However much stress it might cause, the Marcellus football team does not mind plunging into a wild, high-scoring contest where the last team with possession tends to win.
That's exactly what last Friday's clash between the Mustangs and Solvay Bearcats at Earl Hadley Stadium turned into -- an instant classic with seven lead changes as the two long-time rivals sparred for the Tom Anthony Memorial Cup.
And it was Marcellus that would earn that final chance -- and take full advantage of it, as the strong right arm and stronger poise of junior quarterback Will Fiacchi pushed the Mustangs past Solvay 33-32.
With that win, Marcellus not only turned back a long-time nemesis at its home field called "The Pit", it also clinched a first-round home playoff game, as the Mustangs finished second to Westhill in the Class B West division with a 4-1 league mark (6-1 overall).
As Marcellus celebrated its exciting win, Solvay had to wonder what kind of bad fortune would come next. The Bearcats are 3-4, and two of those defeats were one-point decisions -- to Marcellus here, and to Homer back on Sept. 26 (a 27-26 defeat that time).
Given that it had allowed 46 points to Westhill the week before, the Bearcats were bent on going after Fiacchi in some kind of way to make him uncomfortable.
That did not work out, as Fiacchi threw 31 times, completing 18 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns. He tossed the ball to five different receivers, with A.J. Mitchell (five catches, 62 yards) getting the most attention.
Again, sophomore running back Ricky Alfreds made sure the Solvay defense did not just try to stop Fiacchi. Alfreds carried the ball 17 times for 139 yards as a perfect counterbalance. C.J. Nye led the Mustangs' defense again, piling up 17 tackles.