Liverpool A devastating second-half performance by Utica Proctor put an end to the Baldwinsville football team's quest for a third consecutive Section III Class AA championship.
The Raiders rallied past the Bees, 39-21, Friday night in the AA quarterfinal, played at Liverpool High School because poor field conditions at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium forced B'ville to move the contest.
Despite the last-minute move, the Bees led 14-0 early in the first quarter, and 21-6 at halftime. But Proctor looked like the only team on the field in the third and fourth quarters. The Raiders outscored the Bees 33-0 in the second half, and B'ville did not get a first down.
“(Proctor) came out and took it to us,” Baldwinsville coach Carl Sanfilippo. “You have to give them credit. They’re a good football team and played a great game, and their kids wanted it more than ours did.”
B'ville certainly wanted it early. They had a two-touchdown lead before many in the crowd had found their seats.
The Bees’ sensational junior tailback, Tyler Rouse, returned the opening kickoff 98 yards to give his side a 7-0 lead. After Proctor went three-and-out, Rouse struck again. He burst through pack of tacklers and ran 32 yards to paydirt.
That must have steemed Raiders coach Jerry Fiorini, who publicly said he wasn’t going to let Rouse beat his team.
“I said don’t kick off to (Rouse) and we kicked off to him, (which) killed us," Fiorini said. “I think it was nerves at the beginning of the game.”
Proctor responded on its resulting possession. Quarterback Jordan Treen, who would go on to have a monster second half, found Maurice Mills from nine yards out.
After the teams shared a pair of three-and-out offensive possessions, B'ville drove 53 yards on seven plays. Rouse punched it in from two yards out and the Bees took their 15-point lead to halftime.