F-M football blanks Auburn; Corcoran looms next

Five impressive wins are now neatly tucked away in the Fayetteville-Manlius football team's record book thanks to Friday night's 35-0 shutout of Auburn on Homecoming night.

Now comes the much-anticipated quest for that sixth win - which, if successful, could net the Hornets the Class AA-2 division regular-season championship.

F-M heads to Syracuse's south side next Friday night to face Corcoran. With their fast starts, the Hornets and Cougars have separated themselves from the rest of the AA-2 league, giving this game enormous stakes.

A win by either side not only guarantees first place in the league standings, it garners a top seed for the Section III Class AA playoffs later this month. With the likes of Baldwinsville and CBA waiting on the other side, any advantage gained right now is quite welcome.

As it goes to Corcoran, the Hornets carry maximum confidence and momentum, the result of outscoring its five opponents by a combined margin of 206-56.

Just as important, F-M proved against Auburn that, no matter what loomed a week later, it wasn't looking ahead to the Cougars.

John Wittig put on a first-half show. Though the senior quarterback only completed four of his 11 passes on the night for 114 yards, three of those passes went for touchdowns as the Hornets sprinted out to a 21-0 halftime lead.

It began with Wittig, from midfield, going deep and finding Austin Perez on a 49-yard TD strike in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, the lead doubled when, from the Auburn 24, Wittig again hit Perez in the end zone.

By the time Wittig found Ryan Simmons for a 34-yard TD pass late in the half, F-M had more than enough points, for its defense, led again by Brett Strickland and Matt Moro, was shutting down everything the Maroons tried. Auburn had just 91 total yards.

Still, there was ample time in the second half to stretch things out. Sean Bright broke loose for a 34-yard TD run, and Wittig himself scored on a one-yard plunge.

Once all the work was done here, F-M would make yet another trip to Sunnycrest Park, a field on which it had already won twice this season. This time, they watched Corcoran as it beat city rival Henninger 27-7, the last prelude to a title showdown.

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