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Football Warriors take another early playoff ouster

Late lead gets away in AA defeat to West Genesee

Liverpool running back Jeff Edwards (25) breaks out for a long run in last Friday’s Class AA playoff game against West Genesee. Despite going for 239 yards on 33 carries, Edwards and the Warriors lost to the Wildcats 36-25.

Liverpool running back Jeff Edwards (25) breaks out for a long run in last Friday’s Class AA playoff game against West Genesee. Despite going for 239 yards on 33 carries, Edwards and the Warriors lost to the Wildcats 36-25. Dana Northrop

— Then, early in the third quarter, Howard fumbled at Liverpool's four-yard line, and the Warriors recovered, promptly marching 96 yards, all on the ground, to stretch out its lead to 25-15 as Anthony Miller scored from three yards out.

But Howard atoned with a series of long runs to set up a nine-yard TD sprint late in the third quarter, and he also ran in for two points, making it 25-23 going to the final period.

The game turned for good when Liverpool drove to WG's 11-yard line, set to put the game away in the middle of the fourth quarter.

Needing just one yard for a key first down, the Warriors never got it as Garrett Waldron made two big tackles to stuff Miller and force a turnover on downs with 6:11 left.

Howard got the decisive march started with a 20-yard run near midfield. WG stalled, though, at its own 45 and faced a fourth-down-and-11 with less than four minutes left.

Rather than punt, the Wildcats went for it - and Dan Ginestro, getting enough protection, found Brett Colvin on a crossing pattern for 21 yards and the game's biggest first down.

With that new life, WG gave the ball back to Howard, who ran 21 yards to Liverpool's six. With 1:54 to play, Waldron powered in from one yard out, and the Wildcats were back in front, 29-25.

Liverpool still had a chance to win it. On the very next play from scrimmage, though, Justin Capoto's pass floated through the fog and got picked off, Anthony Armstrong returning it inside the Liverpool 10.

Howard did the rest, scoring the clincher on a one-yard plunge with 1:13 left to cap a night where he gained 281 yards on 32 carries, despite the ill-timed fumble. His counterpart, Edwards, also was strong, carrying the ball 33 times for 239 yards.

So once again, Liverpool would play host to the Class AA semifinals – West Genesee against CBA, followed by Baldwinsville against Fayetteville-Manlius – but not be an active participant.

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