Sep 16, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Andrew Falvey wanted a second chance.
In the fourth quarter of the Cicero-North Syracuse football team’s 2008 home opener against Auburn, Falvey had slipped on the Bragman Stadium turf while attempting an extra point that, if successful, would tie the Northstars with the Maroons.
Now, thanks to the hard work of the CNS offense, the tall (6-8) junior kicker found himself on the field again, staring at the uprights 27 yards away in the final seconds, with that second chance that some folks don’t get after an earlier mistake.
Falvey didn’t waste that chance. The field goal was perfect and, with three seconds left, CNS had struck the decisive blow that produced a 9-7 victory over Auburn and a 2-0 start to the season.
In the first place, CNS was just glad to be home. That had been an open question during the spring, when concerns about possible lead poisoning forced school officials to close the Bragman Stadium Astroturf field. This forced lacrosse teams to play the rest of the 2008 season at Archie Hall Stadium, situated behind the Junior High School on Taft Road.
During the summer, after all the inspections to the turf were done, it was deemed safe, and fall activity, including football and field hockey, resumed.
As a welcome-home guest, CNS had Auburn, the 2006 state Class AA champions, and it appeared, on the surface, to be just what the Northstars wanted.
A week earlier, CNS had scored 63 points at Central Square, while the Maroons had allowed 56 points to West Genesee. Based on those early indicators, the Northstars’ offense would have quite a feast.
So it was only fitting that the game turned into a tense, grinding battle on a turf field that was safe to play on — but also quite wet after day-long rains.
Auburn grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when quarterback Dave Jacobs found Malcolm Bryant for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
To its credit, the Northstars’ defense made sure the Maroons didn’t score again. Chad Dubiel, Tawane Williams, Sean Pease, Anderson Lovell, Matt West and Artie Coooper led the resistance, giving CNS all kinds of time to catch up.
Yet through the first three periods, the Northstars found itself shut down, its own lethargic effort augmented by an Auburn defense whose wounded pride from the West Genesee game led to an inspired effort here.
Thus, it was still 7-0 when, from his own 48-yard line, quarterback Ryan Lacey gambled. Seeing single coverage on Dubiel, Lacey threw deep, and Dubiel caught it in full stride on his way to the end zone, a 52-yard touchdown play.
Then came the extra point. The snap was fine, but Dubiel’s left foot slipped and he kicked it into the pile of Auburn players, keeping CNS down 7-6.
Fortunately, there was time to get the ball back. The Northstars did so, then methodically worked the clock as it drove to the Maroons’ 10-yard line. Then Falvey did the rest, the second time he has won the game at the wire with a field goal (he did so against West Genesee last October).
When Class AA-1 division play starts this Friday, CNS will be at home again, this time taking on Utica Proctor at 7 p.m. The Raiders are 0-2, having fallen to Corcoran (20-7) and Rome Free Academy (21-18) so far.