Sep 26, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With barely a minute to play Friday night in Adams, the Marcellus football team’s season faced a major crossroads.
True, the Mustangs’ game against South Jefferson was not a league contest – but it simply could not afford a third straight defeat, not with two tough opponents (Homer and Solvay) on the horizon.
So the Mustangs, down by three, out of time-outs, came up with its most dramatic drive of the season – and pulled out a 41-37 victory over the Spartans.
Will Fiacchi had his most productive night of the season, throwing for 422 yards and four touchdowns, most of those yards coming in a wild first half where Marcellus seized a 27-23 lead.
Yet the most important yards came at the end. Working from his own 35 with 1:19 to play, Fiacchi, with his team trailing 37-34, sent it deep – and found R.J. Linder, in stride, at South Jefferson’s five-yard line.
Working the middle of the field, Marcellus knew that, at worst, it would give Brendan Carey a short field-goal try – and Carey nearly made a 48-yard kick before the half.
But it got much more. With 23 seconds left, Ricky Alfreds found the end zone on a two-yard run, his fourth touchdown of the night – and the game-winner, too.
So ended a wild and exciting evening where Fiacchi, despite his gaudy numbers, could not pull away because South Jefferson was just as effective on the ground.
Down 3-0, Marcellus went in front in the first quarter when Fiacchi hit Derek Belvito on a 15-yard TD pass, only to see Curtis Wilson return the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score to give the Spartans a 10-7 lead.
Fiacchi’s second TD pass went to Rudy for 11 yards. Still, South Jefferson led 17-14 after one period as A.J. Chartrand scored on a nine-yard run.
When Fiacchi added two more TD passes in the second quarter, both of them going to Alfreds – one covering 15 yards, the other 36 yards – the Mustangs looked to be taking control.
Just before halftime, though, Hunter VanHorn stepped in front of a Fiacchi pass deep in South Jefferson territory and returned it 85 yards for a TD, and the Mustangs’ lead was 27-23 at the break.
Fueled by that big defensive play, the Spartans took a 30-27 lead on Jory Tanner’s 16-yard scoring pass to Tim Kenealy, only to see Alfreds answer with a seven-yard scoring run as Marcellus went back in front, 34-30.
When Chartrand scored his second TD from 10 yards out early in the fourth quarter, South Jefferson led again 37-34 – but it set up the Mustangs’ late heroics.
At 2-2 on the season (0-1 league), the Mustangs meet Homer next Friday at 7 p.m. The Trojans are also 2-2, coming off a 28-14 loss to Westhill.