Sep 05, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For the rest of this fall, the Liverpool football team is making the Carrier Dome its temporary home. They already feel quite comfortable.
The Warriors swarmed all over Fayetteville-Manlius Saturday night in the Kickoff Classic at the Dome, getting all of its points in the first half and displaying some defensive fire, too, in a 42-14 win over the Hornets.
F-M, trying to bounce back from last year’s 2-6 struggles, found the wrong opponent to start with, as Liverpool is bent on going beyond three consecutive Section III Class AA semifinal playoff losses.
Dee Harris set the tone for the night, the Warriors’ 303-pound defensive tackle sacking F-M’s new quarterback, John Wittig, on the first possession of the night. Harris would add two more solo sacks before the half was done.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s offense went to work. Cam Jones’ 18-yard screen pass to Mike Donitzen set up Greg Bell’s first touchdown of the night, a one-yard run just 3:22 into the game.
Donitzen struck again, recovering an F-M fumble at the Hornets’ 15, and five plays letter Bell found the end zone again, from three yards out.
Another F-M possession, another turnover (a fumble that Derek Eason recovered), and another touchdown, Jones going 22 yards to tight end Jesse Gates to make it 21-0, all in the first quarter.
Five straight times, Jimmy Wright (who also went six-for-six on extra points) hit his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks, keeping F-M pinned deep in its own territory as Liverpool pulled away.
A particular highlight came early in the second quarter. Faced with third down at the 50, Liverpool watched F-M send a blitz. Jones threw over the blitz on a screen to Bell – and the senior running back took off, breaking tackles and rumbling down the left sideline to the end zone for a back-breaking touchdown that made it 28-0.
Aside from that TD through the air, Bell also had 21 carries for 138 yards, a modest number reflecting the Warriors’ great field position most of the night and the fact that he barely touched the ball in the second half, with the game out of reach.
Before the break, Liverpool would strike twice more, Jones going 14 yards to Ethan VanMarter, then Donitzen on a one-yard plunge. Jones had an impressive starting debut under center, going 10-for-14 for 148 yards and those two TD passes.
In between, F-M finally got on the board on a 25-yard TD pass from Wittig to Ari Waffle, and they would score again in the third quarter when Wittig found Mike O’Neil from 24 yards out.
By then, though, many of Liverpool’s starters were on the bench, resting up for the team’s next test, a visit to West Genesee Friday.
The Wildcats lost its opener 41-26 to Baldwinsville, and no doubt, Liverpool remembers the fact that West Genesee beat them each of the last two years in the sectional semifinals, so motivation won’t be a problem, even though it’s a non-league game.
F-M has its home opener on Friday – against B’ville, and will focus all its energies on preventing Malik Burks from repeating his 301-yard, five-touchdown effort in the Bees’ win over West Genesee.