Sep 04, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Both the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool football teams found themselves facing immediate concerns, especially on the offensive side, as the 2010 season got underway.
On the opening night of the season Friday, the Northstars and Warriors took losses on the road – CNS in a 15-3 decision to Christian Brothers Acacdemy, Liverpool to Rome Free Academy by a score of 26-9.
CNS had spent all of pre-season practice adjusting its lineups in the wake of seeing two-way star Blake Monday tear his ACL less than a week before practice, sidelining Monday for the rest of the season.
Now the Northstars had to go to Alibrandi Stadium to meet a CBA squad bent on avenging last year’s loss to CNS and, at the same time, give its head coach, Joe Casamento, his 100th win at the school.
All the points CNS could manage came in the first quarter, when a drive stalled at the 10-yard line and Steve Messur connected on a 26-yard field goal.
From that point forward, any time CNS tried to move the ball, CBA’s strong, fast defense plugged up the holes. For the night, the Northstars had just 109 yards of total offense.
Still, CNS put up its own resistance, twice halting CBA drives inside the 20-yard line in the first half, forcing them to settle for field-goal tries. Riley Dixon converted from 35 yards out in the second quarter, and the two sides were tied, 3-3, at the break.
And CNS still had a chance even after quarterback Tyler Hamblin, who threw for 108 yards and ran for 108 more in a spread-option offense, went eight yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.
Andrew Johnson broke loose on a 42-yard reverse run, putting CNS inside the Brothers’ 10-yard line. But the Northstars fumbled on the next play, and CBA’s Mike Magnarelli recovered.
Deflated, CNS watched as the Brothers marched 92 yards to the other end of the field, Anthony Bunn going the final 24 yards for the score that clinched Casamento’s milestone.
Far to the east, at RFA Stadium, Liverpool sought its own opening win – but, like CNS, could not sustain a fast start.
Connor Rogers’ 30-yard field goal in the first quarter put the Warriors ahead, and another drive led to Raymar Temple going one yard for the TD early in the second period to make it 9-0.
Yet RFA, bent on avenging a 2009 season that saw it miss the Section III playoffs for the first time, began to take control with two long scoring drives before halftime.
Both times, those drives ended with short TD runs – two yards by Richard Stapleton, eight yards by Jordan Henry. So Liverpool trailed 14-9 going into the second half, and would not get closer.
Credit that to RFA quarterback Kyle Hash. Twice, from the Warriors’ 30-yard line, Hash would throw to the end zone – and twice it would lead to touchdowns, one to Zach Barrigar, the other to Josh Royce.
Liverpool wasn’t helped by an RFA defense that forced several turnovers, as Aaron Tennant caused one fumble and also intercepted Luigi Barletta.
The Warriors get its own shot at CBA next Friday before its long-awaited home opener against Baldwinsville on Sept. 17. CNS, meanwhile, is down the road from Alibrandi, taking on a Nottingham team that beat Central Square 27-18 in its return to the AA ranks. Both games start at 6:30.