Oct 13, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
At least when the Liverpool football team attempts to break its long string of frustration in the Section III Class AA playoffs, it will do so on friendly home turf.
When the Warriors, with a big mid-game offensive eruption, beat Rome Free Academy 42-20 Friday night at RFA Stadium, it clinched a tie for the Class AA-1 division regular-season title with Baldwinsville and Fayetteville-Manlius.
Just as importantly, Liverpool, because it was second in the three-way tie-breaker with the Bees and Hornets, get to play in the first round against defending AA champion West Genesee at LHS Stadium. The winner there plays CBA or Utica Proctor in the semifinal round.
Against a winless RFA side, the Warriors figured it had ample opportunity to bounce back from the 52-29 defeat it took to B’ville a week earlier, and didn’t panic when the Black Knights got on the board early with Angus Evans’ 64-yard touchdown pass to John Allen.
Instead, the Warriors, down 6-0, struck late in the first quarter with Pat Twum’s five-yard scoring run and Trevor Monk’s go-ahead extra point. Then the real fun began.
Liverpool notched 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to take charge. Justin Capoto threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Kyle Crescente, while tailback Jeff Edwards found the end zone on runs of 24 and eight yards, making it 28-6 at the break.
To put it away, the Warriors scored twice more in the third period. Twum, fast becoming an important part of Liverpool’s attack, got a 10-yard TD run, and Anthony Miller scored from that same distance to expand the lead to 42-6.
RFA’s two scores in the fourth quarter came against the reserves as Liverpool looked ahead to West Genesee, a team that knocked the Warriors out of the playoffs in both the 2007 and ’08 semifinals.
In contrast to Liverpool’s playoff plans, Cicero-North Syracuse was just looking for any kind of victory, and put up a great effort in last Friday’s game against Central Square at Bragman Stadium before falling to the Red Hawks 36-20.
With that win, Central Square snagged fourth place in the Class AA-2 division and a playoff berth, though that means a trip Friday night to play Tyler Rouse and Baldwinsville in the opening round.
Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, C-NS briefly got the lead when Mitchell Dunay scored on a one-yard run and Tyler Griffo, the Northstars’ new quarterback, threw a two-point pass to Brian DeMonte.
On another drive later in the period, Central Square’s defense struck, Alex Ransom intercepting a Griffo pass and returning it for six points. That, plus a two-point conversion, left C-NS trailing 15-8 at the break.
It would continue to go back and forth in the second half. Dunay’s second TD, an 11-yard run, was countered by the Red Hawks’ Sean Spier throwing a 17-yard scoring pass to A.J. Cordone.
When Griffo, early in the fourth quarter, threw a 44-yard TD pass to Steve Mirzio, C-NS only trailed 23-20. But Central Square got away behind the work of Malcolm Anderson, who ran 20 times for 130 yards and scored on runs of four and 28 yards in the closing stretch.
In contrast to Anderson’s work, C-NS only managed 11 yards on the ground. That forced Griffo to throw a lot, and he took a lot of hits, the Red Hawks recording seven sacks.