Sep 17, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Just before it got too late, the Marcellus football team rose up and re-entered the conversation among Class B West division contenders.
It wasn’t just that the Mustangs earned its first win of the season Friday night. It was that it gained that win by going to Mexico and knocking off the previously unbeaten Tigers 26-12.
Right from the start, Marcellus intended to show a ball-control offense, in order to keep the ball from Mexico’s imposing pair of running backs, brothers Ray and John Eastman.
They traded blows in the first quarter, Marcellus moving ahead on quarterback Kyle Hastings’ one-yard touchdown sneak, the Tigers answering with Eastman taking off on a 35-yard scoring run.
In the game’s middle stages, though, Marcellus unleashed a physical defense. Led by Jason Decker and Nick Nye, the Mustangs kept Mexico off the board and, in the process, allowed the visitors to move out in front.
And that’s what Marcellus did, Hastings finishing off another drive with a five-yard TD run. Up 12-6 at the break, the Mustangs again leaned on Hastings, who ran for 138 yards, and Brad Kermes, who got 99 yards, on another drive that Hastings finished off with a one-yard plunge, his third TD of the night.
Finally, Hastings went to the air in the fourth quarter, going 20 yards to Dan Landi for a score that made it 26-6 as Nye made his second extra point. Mexico added a late TD, but it was too late.
So with that single effort, Marcellus may have ignited a playoff push. It was far different for the other local Class B West sides, as Westhill lost at home to Ilion 16-13 and Solvay remained winless, falling to Phoenix by a 26-14 margin.
Westhill broke a 0-0 deadlock with the Golden Bombers in the second quarter as Tyler Hemmes ran 29 yards for a TD. However, the Warriors had difficulty all night trying to contain Ilion back Matt Hall, which proved the difference.
It was Hall, who had 227 yards on the ground, who used a 24-yard TD run, plus a conversion, to push the Golden Bombers ahead 8-7 in the third quarter, only to have Westhill go back in front on Jahsan Owens’ two-yard scoring run.
Hall had the last word, though, taking a handoff near midfield in the fourth quarter and sprinting 52 yards to the end zone. Westhill had chances to answer, but could not, falling to 1-2 on the season.
Solvay went to Phoenix and got off to a solid start. Rob Jackson’s six-yard TD run, plus John Savo’s extra point, had the Bearcats in front 7-6 through one period.
But the Firebirds used big plays in the second quarter – a 61-yard scoring run by Matt Ladd, a 16-yard pass from Avery Chisom to John Cross and a defensive safety – to stretch out to a 20-7 halftime margin.
Jackson struck again, for a 48-yard TD run, in the third quarter to cut it to 20-14, but Phoenix salted the game away when Mike Heyward returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown in the final period.
The Bearcats are back at Earl Hadley Stadium next Friday to face Homer, just as Westhill takes its own trip to Phoenix and Marcellus, looking for two wins in a row, hosts Oneida.