Oct 21, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
While it might be true that a formidable Section III Class C playoff challenge lies ahead, the Bishop Ludden football team heads into that gauntlet possessing two season’s worth of positive momentum.
All the Gaelic Knights have done is win 19 consecutive games, concluding a perfect run through the 2007 regular season last Friday night with a wild, 54-37 victory over Hannibal on Senior Night in Geddes.
Combining its well-known ability to make big plays with a dash of defensive style, the Gaelic Knights turned an early 7-0 deficit into a 41-13 halftime lead with scoring plays of every shape and size.
Hannibal, at 4-2, came into the game with a special sense of urgency, needing a win to have any chance of reaching the playoffs. It had advanced to the sectional finals in both 2005 and ’06.
At least on its opening drive, the Warriors turned urgency into action, with an 11-play, 62-yard march that concluded with Tyler Baker’s one-yard TD run.
But if that was supposed to make Ludden worry, the long-term effect was contrary. Ludden proceeded to score six times before Hannibal could stagger into the halftime break.
Omar Osbourne got it moving with a 44-yard touchdown run. Moments later, John Rooney intercepted a stray Hannibal pass, then turned it into points when, as quarterback, he found Rick Montgomery for a 28-yard TD reception.
The next time the Warriors had the ball early in the second quarter, Ludden forced a punt. Then Montgomery blocked that kick, picking it up and returning it 33 yards for a back-breaking touchdown that made it 21-7, and the rout was on.
Twice more in that period, Rooney would throw TD passes — 20 yards to E.J. Beauford, then 41 yards to Mark DeAngelis. Osbourne added a five-yard TD run as well, and he was far from done.
On his way to 192 yards on 16 carries, Osbourne broke loose for a 69-yard sprint to the end zone in the third quarter, then added a 16-yard TD run to give him 18 touchdowns for the season to go with 1,278 rushing yards.
Hannibal would get three scores of its own in the second half, mostly against reserves. However, DeAngelis did stay out there and, with 2:48 left, suffered a head injury that required a trip to the hospital.
Ludden will be back on its home field Friday night to meet Adirondack in the opening round of the Class C playoffs in pursuit of its 20th straight win. Game time is 7 p.m. The Wildcats, at 5-2, finished second in Class C East behind Herkimer and needed to beat Frankfort-Schuyler 41-0 last Saturday to gain that playoff spot.
A year ago, Ludden had to beat Adirondack in a wild Class C semifinal to reach the title game, where it rallied to beat Mount Markham on its way to a state title. Now the Gaelic Knights and Wildcats meet a round earlier, to see who plays Cazenovia or Thousand Islands in next weekend’s semifinal round.