ATTICA ADVANCES: #5 Blue Devils upset #4 Wayland-Cohocton in classic Class C Football Quarterfinal

Posted By on Oct 22, 2018 | 0 comments


(Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

Alex Brasky | @BataviasBestHS
Monday, October 22, 2018 | BataviasBest.org

 

The #5 Attica Blue Devils went down to Cohocton this past weekend where they met the #4 Wayland-Cohocton Eagles for what turned out to be one of the most-exciting HS Football games I’ve ever watched. I mean, this game had everything. A blocked punt, multiple turnovers, a ton of scoring, a 35-yard field goal, and oh yeah, a game-winning, last-second drive.

This one began with the first possession going to the Eagles, who failed to do anything on their opening drive. Forced to punt after a three and out, Way-Coh lined up and snapped it before Attica DE Dawson Nelson broke through the line and blocked the kick – giving the Blue Devils the ball deep inside Eagles’ territory.

Shortly after the big play from Nelson, Attica drove the ball all the way down to the Way-Coh 1-yard line where RB Mason Compton powered the ball across the goal line for the first score of the game. Following a successful PAT off the foot of the Blue Devils’ kicker, who just so happened to be none other than Nelson, the score was 7-0 Blue Devils.

On the ensuing kickoff, Way-Coh once again made a huge mistake and coughed the ball up on the return, which Attica recovered inside Eagles territory. The Blue Devils failed to mount a drive after the second W-C turnover, but they were able to get points on a 35-yard field goal, a boot off the foot of Nelson who was carrying his team in the early-going. With 5:00 to go in the first quarter it was 10-0 Attica.

Way-Coh would respond to begin the second quarter, as a long drive reached the end zone on a short touchdown run from RB Ryan Damboise. The two-point try was unsuccessful, and with 11:08 to go until halftime it was 10-6 Attica – however, that lead wouldn’t last long.

After a solid return on the ensuing kickoff from Blue Devils’ RB Jacob Gross, the Attica offense would fumble the ball back to Way-Coh who took over, looking to take their first lead of the game.

With 7:28 to go in the second quarter the Eagles would do just that, as QB Connor Englert capped a strong drive with a 1-yard touchdown run right up the gut. Way-Coh went on to convert the two-point try, and it was now 14-10 Eagles.

Attica’s comeback victory over Wayland-Cohocton was inspring. (Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

Although the Eagles were beginning to have their way, Attica would not go quietly.

On the ensuing drive Attica would once again mount a scoring drive, which was capped off by a short touchdown pass from RB Ed Strzelec to Nelson – who, after another PAT, had now accounted for 11 of the Devils’ 17 points thus far, in addition to the blocked punt.

The good fortune for Attica wouldn’t last long, though, as Way-Coh drove right down the field on the ensuing drive in order to regain the lead. This time it was a touchdown pass from Englert to WR DeAndre Green doing the damage for the Eagles, and it was now 22-17 Way-Coh with 1:21 remaining in the second quarter.

Attica would get close to scoring before the half, but penalties stalled their drive and the score held at 22-17 going into the break.

Coming out of halftime Attica would strike first and regain the lead following an 8:00 scoring drive which was capped by a short touchdown run on fourth and goal from RB E. Strzelec. However, as had been the case the entire game, the Blue Devils’ lead wouldn’t last long at all.

On Way-Coh’s next drive the Eagles would benefit from a long run by Englert, and then with 1:08 to go in the third quarter, the Eagles looked to RB Brandon DeGuarde who scored a short 1-yard touchdown. It was now 28-24 with W-C back in front.

What happened next was the first sign as to either team taking firm control, since the Nelson 35-yard field goal in the first quarter.

A surprise move which shocked the Blue Devils, Way-Coh opted for an onside kick following the go-ahead score, and they managed to recover the ball after it ricocheted off of an Attica player. With 1:04 to go until the fourth quarter, it now seemed as if the Eagles were going to begin to run away with the win.

With that being said, although they had been dormant since the first quarter, the Attica defense came alive and turned the tide back in their team’s favor. A huge three and out forced by the Attica defense gave the ball back to their offense with a chance to regain the lead with 10:39 to go in the game.

This was one of the greatest HS Football games I’ve ever watched. (Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

Despite the big stop, the next several minutes would feature punts from either side, and with 4:31 to go Attica got the ball back once again looking to march down the field for the game-winning score.

Although they were able to drive down the field, a big mistake by the Blue Devils’ would end what looked like a promising drive, as an unsportsmanlike penalty on top of a holding call moved them back and eventually stalled the drive completely. Way-Coh then took over on offense, deep inside Attica territory, with only 2:20 to go in the game.

It seemed as if the game was over. The Eagles led by four, had the ball, and time was winding down.

But damn it, Attica would have none of it.

The Blue Devils’ defense stepped up once again and stopped the Eagles from converting a first down, giving the ball back to their offense at their own 15-yard line with one last chance, with only :45 remaining until the final gun.

It wasn’t over yet, but it certainly seemed almost impossible to imagine the Blue Devils going all the way down the field in that short amount of time.

But damn it, Attica would have none of it.

A big gain through the air from RB E. Strzelec to cousin Zach Strzelec started the Devils’ drive.

Then a hook-and ladder play from E. Strzelec, to WR Parker Wildey, to Z. Strzelec got Attica inside the 10-yard line with 10.7 remaining.

That’s when the impossible finally became reality.

On the Devils’ next play, an absolute dime from E. Strzelec hit  Z. Strzelec in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead score with only :04.1 remaining. The throw and catch from cousin to cousin would eventually turn out to be the game-winner for Attica, as they held Way-Coh out of the end zone on the ensuing kickoff and began to celebrate their huge victory.

“I’m at a loss right now,” said Attica head coach Caleb Sabatino following the game. “My emotions are jacked-up. The fight in these guys is unreal. To not give up when down 4 points with under a minute to go. To go 85 yards for the win is unbelievable.”

The win for Attica is undoubtedly the most-exciting to date in what has been, to use coach Sabatino’s words, an unbelievable year for the Blue Devils. They’ve now done what many thought they had no chance to, as they’re now in the Class C Semifinal with a chance at a championship.

Moving forward, #5 Attica (6-2) will face #1 seed East Rochester/Gananda (7-1) in the semifinals this Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm at Honeoye Falls-Lima High School.

Stay tuned for continued coverage of the Section V Football Playoffs.

 

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