comment on Mistretta's 37 career rushing touchdowns: ''We've had some really good backs and Johnny is right up there with them. The difference with Johnny and the other backs is Johnny's not playing in the same type of offense as those guys (did). Those guys were featured backs who were fed the ball. Johnny's (numbers) are more impressive because he does play in the spread where the ball gets spread around to a lot of different guys.''