Sep 28, 2006 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
At 7 p.m. last Friday night, the Cicero-North Syracuse football kicked off against the Auburn Maroons at Holland Stadium.
It ended with the Northstars prevailing, 35-28, over the Maroons in overtime — nearly 24 hours later.
What was a routine game turned into something much different when, during the second quarter, the lights at Holland Stadiium went out.
This was the second time in as many weeks that a power outage affected a Class AA-1 league game. The same thing happened back on Sept. 15, at West Genseee, toward the end of the third quarter in the Wildcats’ game against CBA.
Back then, in Camilus, the two teams waited out an 80-minute delay, then resumed the game. West Genesee, who had erased a 20-point deficit to CBA, lost all its momentum in the delay and eventually lost the game to the Brothers, 41-27.
In the case of CNS and Auburn, much more time remained in the game — two-plus quarters, to be exact. After a lengthy delay, it was decided to send everyone home and resume again on Saturday at 4 p.m.
So they did, and the game’s wild, topsy-turvy nature emerged again as if no delay ever occurred.
Through it all, one constant truth remained — CNS, at 0-2 in AA-1 league play, badly needed this gam. And as such, senior quarterback Greg Larioni had the finest performance of his long varsity career.
Before the delay, Larioni had thrown three touchdown passes. He had connected with Anthony Dolson on a 15-yard strike before digging his team out of a hole with a 91-yard bomb to Steven Ianzito. He then hit Ianzito again on a 27-yard scoring reception.
At first, the day-long wait to resume the game cooled off both Larioni and his teammates. Auburn surged ahead, 28-21, on Matt Hoey’s 17-yard TD run and Darnell Murphy’s 17-yard scoring pass to Brandon DeBagio.
All the while, running back Quendel Ellison hurt the Northstars’ defense, building his yardage total to 182 yards on 25 carries, which included a long 61-yard TD run in the Friday portion before the delay.
Trailing by seven, with regulation time winding down, Larioni led a dramatic march to the Maroons’ four-yard line, then ran it in himself with just 18 seconds left. Jamie Praino’s successful conversion (he was five-for-five on extra points) sent the game to overtime.
In high school football, each team gets one possession in OT from the opponents’ 20-yard line. Auburn won the toss and, as most teams do, elected to go on defense to see what it needed.
The Maroons would need seven points. Larioni again found Ianzito for a 19-yard completion, and big fullback Rich Lickfield went the final yard for the touchdown.
After Praino’s PAT, Auburn got its chance — but the Maroons fumbled, and CNS recovered to pull out a long-awaited league victory.
All kinds of marks fell in this memorable affair. Larioni was 19-for-26 for a school-record 381 yards. The old mark, set by Larioni earlier this season against Corcoran, was just 221 yards.
Ianzito’s 181 receiving yards was another school record, breaking the mark of 142 yards his older brother, Justin, once set. And the 91-yard TD reception between the pair set a third school mark.
Now, to build on that, CNS needs to beat West Genesee in Friday night’s Homecoming game at Bragman Stadium at 7 p.m. WG (1-3) went from the CBA power-outage game to a 49-21 loss to Liverpool where Warrior running back Lonnie Johnson had 322 yards and six touchdowns.