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Ludden tops Onondaga, surges into Class C playoffs

J-E playoff hopes dashed in defeat to ITC

With a 5-1 record, a diverse attack and an improving defense, the Bishop Ludden football team will be a tough team to get rid of in the upcoming Section III Class C playoffs.

Tuning up for the post-season Friday night, the Gaelic Knights went to Onondaga and showed off that diversity as it beat the Tigers 33-12.

OCS stacked the line of scrimmage to stop running back Corey Wilkinson in the early going. All that led to, though, was Zach Harding going through the air and throwing touchdown passes of 11 and 36 yards to Antoine Montgomery, which gave the Gaelic Knights a 14-0 lead.

And it was another unlikely face, Anthony Pecoriello, scoring from 10 yards out late in the half, which made it 20-0 going into the break.

Wilkinson did most of the remaining work, grinding out 171 yards on the ground. That included an 11-yard TD run in the fourth quarter after OCS cut the margin to 20-6. Harding threw for 112 yards as Conlan McGuire got Ludden’s last points on a 22-yard run.

At the other end of the spectrum, Jordan-Elbridge, needing a win over Institute of Technology Central to reach the expanded 16-team Class C tournament, instead saw a second-half lead slip away in a 30-12 loss to those other Eagles at Clary Middle School.

J-E’s run-oriented attack was quite effective in the first two periods. Colby Trexler, who finished with 184 yards on 27 carries, led two scoring marches, finishing the latter of them with a two-yard TD run.

That, along with Brad McMahon’s four-yard scoring play in the first quarter, helped J-E lead ITC 12-6 going into the break. But the game turned when ITC’s Josh Thomas broke loose for a 43-yard scoring run in the third quarter and caught a two-point pass from Manny Flowers.

Suddenly trailing 14-12, J-E’s offense sputtered, and ITC took full advantage. Flowers added a two-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to make it 22-12, and Josh Thomas returned an interception 47 yards for six more points in the waning minutes.

Adam VanWart ran for 49 yards, with McMahon adding 34 yards. Defensively, Noland Michels set the pace with 14 tackles, 12 of them solo efforts, with Luke Schwarting and Sean Ryan each getting 13 tackles. Nine of Tyler Landers’ 12 tackles were of the solo variety.

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