Sep 24, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, it didn’t count in the league standings. But the Marcellus football team’s 21-20, come-from-behind, double-overtime victory over visiting Oneida Friday night may serve as a a major turning point, should the Mustangs make a big run later this season.
Once down by 14 points on this wet evening, the Mustangs rallied for its second straight win, helping to erase an 0-2 start, and maintained momentum heading into next Friday’s clash with long-time nemesis Westhill, who lost 27-13 to Phoenix to see its record fall to 1-3.
Right at the start, Marcellus got in trouble adjusting to the rain, fumbling on the game’s first play from scrimmage. That set up Oneida on a short field, and Tyler Mallinder found Kyle Peck on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
During the second period, Mallinder found Peck again for a 28-yard connection, setting up Dylan Cafalone for a 16-yard scoring run, after which Mallinder found Brandon Worley for a two-point conversion.
So at the break, Marcellus was down 14-0, but its defense, led by Jason Decker and Nick Nye, would blank Oneida in the second half (and hold them to just 139 yards overall), giving the home side a chance, plus lots of time, to catch up.
Sure enough, in the third quarter the Mustangs, aided by a bad Oneida punt, drove to the Indians’ five-yard line, from where quarterback Kyle Hastings,on fourth-and-one, found the end zone. Nye’s extra point made it 14-7.
Even more important was the swing that took place early in the fourth quarter. Marcellus stopped Oneida inside its own 10-yard line to prevent the visitors from pulling clear, and moments later Brad Kermes found a gap and produced his team’s longest play of the season, going 92 yards for a TD. That accounted for nearly half the Mustangs’ 226 rushing yards on the night.
Nye made the PAT, and it was 14-14, where it stayed for the rest of regulation. Nye had a chance to win it, but his field-goal attempt as time ran low was blocked.
In overtime, each time gets a possession on the opponents’ 20-yard line. Immediately, the Mustangs fumbled, and any points for Oneida would win it. But Marcellus prevented a first down and forced a bad snap on Mallinder’s 37-yard field-goal attempt to win it, and it went to a second OT.
This time the Indians went first, and Mallinder threw an 11-yard TD pass to Worley. Oneida went for two, but Cafalone was stopped short of the goal line.
Now it was the Mustangs’ turn. From the Indians’ 10, Hastings hit Mike Raymond in the end zone to tie it 20-20. All Nye needed to do was make the PAT – and he did, giving the Mustangs the win.
Earlier that day, Westhill, seeking to reverse its early-season doldrums, did not find any relief in Phoenix, unable to stop the Firebirds’ tough ground game.
Josh Morse gained 140 yards to lead Phoenix’s attack, and fellow back Tyler Button added 105 yards on the ground. It was Morse giving the Firebirds a 13-0 lead as he scored on runs of 11 and 46 yards in the first two periods.
Westhill would rise up in the second quarter with a pair of scoring drives, Carson Hicks ending both of them with TD runs of five and nine yards. In between, though, Morse scored a third time on a 36-yard dash, and the Warriors trailed 20-13 at the break.
Both defenses would settle in as the rain intensified in the second half. Phoenix, though, was more effective, shutting Westhill out and getting the clinching points in the fourth quarter when Morse, using his throwing arm, found Avery Chisolm on a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Solvay was on the familiar turf of Earl Hadley Stadium Friday night, still in search of its first win of the season. But Homer came to “The Pit” and handled the Bearcats 40-7.
For a moment, the Bearcats were in the fight. Down 6-0 early in the second quarter, Solvay saw John Savo break loose for a 58-yard TD run, and his PAT put the home side up 7-6.
Homer answered with back-to-back scores, though, including Connor Johnston returning a Bearcats fumble for a TD, and Solvay trailed 20-7 at the break. Worse yet, Savo had to leave the game on a stretcher after getting hit hard by two Trojan defenders in the waning seconds of the half.
Without Savo to help out, Solvay watched as Homer dominated the second half. Tom Austin threw one scoring pass and returned a punt 35 yards for another TD.
Solvay is home again next Friday, but must deal with 4-0 Chittenango, off to its best start since 1993, who is coming off a 36-6 romp of Mexico.