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Warriors win OT classic over Northstars

It will go into the record books as Liverpool 20, Cicero-North Syracuse 14, the football Warriors maintaining possession of the "Star Wars" trophy in a battle Friday night at Bragman Stadium that stretched into overtime.

Mere numbers, though, only tell a small part of a larger narrative involving momentum changes, pivotal mistakes, heartache and redemption, all of which tumbled out in the last minutes of regulation, plus the OT session.

"We played a sloppy game," Liverpool head coach Dave Mancuso said. "But when things were tough, our kids responded, didn't quit and kept their cool."

The craziness began with just over two minutes to play. Liverpool, protecting a 14-6 lead, was about to clinch victory when sophomore running back Tyland Thompson picked up a first down at the Northstars' 43-yard line.

But Thompson, trying to stretch for yards he didn't need, got stripped of the ball - and CNS's Jaiqwan Jones recovered.

Given a last chance he did not expect, CNS quarterback Ryan Lacey led his team downfield, with two key passes to Austin Hyde and Tom Padula's 24-yard run. From the Liverpool two-yard line, Padula scored with 33 seconds left, and he also made the two-point conversion on an option pitch to tie the game 14-14.

Somehow, the Warriors had to regroup for overtime, where each time gets a possession at the opponent's 20-yard line. It was a prospect that, despite the startling turnaround, did not faze Mancuso.

"We though we were the better football team," he said. "Thus, if we go to overtime, we like our chances."

Going first, CNS quickly moved to the Warriors' nine-yard line, poised to score again.

Then good fortune struck the Warriors. Lacey (who went 15-for-18 for 139 yards through the air) went back for a long snap - and the ball flew over his head, 20 yards backwards, and Liverpool's Derek Eason won the race to the ball, ending the possession.

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