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Bears open with shutout of Solvay

Reigning Class B champs cruise behind solid ground game

— Chittenango's football quest to repeat in Section III Class B - and perhaps go further than its state semifinal appearance in 2011 - is on track through one game.

The Bears hosted Solvay Friday night and, with 35 first-half points, settled things quickly on the way to a 49-0 shutout of the Bearcats.

With its entire starting backfield still on hand from last fall's title run, Chittenango had plenty of confidence, something that Solvay, who was winless in 2011, was still a long way from attaining.

Early on, the Bearcats stacked the line of scrimmage, especially after an opening drive where the Bears, employing its powerful ground game, quickly found the end zone, Kyle Zimmer scoring on a five-yard run.

Solvay's tactic would backfire, though, as twice quarterback Devin Phelps threw over Solvay's front line for touchdown passes - one 25 yards to Matt Cretaro, the other 31 yards to Josh Cretaro - that made it 21-0 before the first quarter was done.

Having proved it could strike through the air, Chittenango reverted to that vaunted ground attack for the rest of the half. That produced two more scoring drives, each of them ending on TD runs of eight yards - one by Zimmer, the other by Joe Gilona.

So it was 35-0 at the break, and the Bears kept pounding away in the second half, adding two more scores on a one-yard plunge by Connor Mills and a five-yard jaunt by Zimmer, his third TD of the night.

Overall, Gilona set the pace, rushing for 132 yards on 11 carries. Mills finished with 73 yards, two more than Zimmer, and Phelps threw seven passes, completing five of them for 123 yards.

Meanwhile, the Bears' defense was dominant all night, forcing punts and slowing down anything that Solvay tried. All-State linebacker Aaron Jones led the way with 10 tackles.

Chittenango's first road game of the season takes place next Friday, when it goes to Adams to face South Jefferson for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Spartans lost to General Brown 36-15 in its season opener.

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