Size matters in Far West Regional as Alexander falls to CSP 29-6
The Alexander Trojans won their first 10 games of 2018 by dominating their opponents, even bigger, stronger opponents.
Today, in Clarence, playing for the Far West Regional Championship, they met a team whose size they couldn't overcome.
The Trojans lost to the Clymer/Sherman/Panama Wolfpack 29-6.
The Trojans made it this far with a multi-player attack ground game and a defense that could stuff the run on the other side of the ball. Today, the Wolfpack outgained the Trojans 271 rushing yards to 148 rushing yards by dominating the line on both sides of the ball.
On defense, the Wolfpack linemen were often in the backfield as soon as the handoff.
On a team where 100-yard games have been common and frequent, only Ty Woods managed to break more than 100 yards rushing. He went for 116 yards on seven carries, but 86 of those yards came on the final play of the game. That's when Woods, who had taken over at QB, broke free on a run and scored Alexander's only touchdown.
"Where we made a living on speed and strength overcoming size and bulk, today we met a team that was our equal or better in the trenches and in the box," said Head Coach Tim Sawyer.
There were two key moments in the game. In the first quarter, the Trojans advanced the ball to the red zone but a fumble pushed them back and gave them a 2nd and 17. The second decisive play was a third-quarter interception of a Dylan Busch pass.
"You cannot be in second and longs and third and longs against a team like this," Sawyer said.
Alexander was down by only a touchdown and seemed to be mounting a drive when they turned the ball over on the interception.
Sawyer admitted that may have deflated the team a bit.
Chris McClinic, who came into the game with 1,088 rushing yards on the season, an 11.7 per-carry average, was held to only 11 yards on 10 carries. Terrez Smith, who came into the game with 1,022 rushing yards on the season, a 9.55 per-carry average, was held to 20 yards on 10 carries. McClinic and Smith finish the season with 16 and 15 touchdowns apiece after not reaching the end zone once today.
It was a hard day to play football -- cold, made even colder by a strong, unrelenting wind that shortened passes and caused kicks to veer offline.
With the Wolfpack shutting down the run, the wind and cold made Busch, who has put up great stats all year (49-92 for 907 yards, 15 TDs, and only six interceptions), a less effective alternative. He was 3-11 passing with three interceptions. The Wolfpacks QB, G. Hinsdale, was 4-12 passing with one interception.
The combined program of Clymer, Sherman and Panama gives the three schools a combined 328 student count (or what New York State Public High School Athletic Association calls "bed count." For football, for a team to qualify for Class D, the bed count should be 229 or below (Alexander's is 192). However, the NYSPHSAA used a formula that tallies the bed count of the second or third school in a combined program at 30 percent. That makes CSP's bed count 181.
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