When two undefeated teams meet for a homecoming game, spirits run high. At the end of this day, the Dundee Scots were celebrating a convincing domination on their home turf.
It was supposed to be one of those games that on paper looked like a toss up. The Dundee Scots and the Marcus Whitman Wildcats entered last Saturday's contest with identical records of 3 and 0 sharing the top spot of the Finger Lakes West Football League.
The New York State High School Football Polls had come earlier, with both of the area teams being ranked.
The Whitman Wildcats were ranked #7 in Class C and the Dundee Scotsmen were the #10 team in Class D.
Both teams had exhibited the ability to put points on the board and also to be very tough on the defense side of the football. All of the elements of an "old fashioned barnburner," " a real donneybrook," were there.
What a way to spend an early September afternoon —watching these two powerhouses play. But as everyone should know and understand, games are not played on paper. They are determined on the playing field. On this particular fall afternoon, the day belonged totally to Dundee.
The day began with a stubborn drizzle adding to a wet field. A huge crowd of football faithful packed the Scotsmen's home field just off Route 14A.
All of the elements of a traditional high school football game were there. It was homecoming weekend in Dundee with all of the activities and pagentry that go with that. Fans decked out in their respective school colors surrounded the green gridiron.
There was also a tinge of deja vu in the air. Most of these youngsters had played against each other in the Yates County Junior Football League. The tension was nearing peak level as gametime approached. The stage was set.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff and had excellent field position on their own 48-yard line, due to a short Dundee kick. Whitman was stopped cold on their first series including a fake punt on fourth down.
Dundee took over at about midfield. The game was barely two minutes old, but in essence it was over for the visiting Wildcats.
Dundee's Ryan Ballard galloped 39 yards for a touchdown soon after and the hometown Scots really never looked back. The try for the 2 point conversion was unsuccessful. Dundee took the lead at 6-0 and was literally off and running. The Scotsmen's winged-footed running back, Steven Webb, scored on Dundee's second possession. The speedy junior sprinted 31 yards to pay dirt and after Mike Raplee's 2 point conversion run, Dundee jumped ahead 14-0 as the first quarter ended.
In the second quarter, Steven Webb scored his second touchdown on an impressive 91-yard run. The P.A.T. kick failed, but the hometown 11 led 20-0 to the delight of the homecoming crowd.
Marcus Whitman showed their only sustained offense of the day, scoring on a 35- yard run by Scott Longyear. Tyler Stell grabbed a Jordan Hathorn pass for the two point conversion, narrowing the Dundee lead to 20-8 with considerable time left in the first half. There was a feeling of hope on the Wildcat sideline. Maybe they had reversed the maroon tide. But that feeling would prove to be short-lived.
Ryan Ballard scored his second touchdown on a 17- yard run. The point after once again failed. The first half ended with Dundee holding a 26-8 lead.
The hope that the second half of this game would be the closely contested showdown projected quickly was doused by the rampaging Scotsmen.
The rain stopped and the sun peeked through the overcast sky. But the sun's rays had a definite maroon tint to them.
Dundee scored quickly and often in the third quarter and put the game totally out of reach scoring 27 unanswered points. Blaine Moore ran back the second half kick-off 90 yards for a score.
Kyle Spinks converted the extra point to lengthen the Dundee lead to 34-8.
Ballard scored his third touchdown of the day to push the lead to 40-8. Moore scored again on a 26-yard run and Ballard added his fourth TD of the afternoon on a 65- yard ramble.
Spinks added another extra point. When the dust finally settled on Dundee's scoring frenzy in the third quarter, the scoreboard read Dundee 53, Whitman 8.
The fourth quarter was quiet in comparison to the prior period with many of the reserves playing for both sides.
Marcus Whitman scored the only points of the quarter on a 9-yard run by back-up quarterback Meyer. The P.A.T. failed. The Wildcat's long afternoon ended with Dundee winning, 53-14.
POST GAME NOTES
The Dundee 11 certainly made the statement they hoped to with this huge win. They proved they have one of the best runnig teams in Section V. Their overall team speed makes defending them very difficult. The backfield of Ryan Ballard, Steven Webb and Blaine Moore can score from any place on the field.
They also have the potential to throw the ball with talented senior quarterback, Justin Schenck at the helm.
This is complimented by a very quick and talented offensive line that blocks very well. Dundee is a very tough team to contain.
Defensively, they are also very talented. In Saturday's game, the maroon wave, led by sophomore Cody Gilbert and Patric Perez, had six sacks and created four other Wildcat turnovers.
They completely shutdown Whitman's talented twosome of Jamie Murphy and Jordan Hathorn.
Webb rushed for 190 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns. Ballard had 179 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Moore had the big 90-yard kickoff scoring run and a 57-yard touchdown run. It was an impressive offensive outburst for this talented team.
“This was a big win for us at this point of the season,” Dundee's Head Coach Ed Allen remarked. “Whitman was blowing out their competition so we had to be ready for them.”
On this September Saturday, Allen's team was certainly ready. The Scotsmen sit on top of the Finger Lakes West with a 4-0 record. They will travel to Red Jacket next Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. game.
Dundee now can win the league by winning their final two league games. With the big homecoming win, they can control their own destiny.
Marcus Whitman travels to Lyons next Friday for a 7 p.m. contest. They hope to get back on the winning track as Sectionals approach.
Marcus Whitman's talented running back Jamie Murphy was named the Ontario - HONDA Section V Player of the Week for Class C for week number three.
The 175 lbs. senior Wildcat back rushed for 238 yards on 15 carries. He scored touchdowns on runs of 58 yards, 53 yards, and 71 yards. Murphy also kicked four extra points and converted a two point try in Whitman's 52-41 win over Clyde-Savannah.