Before facing off against Elba/Byron-Bergen, Alexander's Head Coach Tim Sawyer offered an assessment of what it would take the Trojans to beat the Lancers.
"We need 48 minutes of perfect football," he said.
After the game, Sawyer said his team got pretty close.
"I feel like we get maximum effort out of our boys, a good effort, but we still continue to make some mistakes," Sawyer said. "Today we played a pretty complete game. I'd say 42, 44 minutes of pretty good football."
The result was a 21-0 win, giving Alexander a 5-2 record on the season and carrying them into sectional play on a four-game win streak.
Pre-game, the meeting of the two 4 and 2 Genesee Region rivals promised to be a close battle, and for the first 11 minutes of play, that's exactly what it was. But as the scoreless first quarter drew to a close, LB Derrick Busch cut in front of a Lancers receiver to snag a Garrett Chapell pass and dash 28 yards unimpeded for the score.
"That gave us the momentum that carried us through the game," said senior Tyler Laird.
In the second quarter, RB Tristan Aldinger scored on a 44-yard run and RB Jacob Wozniak scored on a 50-yard run.
"Running up the middle, my fullback, Al Hadsall, had a really good block on the inside, so I broke it off on the outside of him and the whole team really put it together on that play and helped me score," Wozniak said.
Sawyer said he knew coming into the game that the Lancers feature a strong, aggressive defense, and he came prepared.
Six different players took snaps and four backs took turns taking handoffs.
"We wanted to use our speed early to get out wide and get them to spread and they did," Sawyer said. "Then we started running zone run up the middle, and you guys saw the game kind of open up for us."
Wozniak and Aldinger shouldered most of the load out of the backfield. Wozniak had 23 carries for 108 yards and the TD, and Aldinger had 128 yards and a TD on 14 carries.
Elba/BB isn't an easy team to shut down offensively. It's a good team with Chapell, John Hochmuth and Steele Truax to power the scoring.
Yet, they were shutout.
"I give all the credit to (Defensive Coach Matt) McCracken," Sawyer said. "I think he's under 30, but he's (the) mastermind."
Laird said the defensive line really sparked the performance.
"Our guys were working hard," Laird said. "Our D-line has got a push and they were opening up the lanes for me to make tackles. That goes for me and the other linebackers Cody Trzecieski and Jake Wozniak. The linemen really opened it up for us."
This is the second year the Trojans have run a three-man front on defense, and it's kind of a secret weapon, Sawyer said.
"I think that confuses our opponents a bit and we're getting pretty good at it," Sawyer said.
On Saturday, Alexander travels to Honeoye Falls for a first-round sectional game against Avon.
Last year the Trojans made it all the way to Section V finals. This year's team is a very different kind of team, with more speed and not as much power, but Laird said that's the only difference between each year's teams.
This year's team is just as ready to challenge for a title.
"It was rough at the beginning of the year trying to adjust to a new scheme, but these kids are working just as hard as that team did last year and they just keep getting better every single week," Laird said. "It's basically the same atmosphere as last year. Five and one in the GR and I'm excited. It feels great."
Top photo: Jacob Wozniak breaks free for Alexander's third, and final touchdown -- a 50-yard run.
Elba/BB's Mike Shanley comes close to blocking Zach Shilvock second of three extra points.
Steele Truax dives for a few extra yards in the third quarter.
Tristan Aldinger comes close to a third-quarter pass interception.
Samuel Browne picking up yardage in the third quarter.
Mike Shanley on a run in the third quarter.
UPDATE: Rick Franclemont also took pictures of the game. You can view them here.
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