Weekly Feature

2017-09-14 / Sports

Return to basics produces shutout for East football

Jacob Maurino’s monster effort results in five total touchdowns

Jacob Maurino made the most of his 15 opportunities to touch the ball during West Seneca East’s game against Lake Shore Friday, scoring on a third of those touches while producing 67 percent of the Trojans’ total yards from scrimmage on offense to help East shut out the Eagles , 41-0, and even its record at 1-1.

Maurino scored on runs of 36, 1, 51 and 2 yards — the first two in the first quarter and the second two in the third quarter — while also hauling in the team’s only pass attempt of the night for an 82-yard long touchdown strike to completely decimate Lake Shore’s defense. Maurino finished his night with 175 yards on 14 carries to go along with his reception of Christian Rodriguez’s pass as East easily and thoroughly put the memory of its week one loss behind it.

“I was very happy with our team’s performance,” coach Jim Maurino said. “We felt like we gave one away in week one by not playing our best, so we just spent the week getting back to basics so that we could put week one behind us. We were more focused and played mistake-free, so we were definitely happy with that. Once we cleaned up the penalties and turnovers that ultimately played a role in us beating ourselves in week one, we saw a big difference in our ability to capitalize on our drives.”

On top of throwing the long touchdown strike, Rodriguez also scored East’s other touchdown of the night when he capped a Trojan drive with a 14-yard jaunt into the end zone that gave the Trojans a 28-0 advantage going into the second half.

But it was Jacob Maurino’s running that fueled East’s offense. Coach Maurino noted that he and Jacob broke out some old game tape of former Trojan running back John Dolac — the West Seneca Bee’s 2015-16 Male Athlete of the Year led East with 903 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground as a senior — to gain some pointers that proved to be well worth the extra film study once Jacob Maurino hit the field.

“Jacob was really pressing too much in our first game, trying to score a touchdown on every play,” coach Maurino said. “Once he realized that and settled down this week — once he took what the defense gave him — things were turning into big plays for him. Once he trusted our system, things kind of opened up for us.”

As impressive as the team’s day on the offensive side of the ball was, coach Maurino was equally pleased with the effort East gave on the defensive side of the ball. The Trojans yielded just 97 yards of offense on the night, with the majority coming on the ground. Lake Shore’s top runner of the seven main carriers for the day finished with just 29 yards on seven carries.

“I was very happy with the first and second teams doing as well as they did against Lake Shore defensively,” coach Maurino said. “Lake Shore still had some chances late, but our second group did their job. I was really happy for them to be able to keep the shutout for us.”

Zack Arnone chipped in with 38 yards on three carries for East, while Andrew Woltz added 29 yards on six carries. Defensively, Dylan McNulty had three total tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery, while Jareld Bailey IV and Kyle McCubbin each had four total tackles. Arnone chipped in with a tackle and an interception for the Trojans (1-1, 1-1 A South), who travel to Riverside Friday to take on McKinley (1-1, 0-1 A South).

Limiting the effectiveness of Kaiyer Fields is tops on the list of objectives for the upcoming game for coach Maurino, who called Fields “probably the best running back in Western New York.”

“We’ve got to do what we can to take Kaiyer out of the game, and if we can do that, we’ll be all right,” coach Maurino said. “West did a good job on him defensively this week and he still had some good runs. We’ll just have to keep sticking with the basics — tackling strong on defense and running the ball hard on offense. If we can continue to develop our passing game as well, we’ll be real dangerous.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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