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The West express

Unbeaten Sullivan West cruises past young Fallsburg

Richard A. Ross
Posted 10/12/21

LAKE HUNTINGTON –– All aboard for the Sullivan West Bulldogs’ bullet train!

Its anticipated arrival at the enchanting environs of the playoffs looms just three weeks hence. Once …

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The West express

Unbeaten Sullivan West cruises past young Fallsburg

Posted

LAKE HUNTINGTON –– All aboard for the Sullivan West Bulldogs’ bullet train!

Its anticipated arrival at the enchanting environs of the playoffs looms just three weeks hence. Once there, the hope is that magical things will unfold, ultimately leading to the glory this group has long dreamed of.

Careening past Fallsburg with a blinding 37-6 victory this past weekend in its final regular season home game, just one week after bypassing Eldred 52-0, the West express continued to hurtle along the rails according to schedule. Previous attempts to derail it by Spackenkill and Tri-Valley failed to abate its progress. Now, approaching the more crucial waystations of Ellenville and then Roscoe, two teams currently co-inhabiting playoff status, the Dawgs’ coaching engineers Ron Bauer, Justin Diehl, John Hauschild, Ronj Padu and Shane Cruz, are on the lookout for Deadman curves up ahead that could alter the train’s course. If Sullivan West were to lose either or both of these encounters, it could sully its heretofore advantage of arriving as a top seed, effectively making for a longer journey to the nirvana of the title game.

Now at 4-0 (3-0 league), the Dawgs have unleashed a ground attack that has been nearly unstoppable. In this outing they rolled up 318 yards on 40 carries for an average run of 8.0 yards.

Unlike most eight-man football teams, West’s terrifying turf attack is not dependent on a single runner. Rather, it is fueled by a committee including seniors Gavin Hauschild at QB, speedsters Tarrell Spencer and Justin Grund, junior Mike Roth and meteorically rising sophomores Jacob Hubert and Rally Cruz. The stalwart express is further empowered by an imposing line anchored by seniors Chris Campanelli and Ryan Joyce-Turner abetted by junior Dillian Hanslmaier and Rodney Wilson. Add in the impressive hands of sophomore end Jakob Halloran and you have a more complete sense of what other teams are yet to contend with. On the sidelines are a bevy of others to abet on defense or sub in at offensive slots.

Fallsburg, coached by the inimitable Dominick Scanna is a young team that features eight freshmen, six sophomores, nine juniors and only three seniors. With great size and obvious talent, they figure to be an imposing foe in the coming years. “We came in not tough in the early going but we played much better as the game got along. We’re young and inexperienced and have to believe we have a shot in every game we play,” noted Scanna, one of the most positive and encouraging coaches around. Scanna is a life-changer. His agenda extends way beyond the team’s win-loss record. That said, his efforts are to build a Comets team that will turn the program’s profile north. But on this night, the mismatch was evident in the Westies’ speed and experience. Beginning with a hurry-up offense on their first series at their own 15-yard line, the Dawgs needed only eight plays to finish with a 14-yard TD run by Spencer. Grund kicked his only successful PAT and the train was off and running. It picked up speed with two more first quarter scores from Jacob Hubert and Grund to marshal a 19-0 lead. Cruz added a twisting and turning second and third effort to cross the goal line early in the third quarter, and Hauschild eluded tacklers with less than a minute remaining in the half to give his team a 31-0 lead at the break. Hauschild added this second TD of the night late in the third quarter to make it 37-0.

Subsequently, SW inserted its younger players to gain game experience. Fallsburg’s Nick Storms ripped off a 74-yard romp to avoid the shutout. Fallsburg fell to 1-4 (1-2 in league).

This week Sullivan West will prep for a trip down the siding to Ellenville. No doubt the Blue Devils are looking to throw the switch and slow the bullet express, thereby converting it into a local and hopefully bypassing it up ahead. Roscoe, which just trounced Tri-Valley 34-6, has a similar agenda. Three trains running towards a single track of the seeding hierarchy make for an exciting finish as to what order they will finally arrive in at the outset of the playoffs. Get your window seat and enjoy the view.

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