By ERIC KEPPELER
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — ORCHARD PARK – The Kenmore West football team gave them a good fight – but in the end, the Blue Devils didn’t have the firepower to keep up with the defending state champions, as Orchard Park rolled to a 49-33 victory Friday in the Section VI Class AA quarterfinals.
The Quakers took control early with a 21-0 first quarter and never trailed, although the Blue Devils put up three scores in the fourth quarter to make the outcome a bit more respectable.
“The kids fought hard all night long,” said Kenmore West coach Rich Harris. “I’m proud of them and proud of the season we had.”
Orchard Park scored on its first three possessions as quarterback Benjamin Holmes hit Austin Goltz with a 41-yard touchdown pass, Jett Modkins added a 10-yard touchdown run and Mitchell Wilson broke a 79-yard scoring run.
“I thought we were able to run the ball pretty well,” Orchard Park Gene Tundo said. “We were able to make some good plays, although we turned the ball over too many times.”
On offense, the Blue Devils went almost exclusively through the air as junior quarterback Adam Fron put the ball up a staggering 55 times, completing 21 passes for 251 yards. He threw a pair of touchdowns and was picked off twice.
“In the span of a week, we went from a running team to a run-and-shoot team,” Harris said. “We didn’t think we’d be able to run the ball very much against their line, so we decided to go after them through the air.”
Terell Ford got West on the board with a 7-yard TD run and Imran Ahmadi booted a 25-yard field goal with 28 seconds left in the half to cut the OP lead to 21-9.
But Holmes and Goltz connected again on the next play from scrimmage, covering 63 yards to steal back the momentum as OP carried a 28-9 lead into the half. The Quakers put the game away in the third quarter as Wilson broke a 21-yard scoring run and Goltz returned an interception 36 yards for a 42-9 OP lead.
The Blue Devils didn’t go away as Ford scored on a 6-yard run and then Fron found Greg Howell with a 12-yard touchdown pass to pull West to within 42-25.
Orchard Park’s Chris Sanfilippo intercepted Fron and took it to the end zone from 30 yards out with three minutes left to play.
West closed out the scoring when Fron hooked up with Trent White on a 9-yard TD with a minute left.
“I was impressed with how their team played hard through the whole game,” Tundo said. “They never quit.”
Orchard Park averaged 39.1 points per game during the season, and the Quakers’ only loss was a 35-28 setback to Jamestown in week six.
Orchard Park (7-1) will meet the winner of Saturday’s contest between Lockport (5-2) and Clarence (4-3) in next week’s Class AA semifinals.