WEST SENECA - Jamestown got off to a slow start, at least by Red Raiders' standards for the 2013 football season, in Friday night's Class AA game at West Seneca West. But when the game was completed, it looked like the usual.
For the fifth straight game, Jamestown surpassed the 50-point barrier with a 56-8 victory over the Indians.
The Red Raiders, who are ranked No. 1 among large schools in Western New York and 16th in the state Class AA rankings, are now 5-0 overall and 4-0 in Class AA. West Seneca West falls to 0-5 and 0-5.
Jamestown’s Zack Panebianco returns a punt in the first half of Friday’s Class AA football game at West Seneca West. The 35-yard return helped set up the Red Raiders’ second touchdown in their 56-8 victory. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
Jamestown’s Matthew Nazzaro (20) breaks up a pass intended for West Seneca West receiver Dakota Farr during Friday night’s Class AA football game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
Jamestown led ''only'' 15-0 after the first quarter and 35-0 at halftime. That was quite a change from the previous week when the Red Raiders led Lancaster 29-0 at the end of the first quarter and 58-14 at halftime.
''The first quarter we seemed almost nervous and a little sloppy,'' Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy said. ''They wanted to play so well early because we set the bar so high for this game, we didn't want a letdown. That might have given them some early jitters.''
But the jitters didn't last for long,
''We came out of it early, we scored some touchdowns early,'' Langworthy said. ''The second quarter was much better than the first. The second half we just dominated. It was a good win, but as always there are things to improve upon.''
Senior quarterback Jake Sisson said, ''We got off to a slow start today. A few mistakes and that really kills you. Eventually we got it going.''
Sisson got it going by completing 15-of-23 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He also passed for a pair of two-point conversions and ran for a touchdown.
That brings his touchdown total for the season to 29.
The Red Raiders were required to go on one of their longest drives in number of plays and time this season as it took them 13 plays to go 67 yards to score on a 1-yard run by Da'Quon Hollingsworth. Zack Panebianco, kicking in place of Quinn Lee Yaw who is sidelined with a groin injury, hit the extra point for a 7-0 lead with 3:03 left in the first quarter.
It was the latest Jamestown has opened the scoring in a game this season and it had appeared the Red Raiders might not get into the end zone. They were forced to punt, but a 5-yard penalty on West Seneca West for too many men gave the Red Raiders a first down to keep the drive alive.
''We were actually faking a punt and that kind of ruined it,'' Langworthy said. ''We were running a fake on that (with punter Panebianco) and I thought we had it.''
Jamestown's next touchdown was set up with a 35-yard punt return by Panebianco to the Indians' 25-yard line. Two plays later, Sisson hit Stephen Carlson with a 14-yard touchdown pass and then Panebianco caught a two-point conversion for a 15-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
The Red Raiders next touchdown was set up with a fumble recovery by Cameron Haberberger at the Indians' 19-yard line. Five plays later, Sisson hit Ben Larson with an 8-yard touchdown pass and Panebianco's kick upped the lead to 22-0 with 3:37 left in the first half.
That score didn't last long as Panebianco executed a perfect onside kick and recovered the ball himself at the WSW 32. On the fifth play from there, Sisson scored around the left end on a 13-yard keeper, but he slipped on the two-point conversion for a 28-0 lead.
''We've had that for the last two years,'' Panebianco said. ''Tonight it just worked out perfectly. The guy started backpedeling and it bounced up into my hands.''
Jamestown wasn't finished as it scored again with 41 seconds left in the first half. It appeared the Red Raiders had scored on a 37-yard punt return by Panebianco, but it was nullified for an illegal block. That gave the Red Raiders the ball at the Indians' 30 and on their second play, Sisson hit Brian Park with a 30-yard touchdown pass and Panebianco's kick gave Jamestown a 35-0 halftime lead.
The Red Raiders continued to roll in the second half. After West Seneca West went three and out, Jamestown returned to the end zone. On a third-and-10 play, Sisson tossed a short pass to Carlson, who broke numerous tackles on the way to a 57-yard touchdown play. Then Sisson hit Panebianco for a two-point conversion and a 43-0 lead.
Carlson finished as the Red Raiders' receiving leader with eight catches for 134 yards.
After another three and out by the Indians, Jamestown scored like its teams of the past. The Red Raiders drove 71 yards in six plays, all runs by Hollingsworth and Zacc Kinsey. Hollingsworth scored the touchdown on a 17-yard run, but Panebianco's extra-point kick was blocked to keep the score at 49-0.
''I thought that was nice,'' Langworthy said about the drive on the ground. ''I was pleased with that drive because we were able to get to the outside both ways. It's a package we've been working on.''
Hollingsworth finished with 93 yards on 13 carries and when asked if he enjoyed running on grass for a change, he said, ''It's pretty good, it's a little different. I haven't run on grass all season, but this time getting out there it felt good.''
Actually, Hollingsworth did play on grass earlier this season at Kenmore West, but not much running was required because Sisson set a WNY record with 508 yards passing.
After that, the Red Raiders' reserves took over with Joshua Colwell at quarterback. But Kinsey was still in the backfield and he scored from 3 yards out as the horn sounded to end the third quarter and Panebianco's kick moved the lead to 56-0.
Kinsey was the Red Raiders' rushing leader with 120 yards on 14 carries.
''It feels good,'' the sophomore said of his first 100-yard rushing game on the varsity. ''Being one of the youngest players on the team and to do that shows I was ready to move up.''
And as for running on grass, Kinsey said, ''It doesn't matter to me as long as I'm on the field and I have the ball in my hands.''
West Seneca West ended the shutout with 45 seconds left when Aaron Harm ran in from 15 yards. Then the Indians faked an extra-point kick and holder Brendan Ebert ran in for a two-point conversion.
Dylan Anthony led Jamestown in tackles with eight and Kevin Mosely had seven. Joe Mistretta recorded five tackles for losses.
Next for the Red Raiders is a Class AA home game at 7 p.m. at Strider Field against Clarence (0-3, 0-4).
Jamestown 15 20 21 0 - 56
West Seneca West 0 0 0 8 - 8
Jam-Hollingsworth 1 run (Panebianco kick)
Jam-Carlson 14 pass from Sisson (Panebianco pass from Sisson)
Jam-Larson 8 pass from Sisson (Panebianco kick)
Jam-Sisson 13 run (run failed)
Jam-Park 30 pass from Sisson (Panebianco kick)
Jam-Carlson 57 pass from Sisson (Panebianco pass from Sisson)
Jam-Hollingsworth 17 run (kick failed)
Jam-Kinsey 3 run (Panebianco kick)
WSW-Harm 15 run (Ebert run)