Football Warriors reach playoffs with win over Nottingham

Both the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse football teams went into the next-to-last weekend of the regular season still harboring playoff hopes.

Only the Warriors would capitalize on those chances, though, going to Nottingham and needing a big fourth quarter to oust the Bulldogs 35-21 and secure its spot in the post-season.

As this was going on, the Northstars were at Bragman Stadium, watching undefeated, state no. 3-ranked Baldwinsville put on another gridiron clinic in a 43-20 defeat that dropped CNS to 1-5 on the season.

Liverpool went to Nottingham fresh off beating CNS for the 'Star Wars' Cup for the third year in a row, and perhaps the team suffered a letdown, as the early play against the Bulldogs showed.

Unable to score in the first quarter, the Warriors watched as Nottingham took a 6-0 lead with a smart scoring drive and quarterback Marty Clanton scrambling six yards for the touchdown.

Only in the second period did Liverpool start to stir on offense. On back-to-back drives, the Warriors mixed up runs and passes in an effective manner, both times reaching the end zone as fullback Josh Withrow score on a five-yard run and one-yard plunge. Connor Rogers made both extra points, and Liverpool led 14-6 going into the break.

Still, Nottingham persevered and, in the third period, pulled back even with a drive that led to Clanton going two yards for his second TD of the night. When Clanton threw to Charles Gary in the end zone for two points, they were tied, 14-14, going to the final period.

Early in the fourth quarter, the exchange continued. Luigi Barletta threw a 21-yard TD pass to Jaheem Hogan, but Liverpool missed the conversion. Nottingham countered with its own drive, Jamar Adams going the final 29 yards for the score and Josh Feldman making the go-ahead extra point.

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