HF-L football dominates UPrep
BY DONNA MACKENZIE
Just one week before, the Honeoye Falls-Lima Varsity Football team needed a last second touchdown to beat University Prep in the final game of the regular season. This past Friday night, the Cougars scored three times in the first half and never looked back.
HF-L, seeded fourth, throttled #5 UPrep 25-8 in the quarterfinal round of the Section V Class B Tournament on October 19. Senior Austin Hamilton recovered a fumble on University Prep’s opening drive, but HF-L saw its drive stopped by an interception. After an incomplete pass, senior defensive tackle Shane Enright recovered a fumble and rambled 28 yards for the club’s first touchdown with 6:52 left in the first quarter. The point-after kick by Reece Joint was good to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead. Enright’s fumble recovery was the second of seven turnovers that the Cougar defense forced UPrep to commit.
“It is a record for the program as I don’t find any evidence that there was a category for that in our record books,” coach John Russ said. “Shane’s TD was huge for the team’s confidence and allowed our offense to breathe a bit easier.”
The Cougar defense was just getting started, however. A little over three minutes later, senior linebacker Josh Kosciol intercepted a pass and returned it to the UPrep 2. Junior quarterback Turner Wilson scored on a one-yard QB sneak to boost HF-L into a 13-0 lead with 3:19 remaining in the quarter. HF-L held that lead at the end of the quarter. In the second quarter, Wilson scored on a one-yard run over the left side with 2:11 left in the period. That touchdown was set up by a 36-yard pass from Wilson to senior wide receiver Derek Childs on the right sideline and then a 12-yard run by Wilson to the UPrep 1. HF-L took that 19-0 advantage into halftime.
“The defense really set the tone for the whole game,” Russ stated. “After last week, we knew it might be a bit tough for our offense. We made some formation adjustments on offense to give us some better blocking schemes and those worked. Defensively, we blitzed a bit more but mostly it was just sound fundamental play.”
UPrep got on the board in the third quarter, returning a punt 36 yards for a touchdown and adding a two-point conversion run, to pull within 19-8 with 10:20 left in the quarter. The Cougar defense, however, contained UPrep on offense. HF-L scored once more, this time when junior running back Mason Ferrara ran for a five-yard touchdown with 54 seconds remaining in the game to make it 25-8.
“In the fourth quarter, we just decided to run the ball using Mason and try to wear them out,” Russ said. “That not only wore them down but it burned a lot of clock and kept their offense off the field.”
Wilson completed 7-of-18 passes for 86 yards. Ferrara rushed 17 times for 77 yards, Wilson 16 times for 67 yards and Peter Romig had three carries for minus-nine yards. Childs caught two passes for 54 yards. Mitch Slymon had one catch for 25 yards. Ferrara made two receptions for nine yards and Cary VanNewkirk one reception for four yards.The Cougars had 221 total yards, 135 of that on the ground. Josh Kosciol led the defense with 6.5 tackles and one interception. Hamilton had five tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception. Law Watts had five tackles with one interception. Enright chipped in 4.5 tackles and the fumble recovery for a TD. Mitch Slymon had three tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Ferrara had 3.5 tackles, Luke Kosciol 3.5 tackles, Childs two, Ben Sousa two, VanNewkirk two, Zach Sales two, Sal Tripi one and Chase Rorick one.
“Shane’s fumble recovery and Law’s interception in the end zone in the third quarter were probably the two biggest plays of the game,” Russ said.
HF-L faces #1 seed Batavia in a Class B semifinal game on Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. at Pittsford Sutherland High.
“Batavia is big and athletic,” Russ said. “They have a running back who is a Division I prospect and is big and fast. Their team is kind of a blend of Greece Arcadia and UPrep.”