Sep 13, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Humbled and shut out in the opening week of the 2010 season, the Bishop Ludden and Jordan-Elbridge football teams roared back with key victories within the Class C West division on Friday night.
Ludden’s turnaround was particularly satisfying, in that, when it erased a 14-point deficit to beat Syracuse Institute of Technology Central 34-28 in its home opener in Geddes, it beat a very familiar face on the other sideline.
John Cosgrove coached Ludden to its greatest gridiron era, including the 2007 state Class C championship. But he left the Gaelic Knights after the 2009 season to take charge of the brand-new varsity program at ITC.
Tough as that was for Ludden partisans, it had to be tougher to watch an opening weekend where its Gaelic Knights got pummeled by Cazenovia 56-0 in the Carrier Dome – a day after Cosgrove’s new charges opened with a 22-19 win at Tully.
Now Cosgrove brought his Eagles to Ludden to try and further the aggravation, and for a while it looked like ITC would pull it off.
The Gaelic Knights got its first points of the season and moved ahead 7-0 in the opening period with a scoring drive that culminated with Michael Works’ one-yard touchdown run.
ITC countered and moved ahead 14-7 by the end of the period, Jebron Thomas getting both TD’s on runs of 50 and two yards and hitting Delquan Ross for a two-point conversion.
They exchanged points in the second quarter, Ludden tying it with a long drive and Malik Merritt scoring on a two-yard run, the Eagles answering with Thomas going six yards for the TD and getting two more points. The Gaelic Knights trailed, 22-14, at halftime.
When a scrambling Thomas found Saquan Dozier for an 18-yard TD pass early in the third period, Ludden found itself trailing 28-14 and at an early-season crossroads. And it began to rally.
Matt Rogers threw his longest pass of the season, 42 yards to Chris Davis, to set up a six-yard TD strike to Davis. Later in the period, Rogers led another march and went the final yard for the score. A missed PAT left the Gaelic Knights down 28-27 with one quarter left.
Ludden’s defense forced a punt that put the Gaelic Knights in prime scoring position. ITC forced a fourth-down-and-20 on the Eagles’ 26, but Davis delivered by finding a hole, then speeding all the way to the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with less than seven minutes left.
ITC would get two more possessions, yet convert on neither of them as Ludden held on. At 1-1, the Gaelic Knights host unbeaten Altmar-Parish-Williamstown this Friday at 7 p.m. The Rebels have outscored its first two opponents by a combined 86-20.
While all this was going on, Jordan-Elbridge found itself at Tully making the same kind of turnaround and earning a 19-6 victory over the Black Knights.
Coming off a 27-0 loss to Cato-Meridian the week before, the Eagles used a single play to spark its revival, then played first-rate defense the rest of the night.
Trailing 6-0 after Ryan Chilcoat’s four-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, J-E awaited the kickoff. It was a short one – and Leland Holmes, taking it on his own 40-yard line, sped all the way to the end zone for a TD. Joe Gallager’s extra point gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead.
Even though neither side would score again in the first half, the Eagles’ defense began to take hold, stuffing Tully every time it got the ball.
And it would continue in the second half as Logan Smart, with 12 tackles (seven of them solo), led the way. Josh Matusek had nine tackles, while Frank Bratkowiak gained seven tackles. Though J-E did not force a turnover, it kept forcing Tully to give the ball back.
Eventually, that would lead to an Eagle getaway. Nick Berwind’s 10-yard TD run in the third quarter made it 13-6, and another drive in the final period led to Brennen Barrigar’s clinching three-yard scoring run.
J-E pounded it out on the ground for 282 yards overall. Berwind had 95 of those yards on 19 carries, while Barrigar got 65 yards, Holmes 57 yards and Mike Killeen 46 yards.
Now J-E will get its shot at ITC, the two sets of Eagles meeting this Friday at Corcoran High School’s turf field on Syracuse’s South Side. Game time is 6 p.m.