Sep 26, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Ryan Lacey didn’t need to throw the ball deep.
Lacey and his Cicero-North Syracuse football team was tied, after all, with Christian Brothers Academy in the closing seconds of regulation during Friday night’s game at Bragman Stadium, and the Northstars had some options.
The Northstars had just enough time to run a play or two and move closer to the field-goal range of Andrew Falvey, who had a chance on any kick 50 yards or closer.
Then again, why not take a chance? CNS, after all, was never supposed to beat the Brothers, and certainly wasn’t supposed to win after falling behind 16-0 in the first quarter.
Lacey indeed took that chance and threw it deep – and Jaiqwan Jones beat the Brothers’ defenders and caught it in the end zone with 10 seconds to play, causing bedlam among CNS partisans and leading to a 23-16 victory.
The win had all kinds of ramifications. CNS now stood at 3-1 and, more importantly, 2-0 in the Class AA-1 division, tied with Baldwinsville for first place. And the Northstars will meet the Bees Friday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium with first place on the line.
CBA never counted on seeing another early double-digit lead slip away, as had happened against B’ville a week earlier.
Early on, Lacey looked overmatched by the Brothers’ defense, as two of his first nine passes led to interceptions and the visitors threatened to turn the game into a romp.
Tyler Hamblin scored on a one-yard run five minutes into the game. Late in the first quarter, a high punt snap near his own end zone forced Falvey to kick it out of trouble for a safety, and less than 90 seconds later CBA found the end zone again, Anthony Bunn scoring on a one-yard run to make it 16-0.
It nearly got worse, too. CBA, trying to put it away, had the ball near the Northstars’ goal line in the second quarter. But CNS made a defensive stand, turned the ball over on downs, and began its comeback.
Lacey drove the Northstars to CBA’s 35-yard line. He then tossed the ball to Blake Monday, who threw a halfback option pass deep – and found Jones, who went to the end zone with 1:56 left in the half for the Northstars’ first points of the night.
Inspired by its goal-line stand, the CNS defense continued to sparkle in the second half, stopping CBA every time it tried to move.
Lacey also put together another scoring drive that led to Falvey connecting on a 40-yard field goal late in the period, making it 16-9.
All the confidence had shifted to the Northstars’ end, and in the fourth quarter Monday broke loose at midfield, going 53 yards for a touchdown with eight minutes to play. Falvey’s extra point produced a 16-16 tie.
Of course, CNS had one more big play to produce, and it might be an invitation to something greater this week at Baldwinsville.
The Bees, at 4-0, are the lone undefeated team in Class AA following a memorable two-week stretch where it (1) won at CBA 30-28, then (2) came home to knock off Liverpool 27-14.
Given how much emotion the Bees spent in these wins, CNS just might be facing them at the right time as it goes after a second league title in three years.