Hitting the midway point of the 2010 regular season, the Canastota football team is poised atop the Class C South division.
Moving to 3-0 in league play (3-1 overall), the Raiders rode a powerful ground game and another strong defensive effort to a 38-14 home victory over Clinton on Friday night.
Canastota stayed patient through a scoreless first quarter as, gradually, it started to improve its field position. Then, early in the second period, a bad Clinton snap led to Jamie Meade recording a safety, and the spark was lit for 18 unanswered points before the half.
Off the ensuing free kick, Canastota needed just six plays to get its first touchdown, Zach Zupan scoring on a six-yard run and also getting the two-pont conversion to make it 10-0.
Again the Raiders made a defensive stop and forced a punt. Again it took the ball right down the field scored, Zupan and Jeff Merrell gobbling up big gains until Zupan scored on a one-yard plunge. When Alex Foster found Merrell in the end zone for another conversion, Canastota led 18-0 going into the break.
Two more scoring drives put it away in the third quarter, each of them ending on one-yard touchdown plunges - one by Zupan, the other by Kyle Sandford. Ryan Carswell tacked on a 25-yard TD sprint in the fourth quarter.
Behind the strong blocking of Jim Campanaro, Charlie Smith, A.J. Salay, Zach LaFlair, Fred Sherman and Taylor Gleeson, Zupan finished with a season-best 105 yards on 18 carries. Merrell was close behind, carrying the ball 13 times for 89 yards. The Raiders are home again next Saturday to face Herkimer at 7 p.m.
Outside of Class B league play, Oneida went to Mount Markham and made it three wins in a row, pounding the Mustangs by a score of 49-6.