Southwestern Marches Past Dunkirk 52-0 For Nonleague Win
In a football game Friday night between Dunkirk and Southwestern, one team’s players walked to the end zone at halftime shaking their heads in frustration.
The other team’s players were so comfortable that some were lip-syncing to Rihanna’s “Umbrella” during stretches at midfield while warming up for the second half.
A 35-0 lead at the break will do that to you.
Behind three first-half touchdowns of more than 50 yards and three single-play scoring drives in the opening half of play, the Southwestern Trojans trampled the Dunkirk Marauders 52-0 in a nonleague football game at Charles A. Lawson Field.
“We talked about just coming out and starting hot,” said Southwestern head coach Jake Burkholder. “That was our focus, putting our foot on the gas right from the get-go. We took that to heart this week.”
After forcing Dunkirk (2-3, 2-2) to turn the ball over on downs on the first possession of the game, Southwestern (4-1, 3-0) was off and running early in Friday’s contest. On its first possession, Southwestern’s star running back, Jameson Walsh, ran the ball right up the middle of the field for 55 yards and his first touchdown of the half. Walsh scored three touchdowns on the ground prior to halftime on Friday.
“To be honest, it was missed assignments, and it’s guys being in places that they had to be, but just missing the chances that they had,” Dunkirk head coach Edwin Gomez said. “(Southwestern) saw the weakness and they exploited it. I give them all the credit in the world, they earned it.”
The Trojans were impressive in every way a team can be measured on Friday. Walsh finished with 17 carries for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Owen Hayes was 7-for-10 passing, but his seven completions totaled 254 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, including an 85-yarder to Declan Kennedy on the first play of the fourth quarter, and scoring plays of 80 yards and 27 yards both to Brody Larson. Even in the kicking game, Neves Hoose connected on a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter and was a perfect 7-for-7 on extra points. The Trojans even recovered an onside kick.
Oh, and the Southwestern defense posted a shutout, too.
“It’s a good building point, showing these kids what they are capable of. Now they have just got to grasp that and run with it,” Burkholder said.
Friday’s contest was punctuated by Matthew Strong-Butterfield high-stepping into the end zone for the Trojans’ seventh touchdown of the night to make the score 52-0 with 4:45 left to play. Many of Southwestern’s starters had been pulled by that point.
“Being able to get some kids in, getting guys playing time is always huge,” Burkholder said. “These guys are out there supporting their teammates and maybe don’t get to play as much as the others. It’s always good to get guys out there.”
Dunkirk was unable to find the end zone on Friday, but they did find the referees — twice, in fact — as on two separate occasions in the second quarter, a different Dunkirk starter crashed into a referee in the middle of a play. The first instance came on fourth down, when quarterback Donny Jackson changed direction while being chased and crashed into the official chasing the play near midfield. The second time a referee made contact with a Dunkirk player was on a slant pass over the middle in the final seconds of the first half.
Whether it was getting run into by referees or getting run over by the Trojans, Dunkirk had plenty to be frustrated about on Friday. After two exciting games to begin the season, Dunkirk has been humbled since. The Marauders had a bye week to regroup after a 47-7 loss at Iroquois on Sept. 15, as last week’s contest at Burgard-Performing Arts was canceled. Dunkirk was awarded the win via forfeit as Burgard-Performing Arts canceled the remainder of its season. But for Dunkirk, the rest led to rust, as Southwestern rolled through the Marauders from the get-go.
“It definitely took a bit of wind out of our sails. It kind of threw away our rhythm,” Gomez said of the cancellation last week. “But regardless of that, showing up with a ‘bye week’ you would think that it would have been a different showing today.”
On the other sideline, however, Friday was more of the same lately for the Trojans. Since recovering from a slow start to the season, Southwestern came in on a three-game win streak, including a 30-point win at Fredonia and a 20-point win last week at Chautauqua Lake-Westfield-Brocton. The Trojans now will carry a four-game win streak into a home matchup next week with Silver Creek-Forestville, who entered play on Friday 0-4 with each loss by at least 30 points.
“There’s still room for improvement. … There’s things that we can fix, there’s always something. Every team is a different challenge,” Burkholder said. “You’ve got to keep everybody levelheaded and grounded, and come to work every week.”
Next week, the Marauders host Maryvale, who entered play on Friday night 4-0 with a margin of victory greater than 20 points in each contest.
“We’ll break down the film and see what we can plan accordingly to what they are showing. We’ll show up and play football,” said Gomez. “It’s just another week of football – either the kids show up and we make it a game, or it’s going to be an interesting night.”