Canastota breaks skid, tops Mt. Markham

Only in the eyes of the cold, hard numbers did the Canastota football team appear to be 0-2.

The Raiders had put up spirited fights in each of its first two games, only to see Class C powerhouses Bishop Ludden and Cazenovia come out on top.

So Canastota needed a respite - and got it on Friday night, delighting the home fans by beating Mount Markham 20-7 for its first win of the season.

A Raider defense severely tested by quality programs full of top-flight athletes at the skill positions found the Mustangs to be an easier mark.

Other than Dom McNamara's seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, Canastota slammed the door all night. Jake LaBarre and Zach Zupan led the way, as LaBarre got 11 tackles and Zupan added 10 tackles, also recovering a fumble.

Meanwhile, the Raiders went ahead 7-0 in the first quarter, doing so with quarterback Bill Marsh breaking loose for a 14-yard touchdown run.

Canastota doubled that margin in the second period. Marsh drove his team to Mount Markham's 14-yard line, then threw to the end zone - and found Zupan for the TD. Jamie Meade converted both of his first-half extra points.

When McNamara scored, the Mustangs only trailed, 14-7, at halftime, and it would keep the Raiders off the board in the third quarter, adding to the tension.

Canastota put together one more big drive, though, reaching Mount Markham's one-yard line before Zupan took the ball into the end zone for the clinching score.

The Raiders (1-2, 1-1 league) commence the second half of its regular-season slate this Friday when it visits Sherburne-Earlville for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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