Bronson leads visiting Lions over Blue Devils on Saturday, 36-21
Dave Ricci Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport junior quarterback Daniel Bronson threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as the Lions beat the Kenmore West Blue Devils, 36-21, to claim the Section VI Class AA North division title at Crosby Field.
The Lions (3-0, 4-1) amassed a 411 yards of total offense as they dethroned the defending league champion Ken West and ruined the Blue Devils' Homecoming.
"We haven't won the division since I believe I was in eighth grade," Lockport running back James Chambers said."So we really wanted it. We knew we could get it if we tried as hard as we (could) ... It just means a lot to us."
The Blue Devils (2-1, 2-3), however, can still secure second place and a home playoff game with a victory over Niagara Falls next Saturday.
Bronson, who got his bell rung with 3:51 left in the second quarter when he was brought down on a roughing the passer play, would uncork for TD passes of 65, 67 and 20 yards to help the Lions erase a 15-0 deficit.
For the second week in a row, Blue Devils coach Rich Harris said he felt his boys won the battle in the trenches, and the Blue Devils did do more than hold their own against a more experienced Lockport line.
The West defense came up with two big fourth down stops during the first quarter. One of which led to a 41-yard touchdown strike from Adam Fron to Trent White on the ensuing play with 2:30 remaining in the first to give Ken West the 8-0 lead.
Alex Price (176 yards rushing, two touchdowns) extended the Ken West lead to 15-0 with a touchdown run with 8:17 in the half.
West brought great pressure on Bronson in the first quarter, including a combo sack by Gary Halt (six tackles) and Greg Howell (six tackles) when the Lions went with five wide outs. But Bronson showed poise and he calmly picked his spots against the Blue Devils young secondary.
"I don't think they ever beat us in the trenche. Never." Harris said."Bronson was the difference. He just put that ball right on the money. We're playing two ninth graders in the secondary and the kids were doing everything they could to stay with those receivers. They didn't even have to break stride. Some of those passes were phenomenal."
The roughing the passer play that shook Bronson up midway through the second quarter set the stage for a 3-yard touchdown run by Chambers (83 yards rushing, three touchdowns).
Bronson would tie the game when he connected with RD Hillman on a 65 yard pass. Lions coach Greg Bronson felt going into the locker room tied 15-15 was key to the momentum as it gave his team a chance to refocus.
"It was huge to get tied by the half because then we could talk about the things we wanted to do," Greg Bronson said."We saw how they were gonna play us. They brought some pressure they manned up with us in those empty sets and we knew that we would have some match up advantages, we just weren't patient enough to take care of them. In the second half we relaxed a little bit and we let our better athletes get the ball in situations that would be advantageous for us."
Bronson, out of the shotgun, hit Chambers for a 67-yard touchdown pass that put Lockport up 22-15.
Price trimmed the lead to 22-21 early in the fourth, but Imran Ahmadi, who is normally on the money, shanked the PAT wide left.
Tevye Maslowski (TD catch) and Chambers (12 yard run) would cap off the scoring for the Lions.
"I'm proud of where we are as a team," Harris said."The kids are getting better, they're so darned young. The kids came out today and they really took it to (Lockport). But we just couldn't take care of Bronson. We hit him, we flushed him out of the pocket, we did everything we could to hurry his throws and they were still right on the money. The kid played a fantastic, fantastic game."
Fron was 13 of 26 for 157 yards with a TD and two interceptions. Hillman had 149 yards on four catches for Lockport.