Bearcats come to life, fight past Skaneateles

For a while there, the Solvay football team had to wonder if its offense was ever going to make another appearance.

A scoreless second half in the season-opening Sept. 5 loss to Chittenango got followed, eight days later, by a shutout at Bishop Kearney (Rochester), and the Bearcats' whole 2008 season teetered toward a real danger point, even if Class B West division play had not started.

Apparently, all Solvay needed was to see familiar faces to start winning again.

Hosting Skaneateles last Friday night at Earl Hadley Stadium, the Bearcats erupted in the second quarter, then used its defense to preserve that lead and keep the Lakers winless, prevailing by a score of 27-16.

Skaneateles had been quite competitive in losses to South Jefferson and Holland Patent, and figured that all it really needed to do was make those one or two big plays that eluded them before.

Neither side would start fast, though, trudging through the first quarter 0-0, the seventh consecutive quarter where Solvay had been held without a point.

All that ended, though, when the Bearcats' Anthony Liquori scored from four yards out early in the second quarter and Jordan Cavaliere got the extra point.

Flush with relief, Solvay proceeded to strike again after Skaneateles drove to the Bearcats' 16-yard line and got on the board with Paul Hamilton's 33-yard field goal.

On the ensuing kickoff, Liquori took the ball at his own 12-yard line, found a seam, then took off, never caught until he had found the end zone 88 yards later.

Even though the PAT was missed, Solvay was now quite pumped up, getting the ball back and converting again on Taylor Delperuto's two-yard TD run and a two-point pass from Jonathon Orioli to Tom Hayes.

Just as in past weeks, Skaneaetles proved stubborn, as quarterback Tom Schoener hit Brandon Forgham on a 22-yard scoring pass just before halftime to cut the deficit to 21-9. Then Schoener capped another drive with a one-yard TD plunge in the third quarter.

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