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.