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F-M denied by B'ville in football semifinals

Tell the Fayetteville-Manlius football team that it will take a seven-point lead on Baldwinsville in the Section III Class AA semifinals, and that the Bees' top runner would get knocked out of the game, and the Hornets would feel great, right?

Well, that's exactly what transpired last Saturday night at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium - and the Hornets still lost to the Bees, 21-14, the so-called "Bug Bowl" going to the defending sectional champions as it advanced to meet CBA in this Sunday's AA final at the Carrier Dome.

F-M had to deal with the fact that, for the second time in as many years, B'ville had eliminated them from the post-season. For that, the Hornets could blame Parker Kiff.

Stepping in when star sophomore Tyler Rouse was sidelined at the end of the first quarter, Kiff picked up 151 yards on 30 carries and helped turn the game around.

Back in September, Kiff, who had hoped to be the featured running back on the Bees, left the squad when he found out that Rouse would get most of the carries.

"I was just hot-headed," Kiff said of his abrupt departure.

Within a few days, Kiff was back on the team - and on this night, he was quite present.

At the time Kiff entered, F-M led 7-0, its defense stifling the Bees' ground game even with Rouse in the lineup as it had not recorded a first down.

F-M had gone ahead thanks to a 58-yard pass from John Wittig to Austin Perez that set up Wittig's own five-yard touchdown run late in the opening period.

Not until the middle of the second quarter did B'ville start to move the ball with regularity. An 18-yard pass from Casey Colligan to Carter Twombly keyed a 50-yard march where Kiff and Ben Paprocki did most of the running. Kiff scored on an eight-yard run, and Mark Stanard's extra point made it 7-7, where it stood until halftime.

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