Liverpool A discouraging opening defeat, a short week to recuperate, a determined opponent next on the docket looking for a rare 2-0 start - things did not too look too encouraging for the Liverpool football team.
Yet the Warriors defied all those conventional thoughts Friday night when it went to Central Square and put together an impressive 35-18 victory over the Red Hawks.
This was Liverpool's Class AA-1 division opener. As such, while the 35-14 loss it took to St. Francis (Buffalo) in the Kickoff Classic at the Carrier Dome hurt, it didn't count toward league play, so the Warriors could afford to start over.
Meanwhile, Central Square, long a doormat in the local AA ranks, were fired up after starting its season by beating Cicero-North Syracuse 34-28. Playing at home, the Red Hawks knew another league win would make the AA-1 favorites, CBA and Baldwinsville, pay further attention.
Neither side would score in the first quarter, and when the 0-0 deadlock did get broken in the second period, it was Liverpool's defense, burned by St. Francis running back Akeel Lynch for 200 yards in the opener, that pulled it off.
An all-out blitz led to a rushed pass by Central Square's Mitchell Jones that Dustin Springer picked off and returned 30 yards for a touchdown. That single play fired up the entire Liverpool squad.
Not long after, the Warriors moved to the Red Hawks' 42, from where Justin Capoto threw a deep pass that Matt Isbell caught, and Isbell went into the end zone, making it 14-0, where it stood at the break.
It got to 21-0 in the third quarter as Zavon Watkins sneaked in on a one-yard run. Here, Central Square finally began to stir, getting back-to-back TDs to cut the margin to 21-12, the latter a spectacular 72-yard run from Anthony Scarrford early in the final period.