While some parts of the Fayetteville-Manlius football team are sound and functioning, others remain incomplete -- something a quality opponent could exploit.
And Binghamton did a whole lot of exploitation during Sunday's Kickoff Classic at the Carrier Dome, taking charge in the second half and pulling away to beat the Hornets 47-23.
F-M took many graduation hits from a 2007 squad that went 6-3 and advanced to the Section III Class AA semifinals before falling to Cicero-North Syracuse.
Buddy Leathley, Greg Gaulin, Anthony Krizman, Mike Rosenbaum, Will Porter, Shane Bush, Andrew Vossler, Billy Donlon, Louis Pascarella, Joe Blasting, Mike Riccione and Colin Anderson all took their leave, leaving many new faces in the starting lineup.
These new faces had to come face-to-face with Binghamton, thought by many to be the Section IV Class AA title favorites with a potent offense that got even better when 1,000-yard running back Jamar Smith transferred over from Johnson City.
It was Smith that got the scoring started with a 14-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and F-M didn't have an immediate answer despite a 63-yard kickoff return by Matt Taylor, back on the field after missing the '07 season with a broken leg.
Early in the second quarter, T.J. Earley, Leathley's successor at quarterback, drove the Hornets 52 yards to its first score. From the Patriots' 19-yard line on third-down-and-goal, Earley threw a perfect strike to Mike O'Neil in the back of the end zone, but a missed extra point kept Binghamton in front 7-6.
That didn't last long, though. Linebacker Matt Fallico, named the game's MVP, made a spectacular fourth-down stop to give the Hornets good field position, and Earley hit O'Neil for a 26-yard diving catch to set up Fallico going one yard for a TD, giving F-M a 12-7 lead.