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Mustangs rally past South Jefferson

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.

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