Oct 15, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Just because the Marcellus football team has worked its way to five consecutive victories and a Section III Class B playoff berth doesn’t mean that it has found every bit of good fortune.
The Mustangs, who beat Solvay 41-23 Friday night to retain the Tom Anthony Silver Cup, enter the post-season as one of the hottest teams in Central New York, but does so as a low seed with a difficult obstacle right in front of them.
Three sides – Marcellus, Mexico and Homer – tied for second place in the Class B West division, each with 4-2 league marks. But the tie-breaker, involving first-half points, went in the Tigers’ favor, so it finished second, while the Trojans got third and the Mustangs were left in fourth place.
As a result, in next Saturday’s opening round of the Class B playoffs, Marcellus must travel to 7-0 Cazenovia, the defending sectional champions.
At least it goes there with lots of momentum. Solvay arrived at Marcellus with an 0-6 mark, knowing that it could make its entire season by snatching the trophy named in honor of Tom Anthony, who coached both the Mustangs and Bearcats.
Sure enough, on the game’s opening kickoff, Solvay’s Matt Lauro tore through the Marcellus coverage and raced 79 yards to the end zone, immediately putting the Bearcats in front 6-0.
All that did, though, was awaken the Mustangs, who proceeded to dominate the rest of the first half by recording 28 unanswered points.
Marcellus grabbed the lead with a solid scoring drive that led to quarterback Kyle Hastings scoring on a one-yard plunge. Later in the period, Jason Decker, long known for his defensive prowess, raced 37 yards for a touchdown on the offensive end.
Hastings would take over in the second period. He scored his second rushing TD on a two-yard run, and just before halfitme he found Brad Kermes on a 29-yard scoring pass.
To put it away in the third quarter, Hastings tossed a second TD pass, 23 yards to Dan Landy, and got his third rushing score on another short plunge. Solvay fought to the end and earned its highest point total of the season, scoring three times in the second half to make it a bit tighter.
Now Marcellus turns its attention to Cazenovia, and the veteran players have plenty of motivation beyond wanting to advance to the semifinal against Mexico or Oneida. They remember how Cazenovia used a safety with 1:31 left to edge the Mustangs 16-14 in last year’s Class B semifinal, and want some payback.
Westhill, a team accustomed to getting ready for the playoffs in recent years, is not going this time. The Warriors’ regular season concluded with a 16-7 loss to Mexico.
Joe Perry scored in the first quarter on a seven-yard run. But the Tigers shut out Westhill the rest of the way, using a pair of TD runs by Ray Eastman, of 46 and 10 yards, before halftime. Neither side would get a point in the second half.