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.