NEWPORT, N.Y. — That loss to Herkimer in their season opener has put West Canada Valley’s Indians with little or no room for error.
They played like it on Saturday.
“It’s win out or go home,” West Canada Valley co-captain Jordan Yaworski said after his team’s convincing 31-0 win over previously-unbeaten Waterville/Madison in a Class D East matchup at Gus Koch Memorial Field.
Defensively, defending Class D East champion West Canada Valley (2-2, 2-1 D East) limited Waterville/Madison to 10 total yards, including a 27-yard loss on a high punt snap that gave West Canada Valley one of its two safeties.
Offensively, West Canada Valley rushed for 391 yards and had three 100-yard rushers — tailbacks Ryan Grogan (11 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown) and Cole Smith (21 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown) and quarterback Ryan Moody (12 carries for 100 yards) — and Moody threw touchdown passes to Grogan and Riley Synenki.
“If we played physical, we could wear them down,” said Yaworski, a senior center and middle linebacker. “We just focused on playing physical on defense and we got a lot of push on offense.”
Linemen Yaworski, Dalton Gorinshek, Sean Sowich, Thomas Brindisi and Alex Lemke and tight end Synenki provided that push up front, fullback Mike Louis did the lead blocking, and playmakers Grogan and Moody did their thing.
Grogan, an all-state receiver last year, caught five passes, including a 21-yard deflection in the end zone from his back, and he later added a 32-yard touchdown run.
Moody was 8 of 15 passing for 94 yards and Synenki led West Canada Valley defensively with a sack and seven tackles, including one in the end zone.
“Our defense is the heart of our team,” said West Canada Valley coach Mike Moody, whose Indians were coming off a non-league loss to Lowville, an unbeaten Class C team.
“This (win) puts us back in it. Now, we need to take care of business, play it out, and see if we can split a league championship.”
West Canada Valley’s defense did not allow a play over 10 yards until a 17-yard run by Waterville/Madison’s Cody Clapp — against West Canada Valley reserves — on the game’s final snap.
“It just wasn’t our day,” said Waterville/Madison coach Greg Jones, his team missing leading rusher Curtis Deetz with an injury. “We didn’t have our normal backfield, but our hat is off to West Canada. We just got outplayed.”
Senior quarterback Jon Piersma was under duress all day, finishing 5 of 18 passing for 26 yards for Waterville/Madison (3-1, 2-1 D East). Moody, Grogan and Smith picked off three of his passes.
West Canada Valley plays on the road Friday at Sauquoit Valley.
WEST CANADA VALLEY 31, WATERVILLE/MADISON 0
Page 2 of 2 - Waterville/Madison 0 0 0 0 — 0
West Canada Valley 14 4 6 7 — 31
WCV — Cole Smith 2 run (kick failed).
WCV — Ryan Grogan 21 pass from Ryan Moody (Moody run).
WCV — Safety.
WCV — Safety.
WCV — Grogan 32 run (kick failed).
WCV — Riley Synenki 24 pass from Moody (Zach Woods kick).
Records — Waterville/Madison 3-1, 2-1 D East; West Canada Valley 2-2, 2-1 D East.