It only figured that a player named Ricky Sparks provided the spark for the Baldwinsville football team's 41-13 victory over Central Square on Friday night.
Sparks' 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the game quieted the Red Hawks and their home fans, and the Bees never stopped from there, building a 34-0 lead through three periods on its way to a third consecutive win.
After starring for B'ville's junior varsity team as a freshman in 2010, Sparks was brought up to varsity for this, his sophomore season. It was expected that Sparks would provide a change of pace whenever the main backs, Tyler Rouse and Ben Paprocki, needed a breather.
Yet Sparks' speed and elusiveness proved more valuable in special teams. As long as Rouse lined up as the return man, opposing teams would kick away from him.
Central Square, however, decided to kick deep to Sparks to open this game. Picking up the ball at his own 13-yard line Sparks picked up a series of great blocks and outran the Red Hawks' pursuers to the end zone.
That led to a 21-point first quarter, just like B'ville did against Liverpool a week ago. Rouse would contribute a pair of TD runs, one from 11 yards, the other on a 58-yard dash to the end zone.
And it didn't stop there, as Rouse added a third TD in the second quarter, his one-yard plunge providing the only points in that period as the Bees took a 27-0 lead to the break. Rouse would finish the night with 213 yards on the ground, the third straight game he has passed the 200-yard mark.
The Bees' defense, burned many times for big plays by Liverpool, atoned with a superb effort against a Central Square team off to its own 2-1 start and looking to rise up the Class AA-1 division ladder.