Weekly Feature

2017-10-12 / Sports

Depew football wins in a shootout to move to 4-2

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter

Depew football won a shootout Friday night, defeating Olean on the road, 44-41. The win put the Wildcats in a great position to make the playoffs, moving them to 3-2 in league play and 4-2 overall.

The game came down to the wire. Depew was leading late when Olean went on a long drive down the field and scored with about four minutes left in the game to take a 41-38 lead. But Sean Miller returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards to the Olean 3 yard line. Jeremy Clark punched it in to give Depew a 44-41 lead. The Huskies were able to move up the field, but ultimately Depew was able to get a stop.

“We were able to hold them off at the end,” Depew coach Brian Wilson said. “They stormed the field on us again, which was really tough to watch. But fortunately, we held them off. They ran a halfback pass at the end. Fortunately for us, the kid threw to the wrong player — there was another guy wide open. They say it’s better to be lucky than good, and we were lucky. Despite the injuries we’re dealing with and stuff like that, we’re very happy to be where we are.”

The offense put up perhaps its best performance of the season against a solid Class B foe on the road with the playoffs on the line.

“Offensively, we were able to stay in the game and do things,” Wilson said. “Defensively, we struggled all night. They had a big back, and the kid rushed for 231 yards on us. We had a hard time stopping him. That kind of put pressure on our offense, but they responded positively. We kind of got into a track meet and we were able to hold them off.”

Quarterback Joe Pagano had a huge game, completing 58 percent of his passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for two touchdowns and a couple two-point conversions, which were key in such a close game.

Senior wide receiver Chad Biersbach also had a big day as well, catching seven balls for 82 yards and a score. He’s now up to 32 catches on the year, which is a program record. Last year, he fell just short with 29.

“I know that was a goal of his this year, so we’re really happy for him and proud,” Wilson said.

Although the offense was explosive, the defense had trouble stopping the Olean attack. Wilson would like to see the team tackle better, going forward.

“We’ve got to tackle better. We lost another linebacker on the first play of the game,” Wilson said. “Our starting middle linebacker, Dylan Lis, twisted his knee and was out for the game. Hopefully we get him back this week. That should prove to be helpful. He’s one of our leading tacklers.”

Depew will now have its biggest challenge of the year Friday night, when the Wildcats host undefeated Lancaster in a classic rivalry game.

“We’ve a big one coming up this week and all the hoopla that goes with it,” Wilson said. “We have to stay focused and get prepared for one of the toughest teams in the area, if not the state. Then get ready for playoffs. It’s going to be big for us over the next couple of weeks.”

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