DWC football preview: Top players, keys to the game and our prediction
No. 4 Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton at No. 1 Honeoye-Falls Lima: Friday 7 p.m. at HFL
No. 4 Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton won a low-scoring game in the rain with a 6-0 win over Pal-Mac in the first round of the Class B playoffs. No. 1 HFL also battled through the rain, coming away with the 31-12 win over No. 8 Bishop Kearney/Rochester Prep/Rochester Academy in the first week of the playoffs.
This is the first meeting between HFL and Dan-Way-Co in program history, but HFL played both Way-Co and Dansville during the 2008 season. HFL defeated Wayland-Cohocton by a 45-20 score in the second week of the season and then defeated Dansville 19-12 in week four.
How they got to the semis: Dansville-Wayland-Cohocton football making history again with home playoff win
DWC O: 27.1 ppg
DWC D: 17.3 ppg
Cougars O: 32.0 ppg
Cougars D: 11.5 ppg
Players to watch
Dan-Way-Co – Collin Mehlenbecher (RB/DB), Nick Belanger (QB/DB), Ben Teed (RB/LB), Ryan Belanger (OL/DL), Evan Pruonto (RB/DB), Holdyn Freeman (OL/DL), Benjamin Sick (OL/DL).
HFL – Brody Young (QB), James Killenbec (WR/DB), Zachary Meachem (RB/LB), Casey Wall (WR/DB), Hayden Meehan (OL/DL), Louis Laviani (OL/DL), Riley Kester (OL/DL).
3 keys to watch
1. HFL has not lost a game all season long, and the only game that was even close on the schedule was a slim 27-26 win over No. 2 Batavia in week six. This HFL team is loaded with talent and has the size on the offensive line to let that talent flourish. If DWC has a shot, it will have to put together its best performance of the season.
2. After last week’s game it would be foolish to not look at the weather forecast. And while the precipitation helped DWC last week, it will not be there for the defense this week. With clear conditions set for gametime, DWC will have to rely on their speed and skill up front to slow down a potent HFL attack.
3. The DWC combined team has some of the best receivers in Section V, and now is the time to unleash them. While DWC does not pass the ball a ton, expect them to open things up a little more in the early stages of this game to try and get the ball down the field quickly to some of their most athletic players in Andrew Morrow, Chris Giovine and Brady Knudsen.
I do not think that Dan-Way-Co has enough to beat HFL, but I really want them to. And that’s not to take anything away from HFL, but rather to heap more praise onto the DWC football program. In my opinion, this merger has been a massive success, and I hope it leads to other programs looking into the possibility. Again, HFL will probably win this game, but I’m picking DWC because I want to show everyone just how much I believe in the positive qualities of this entire season. DWC 28, HFL 27.