Sep 12, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In both subtle and spectacular ways, the Liverpool football team imposed its will on West Genesee – and gained a small measure of payback.
To be sure, the Warriors’ 36-21 victory over the Wildcats on Friday night did not carry as much meaning as losing to WG in each of the last two Section III Class AA semifinals.
Still, it had to feel good to go into Camillus and win, even more so because, unlike the blitz on Fayetteville-Manlius (42 first-half points) in its opener, the Warriors had to work hard for this one.
Three different times, WG would take the lead. Each time, Liverpool would come back with a score of its own, and it was the way it acted upon that third touchdown that would prove to be the defintive turning point.
The Wildcats had gone up 21-14 early in the third quarter, Connor Zeman finishing off a scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Turner Parry.
Late in the period, given a short field to work with, the Warriors converted, Greg Bell going 18 yards for his second TD of the night, the first one having also gone for 18 yards.
It appeared, to the Wildcats, that Liverpool was just going to go for the tying extra point to make it 21-21, since Jimmy Wright (eight-for-eight on PATs for the season) was lined up for the kick.
But when the ball was snapped, the holder left the scene and Wright grabbed it. WG, stunned, ran to Wright, leaving fullback Mike Donitzen all alone in the end zone. Wright threw to Donitzen, whose two-point catch put Liverpool ahead 22-21.
This charged up the Warriors for the rest of the game, and with many WG players going both ways, fatigue began to set in, favoring Liverpool even further.
Behind the work of offensive linemen Vince Tesoriero, Jason Osborne, Mike Storie, Brian Wilbur and Jacob Downing, Bell would plow his way to TD runs of five and 15 yards in the fourth quarter.
For the night, Bell had 28 carries for 165 yards, his work balanced out by quarterback Cam Jones, who completed 12 of 17 passes for 143 yards, including a 15-yard TD pass to John Barbieri in the second quarter.
WG had taken two different leads in the second quarter on short scoring runs by Sirron Wright, set up by nice passes from Zeman, who was 17-for-31 for 244 yards.
Still, it was the Warriors who left Wildcat Stadium at 2-0, heading back to the Carrier Dome Friday to face Rome Free Academy at 6:30 in the Class AA-1 division opener. The Black Knights are 1-1, coming off a 20-12 win over Corcoran.
As for the Wildcats, it stays at home this Friday to face Utica Proctor at 6 p.m. to open its work in the AA-2 league. The Raiders, 1-1, are coming off a 24-13 loss to Cicero-North Syracuse.