Even within its own ranks, the Liverpool football team might have wondered whether last season's successful resurrection was something that could not sustain itself in 2007.
But there's a lot less doubt now.
After a shaky and nervous start last Friday at Corcoran, the Warriors asserted itself on both sides of the ball by the second half and beat the Cougars 24-12.
Head coach Dave Mancuso said his team came out slow, only to use an airtight defense to settle into the game -- something the Warriors' new quarterback needed.
Making his first varsity start under center, junior Tyler Kamide played it safe early, content to hand it off and not try anything too creative.
He could afford to do so, since Liverpool's defense, again under the tutelage of Nick Spataro, pursued well and never let Corcoran earn the big plays that can prove so deflating.
Despite this, Liverpool trailed 6-0 for much of a penalty-filled first half, and given how shaky its punting game was, it was fortunate not to be down by more.
Those points came when Corcoran's Laquan Rouse allowed a punt to bounce to his own 18-yard line, then picked it up and ran past the Warriors' coverage down the left sideline, 82 yards for a touchdown.
Also, the Warriors allowed a 35-yard punt return by Brandon Milliken, and saw another punt snap dropped. Thanks to the defense, though, Corcoran could not turn either opportunity into points, and it stayed 6-0.
Finally, Kamide got comfortable enough to strike late in the second quarter. From Corcoran's 34, the junior threw a perfect spiral down the middle to T.J. Davis, who caught it in full stride and dashed to the end zone. Anthony Salamone's extra point put Liverpool in front 7-6.
Just before halftime came the game's most crucial play. After Zach Crotty stripped Rouse and Dom Caruso recovered, the Warriors drove to midfield, where Kamide attempted a swing pass to the sideline. Corcoran's Brian Warren read it, stepped in front -- and dropped the ball.