Sep 17, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Through familiar and unfamiliar means, the Baldwinsville football team fended off a fierce challenge from long-time rival Liverpool.
True, star tailback Tyler Rouse put up gaudy numbers in the Bees’ 41-28 win over Warriors Friday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium. But it was a pair of timely throws by Augie Zona that put B’ville back in control after the Warriors erased a 14-point deficit in the game’s middle stages.
As the fourth quarter started, the two sides were tied, 21-21, a far cry from the 47-20 romp B’ville put together at the official dedication of the LHS Stadium turf a year ago.
Working from his own 42-yard line, Zona faked a hand-off and threw downfield to a wide-open Carter Twombly for 35 yards to the Warriors’ 23. From there, Liverpool held things up, setting up fourth-down-and-nine at the 21.
Taking the snap, Zona immediately turned left and threw what he called a “wheel” pass to Shay Sargeant. Using his speed and getting a crushing block from fellow receiver Tyler Russell, Sargeant sprinted all the way to the end zone untouched, and the Bees led for good. Dean Tourtellot’s extra point made it 28-21.
“We worked on that play all week, and waited for the right time to use it,” said head coach Carl Sanfilippo.
Further hurting the Warriors’ cause was the fact that, on its next series, quarterback Zavon Watkins went to the sidelines with an ankle injury and did not return. His replacement, Justin Capoto, could not provide the same kind of multiple threat Watkins offered as a passer and runner.
Then Rouse finished things off. With 2:50 left, he scored on a 20-yard run to make it 34-21, only to have Liverpool’s Alonzo Granger return the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a TD, quickly slicing the Bees’ margin to 34-28.
B’ville got the ensuing onside kick, though a whistle kept Eric Anthony from his own TD return. Unfazed, the Bees needed just two plays to find the end zone again as Rouse scored from 24 yards out with 1:56 left to seal it.
So ended a night where, on 27 carries, Rouse amassed 291 yards, nearly equaling the 319 yards he heaped on Liverpool in their 2010 encounter. And that doesn’t even count the first points he put on the board.
Early in the first quarter, Rouse returned a short punt 42 yards up the middle for a TD. On the Bees’ next possession, Rouse scored a second time on a 40-yard sprint down the left sideline.
Liverpool started to unleash its own potent running attack on its next possession, junior Jeff Edwards accounting for most of the yards. He caught a 19-yard pass on third down (and kept the ball despite a vicious hit), and went the final four yards for the TD.
It was 14-7, but just for 14 seconds. The very next time he touched the ball, Rouse, who appeared to be stopped for a short gain, fought off the tackle and hit an extra gear on a spectacular 66-yard scoring play.
“I just kept my feet moving, and fortunately, I broke free,” said Rouse.
Down 21-7, Liverpool would not allow a blowout this time. Edwards, who finished with 147 yards on the ground, keyed another scoring drive late in the second quarter, scoring from 12 yards out a minute before halftime. A missed PAT left it 21-13 going into the break.
Then, early in the third period, Watkins took off on a 47-yard run deep into B’ville territory, setting up his own 16-yard scoring run. Watkins also threw a two-point pass to Dillon Springer, tying it 21-21 and setting up the fourth-quarter excitement.
Just before the game, a moment of silence was offered for 2006 Baker High School graduate Kyle Schneider, a United States Marine killed in action in Afghanistan in June. Several family members, including Kyle’s parents, attended the ceremony.
B’ville visits Central Square next Friday at 6:30, the Red Hawks 2-1 after getting its first-ever win over Rome Free Academy 48-35, while Liverpool finally has its first home game of the season against Christian Brothers Academy, who is also 2-1 (2-0 in Class AA-1 division play) after beating Nottingham 35-21.