Sep 26, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Thanks to what took place in 2008, the Oneida football team did not get accustomed to losing in the regular season.
Thus, the Indians’ 26-14 defeat to South Jefferson on Sept. 18 did not feel to good, and the defending Class B champions were determined to avoid that feeling again.
Back home on Friday night, Oneida unleashed all kinds of misery on winless Phoenix and pounded its way to a 54-20 victory over the Firebirds.
Playing strong defense when it needed to do so, the Indians held Phoenix to a scant nine yards in the first half, while the offense was busy piling up 34 unanswered points.
Jeremy Rodriguez began the onslaught by throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass to speedy receiver Mike Rabbitt, capping off an opening drive that covered 11 plays and 76 yards.
Nate Mallinder made it 14-0 by scoring on a 14-yard run and two-point conversion,all set up by Eric Riley’s 44-yard punt return.
Rodriguez capped off a near-perfect start by throwing deep down the middle and finding Riley who, despite double coverage, finished off a 74-yard TD reception to make it 21-0 (Brian Chevier made the extra point) going into the second quarter. Overall, Rodriguez was seven-for-nine for 153 yards.
Oneida’s running game took over, with pounding drives the rest of the half that led to Mallinder’s second TD (a four-yard run) and Nathan Hall scoring from seven yards out.
It didn’t stop there. Hall added a 25-yard TD run in the third quarter to make it 41-0, and though the starters went to the bench, the fun continued.
Matt Mosack, Oneida’s backup quarterback, threw a 73-yard TD pass to Evan Watson. Even after Phoenix got on the board, Rabbitt returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a final TD.
Aside from Mallinder (50 yards), Chad Chesebro (68 yards) and Patrick Tayntor (60 yards) added further depth to the Indians’ ground game.
Oneida (3-1, 1-1 league) will try and spoil Chittenango’s Homecoming next Friday when the Indians face the Bears for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
And the game took on much bigger meaning when the Bears, in its Class B East league opener, handed Vernon Verona Sherrill its first defeat of the season 30-19 last Saturday. Now the Oneida-Chittenango winner will have a great shot at taking the league title.