Oct 02, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
After three weeks of close calls and bitter disappointment, the Chittenango football team turned it around, thanks to the strong arm of Jon Stevens.
All Stevens did was throw for 309 yards and a single-game, school-record six touchdowns, as the Bears erased a double-digit deficit and survived an epic battle with Jamesville-DeWitt last Friday night, beating the Red Rams 46-39 in double overtime.
Only after Chittenango stuffed J-D’s hopes to tie it in the second OT did the long fight come to an end, one where Stevens, a junior, had a chance to shine like never before.
In its first three games, the Bears managed just 35 total points, but had started to show some life in a 27-21 loss to Fulton on Sept. 21. Still, no one was prepared for the kind of barrage they would see on Chittenango’s turf.
Setting the tone for later, Steven hit Shaun St. Onge on a three-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, but J-D matched it and forged a 7-7 tie.
J-D’s Dexter Green took over in the middle stages. Three times, he scored touchdowns — on a pass from Joe Daddario, two others coming on runs of 16 and three yards, putting the Rams in control by the third quarter.
Even when Stevens found Travis Lee on a six-yard TD pass in the third quarter, the Bears still stared a 25-14 deficit when that period ended. Yet this was all just a prelude to the bigger show ahead.
Three times in the fourth quarter, Stevens would take the Bears into J-D territory. Each time, he finished those drives with TD passes, to three different receivers — 17 yards to Andy Moth, 21 yards to Travis Lee, and eight yards to St. Onge.
All this helped the Bears negate Daddario’s own seven-yard scoring run and force a 33-33 tie at the end of regulation.
In high school overtime, each team gets a possession at the 20-yard line. Chittenango won the toss and elected to go on defense first, pushed J-D back 20 yards — then watched, in horror, as Daddario’s long prayer found Colin Short for a 40-yard TD.
But when J-D missed the two-conversion, Chittenango, down 39-33, had a chance to win. It moved to the five-yard line, from where Kyle Mills scored. Brandon Raymond could end the game with an extra point — but that sailed wide.
Tired, but still battling, the teams went to a second OT. This time, the Bears went first, and Stevens hit Adam Wayne in the end zone from 17 yards out, the sixth TD pass Stevens had pulled off.
After Raymond made the extra point, Chittenango’s defense prevented J-D from answering, and the Bears’ three-game skid was history.
Following all this, Chittenango (2-3) gets to step out of league play and meet its neighbors from Canastota Friday night at 7 p.m. The Raiders are 3-2 and are coming off a tough 27-22 win over Port Byron.