Sep 27, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Any time the Marcellus football team can knock off its rivals from Skaneateles, it’s a happy occasion.
So the Mustangs could feel good in the wake of Friday night’s 20-14 victory over the Lakers, yet still realize that it was fortunate to escape after a second half where it did everything possible to keep Skaneateles in it.
Three times, the Mustangs fumbled the ball, including two turnovers inside the Lakers’ 20, as it nearly saw a 20-7 halftime lead melt away.
Only the resilience of the Mustangs’ defense allowed Marcellus to stay out in front, an effort capped off when Nick Huss intercepted Conor Herr’s pass with 1:32 to play, thwarting the Lakers’ possible winning drive.
None of these problems were evident in the first half, when Marcellus found success through the air and on the ground against a Skaneateles squad vastly improved under first-year head coach Tim Green.
A 79-yard march late in the first period led to the game’s first point, with three big plays – Kyle Hastings throwing 2 yards to Chaz Hayes, Jeff Ames going 39 yards on a reverse, and Hastings scoring from 11 yards out on a bootleg.
Following a missed extra point, the Lakers responded with its own drive and briefly went ahead, 7-6, as Herr threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to James Smith and Tyler Saunders made the PAT.
With the wind at its back in the second quarter, the Mustangs would quickly regain the lead. A short drive led to Hastings’ second TD, this one a five-yard run, followed by a two-point pass to Steve Raven that made it 14-7.
Long gains by Ricky Alfreds and R.J. Linder led to Hastings throwing a 17-yard scoring pass to Hayes two minutes before halftime, and it was 20-7 at the break.
Much of the second half, by contrast, consisted of the two sides driving deep into each other’s ends, and getting nothing from it.
For Marcellus, it meant a penalty that wiped out one TD, a botched fake field-goal attempt and those fumbles on three consecutive drives – one by Allie Ragovin, another by Alfreds, and a third near midfield on a bad fourth-down snap.
Skaneateles, for the most part, could not take advantage of any of this, despite driving five times into Marcellus territory.
Twice, the Mustangs made fourth-down stops, and an Eric Lester interception stopped another chance. But the botched snap set up a short field for the Lakers and, with 6:42 to play, Herr hit Pat Roberts on an eight-yard TD pass, cutting the Mustangs’ lead to six.
With time running low, the Lakers, starting on its own 12, moved the ball to midfield – but the Huss interception allowed the Mustangs to run out the clock.
Alfreds, running behind the blocks of linemen Joe Felicia, Zach Wiley, Tyler Tomeny, Cullen Stubbs and David Breuer, had 159 yards on 23 carries. Wiley again led the Mustangs’ defense, his nine tackles including three sacks.
Marcellus stays at home Friday to face South Jefferson in a non-league game that will kick off at 7 p.m.