Tonawanda News — The Kenmore West football team had high hopes for the 2013 season back in August as it prepared to begin play in what Blue Devils coach Rich Harris called a “brutal” AA division.
But after a disappointing 0-2 start, and a lopsided, 50-28 loss against Jamestown in Week Two, the Blue Devils had to figure out a way to turn their season around if they had any hope of playing meaningful late-season football.
And that’s exactly what they did. Ken West has reeled off six straight wins, including a 28-15 AA quarterfinal win over Lancaster last week, avenging a Week One loss to the Redskins.
The Blue Devils are a confident team, but Harris said it’s a difficult task to completely shut down the potent Jamestown offense. The Red Raiders have scored 50 or more points in every game this season except against Orchard Park.
“Slowing them down is really the key term going into Friday, because who knows if we’ll be able to stop that offense that they have,” Harris said. “The good thing is, our defense has improved a lot since Week Two and we’ve got some new wrinkles to throw at them on that side of the ball. Sometimes, a good offense can translate into a good defense too, so we’re also going to need to run the ball and keep it out of their hands.”
Jamestown’s offense is led by senior quarterback Jacob Sisson, senior running back Da’quan Hollingsworth and junior wide receivers Zach Panbianco and Stephen Carlson. Harris believes the Blue Devils are going to have their hands full with all of them.
“Sisson’s an outstanding quarterback. He’s very good running in the open field and he’s a good passer,” Harris said. “Hollingsworth’s very quick, elusive and fast. Panbianco’s also their point guard in basketball and he’s very athletic, and Carlson’s physically imposing with his size. They’ve got some outstanding talent and they’re 8-0 for a reason.”
On offense for Ken West, the Blue Devils will continue to rely on senior RB Alex Price, who has 17 touchdowns (14 rushing) during his team’s win streak. The elusive runner has carried his team at times this season and Harris hopes he can continue to produce tonight.
Despite being the underdogs, the Blue Devils are sure that they can pull off the upset.
“I think being (an underdog) definitely gives us an advantage,” senior quarterback Adam Fron said. “People have been saying all year long that Ken West has no chance of going far into the postseason. We haven’t gotten a lot of respect, and I’d like for us to get a little more after the Jamestown game.”Follow @tonanewssports and sports editor @MattParrino on Twitter for complete high school sports coverage.