Weekly Feature



2017-09-13 / Sports

Strong second half leads North football past East

PATRICK NAGY
Sports Reporter


Williamsville North’s Marquel Wells gets tackled by Ajay Chima during the Spartans’ 35-18 home win Friday. Wells rushed 20 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns. 
Photo by Kathleen KramerPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville North’s Marquel Wells gets tackled by Ajay Chima during the Spartans’ 35-18 home win Friday. Wells rushed 20 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Photo by Kathleen KramerPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville North’s football team looked out of sorts in the first half of its non-league home game Friday with Williamsville East. The Spartans turned over the ball three times and still led 14-12 at halftime.

But North came out in the second half focused on making a bigger commitment to running the football and it paid off, as they outscored the Flames, 21-6, on their way to a 35-18 victory.

“We came to play for a ‘w’ but we did not fire on all cylinders,” North coach Mike Mammoliti said. “There were times that we were dominant, but there was not a flow to what we were doing. In the second half, we made an adjustment and kept running the ball. We did not play a complete game.”

North senior running back Marquel Wells, who missed the Spartans’ Week One game with Hutch-Tech due to an injury, got the Spartans’ offense going with a 56-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second half.

“It was a rough first half, but we fought through and got a team win,” said Wells, who rushed 20 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns. “The coaches always talk about ‘we,’ so without the receivers on the edge and the offensive line making gaps, I wouldn’t have been able to do nothing. The run gave us a big boost. I thank my team.”

“He makes a big difference,” Mammoliti said. “He brought some juice to the offense.”

Senior back Ivan Ghemmegne added short touchdown runs of 4 and 2 yards in the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring. Junior Dylan Mann added four rushes for 36 yards.

“Everybody has a role, and one thing we try to preach is know your role,” Mammoliti said. “We are getting there.”


Williamsville East’s Clayton Osborne races to the end zone for the Flames’ first touchdown in Friday’s game at Williamsville North. Osborne returned the opening kickoff and later scored on a 5-yard touchdown run in the team’s 35-18 defeat. 
Photo by Kathleen KramerPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Williamsville East’s Clayton Osborne races to the end zone for the Flames’ first touchdown in Friday’s game at Williamsville North. Osborne returned the opening kickoff and later scored on a 5-yard touchdown run in the team’s 35-18 defeat. Photo by Kathleen KramerPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com East caught a break on the opening kickoff when return man senior Joe Shifflet was hit by a North player and the ball popped up in the air and into the hands of junior Clayton Osborne, who returned it 76 yards for a touchdown. North junior Parker Evans blocked the extra point.

“It got some enthusiasm going on our sideline,” East coach Mike Torrillo said. “Last week, we felt like we were pretty close to almost breaking a few kick returns.”

A 45-yard kick return by Mann gave North the ball on the East 30. Five plays later, Wells capped off a short drive with a 3-yard touchdown. Senior kicker Ed Bianco’s extra point gave North a 7-6 lead. Bianco kicked five extra points in the game.

A 1-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Joe Nusall extended North’s lead to 13-6 with three seconds left in the first quarter. Nusall also completed 7 of 13 passes for 181 yards.

Jake Orlando caught three passes for 64 yards, Brett Isler had two receptions for 59 yards, Dylan Kelly hauled in two receptions for 35 yards, and Ryan Johnston caught one pass for 30 yards.

East’s defense caused three turnovers in the second quarter, a sack by junior Ajay Chima that caused a fumble recovery by junior John Moran, and interceptions by junior John Orfanidis and senior Nick Kieffer.

It was Kieffer’s third interception of the season.

“Our strength lately has been our defense,” Torrillo said. “They kept us in the game.”

East only converted off Orfanidis’ interception when junior quarterback Colson Skorka rushed up the middle on a draw for an 18-yard score. Kelly broke up Skorka’s pass on the two-point conversion, leaving the Flames down 14-12.

Skorka rushed 11 times for 53 yards and completed 9 of 12 passes for 117 yards.

“He settled down and made some plays for us,” Torrillo said.

Osborne scored on a 5-yard score on its first drive of the second half. The extra point attempt sailed wide left.

East’s three other drives in the second half resulted in three-and-outs due to stout defense by the Spartans.

Linebacker Scott Becht finished the game with nine tackles and two sacks. Senior Cam Walter added seven tackles and a sack. Kelly totaled six tackles and a sack. Scott Hopkins recorded four tackles.

Torrillo also noted the play of inside linebackers Dom Piccillo and Danny Wagner, and Shifflet at safety.

North (2-0) looks to stay unbeaten when they travel to Niagara Falls at 2 p.m. Saturday. East (0-2) travels to Williamsville South at 7 p.m. Friday in the Billies’ first game on their new turf field.

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