Niagara Gazette — SANBORN — The old saying says to save the best for last.
The Section VI Class B boys lacrosse schedule is to the contrary.
In a Monday clash featuring a rematch of the last three Section VI Class B title games at a rain-soaked Terry Harvey Field, Hamburg defeated Niagara-Wheatfield, 10-7. Until poor weather conditions pushed the original March 26 date back, the square-off between the two powers was to be the Bulldogs’ opener and N-W’s second game. Instead, it became the Falcons’ impromptu season opener, while Hamburg moved to 3-0.
It’s the second straight season N-W opened against its biggest rival, the two-time defending Class B champion Bulldogs who haven’t lost to the Falcons since the 2011 Class B final, a stretch they are 5-0 during.
Despite losing a combined 29 players to graduation the last two years, the Bulldogs, by holding the Falcons scoreless in the second half Monday, proved they’re the same old team. In the same breath, N-W mostly kept pace and stated it isn’t going anywhere, either.
“This is a good showing for our team, the leadership on our team,” Falcons coach Vince Schiffert said. “They were right there. First game out is not going to be your best game, but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the stuff I saw.”
Junior midfielder Seth Ferguson led N-W with two goals and an assist. Brennen Ferguson, a senior attack player and Syracuse University recruit, also recorded a pair of goals for the Falcons, scoring his second with 28 second to play in the first half to put N-W on top, 7-6.
But it would also be the Falcons’ final tally of the night, as they had both a sluggish start and finish.
Hamburg’s Matt Borgese scored 57 seconds in and N-W didn’t muster much offense until senior Ryan Koch ripped a shot from far out to tie the contest with 4:39 gone. That did get the Falcons going, closing the quarter on a 3-1 run. Both Fergusons scored, while senior Joe Kelly had the other.