CICERO, NY (WKTV) - Westmoreland head coach Tim Gates said Elmira-Notre Dame's physicality did not show up on film. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it showed up plenty on the field Saturday in the state Class C quarterfinals as the Crusaders cruised to a 48-21 win at Cicero-North Syracuse.
Elmira-Notre Dame, the Section IV Class C champion ranked No. 13 in the state, came out firing on the opening kickoff, with Sam Karam returning it 85 yards for a touchdown and a quick 6-0 lead. Westmoreland, undefeated and ranked No. 3 coming in, answered with a six-minute, 64-yard drive capped by a 1-yard Justin Becker touchdown run to go ahead 7-6, but the Bulldogs lost co-quarterback Kyle Eisnor to a leg injury on the drive, and the Crusaders claimed control by scoring on all four of their first-half possessions to go up 34-7.
The Bulldogs gained some momentum going into halftime, completing a 60-yard drive entirely through the air finished by a 6-yard pass from Dan Smith to T.J. Losowski to cut the score to 34-15 at the half. But the momentum did not last, as Westmoreland opened the second half with a three-and-out on offense and allowed another touchdown drive to put the game out of reach at 42-15.
Elmira-Notre Dame, which scored all six of its touchdowns on the ground, was led by running backs Mike Huffner (14 carries for 227 yards and a touchdown), Dave Norton (15-159-1) and Matt Buice (three touchdowns), who was named the team's Most Valuable Player.
Westmoreland's other quarterback, Dan Smith, was named the Bulldogs' MVP, completing 16 of 25 passes for 254 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Losowski caught seven passes for 86 yards and the touchdown and running back Justin Becker carried 14 times for 69 yards and his score.
The victory sends E-ND to the state final four in Rochester with a 9-2 record. Westmoreland, which had not allowed more than 20 points in a game this season prior to Saturday, finishes the season 10-1.
Westmoreland scored its last touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 78-yard pass to Will Cotter.