Sep 19, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Fueled by high emotion, the Henninger football team got the best of city rival Corcoran in the first half of Friday night’s showdown.
Eventually, though, the host Cougars took charge in every phase of the game, dominating the last two periods and recording a 33-12 victory over the Black Knights in front of one of the season’s largest and loudest crowds.
Henninger beat Corcoran at Sunnycrest Field a season ago amid a run to the Section III Class AA title, and now the Cougars hope a home win in this rivalry has the same long-term effect as it improved to 2-1 on the season.
All of Henninger’s players had gone through a long week of grief and healing after the Sept. 12 death of the school’s assistant principal, Joe Mazella, who coached Henninger’s basketball team for 15 years before stepping down in 2002.
And when the two teams took the field Friday, Corcoran held a moment of “celebration” for Mazella’s life and work before it was time to kick off.
Aside from the emotional concerns, both teams needed to win this Class AA-2 division opener, especially since both had lost at home the previous week – Corcoran to Rome Free Academy, Henninger to CBA.
The Black Knights, fired up at the start, got on the board in the first quarter when quarterback Shawn Bryant threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Shaqueal Rowser.
Corcoran used Shakem Buckmon’s one-yard TD run and a Riley Stroman extra point to pull in front 7-6 early in the second quarter, but Henninger answered with anoter scoring drive as Bryant hit Richard Neal for a six-yard TD pass.
Trailing 12-7 at the break, Corcoran turned to its ground game, which Henninger simply could not stop.
Tyquan Mahon consantly broke big runs for the Cougars, as he gained 199 yards on just 14 carries. Some of those yards led to Tyshawn Golden’s five-yard TD run early in the third quarter, which gave Corcoran the lead for good.
But his biggest run came after Henninger was forced to punt on its next possession. Taking the ball at his own 42, Mahon broke tackles and tore his way to the end zone, a 58-yard touchdown that broke the game open.
Travon Burke’s five-yard scoring run late in the period made it 26-12, and Mahon got the final points when he scored on a 15-yard run.
Corcoran, as it turned out, was the only city team to score on Friday, for in the Class A ranks Fowler lost to Cortland 27-21 and Nottingham fell to Oswego 26-13.
Despite Josh Cruz’s 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and London Odister’s extra point, the Falcons trailed the Purple Tigers, 14-7, after one period.
And it would remain that way until the second half, when Odister ran three yards for one TD, then caught an eight-yard scoring pass from Kelvin Amparo.
Each of those scores, though, came in response to Cortland touchdown drives. Shane McCaskill threw his second TD pass, 15 yards to Dyquann Barlow, and Alex Stacy’s 15-yard run produced what proved to be the winning points.
Nottingham, like Fowler, fell to 1-2, as it couldn’t stop Oswego tailback Damian Williams.
All Williams did was run for 215 yards on 27 carries, helping the Buccaneers overcome an early 7-0 Bulldog lead caused by Jamar Adams’ one-yard TD run.
Williams had two touchdowns, on runs of 29 and nine yards, as Oswego sped to a 26-7 edge before Marty Clanton threw a late 20-yard scoring pass to Charles Gary.
As Nottingham goes to Jamesville-DeWitt and Fowler visits Mexico next week, Henninger (also 1-2) is back home to face West Genesee and Corcoran goes to Fayetteville-Manlius.
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