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Westhill football edges Marcellus, 13-12

Solvay falls to Cortland as 'Al Merola Field' is dedicated

High drama - and high emotions - marked another wild Friday evening of local high school football.

From Westhill's 13-12 win at Marcellus to Solvay's dedication of its home field in honor of long-time coach Al Merola to Bishop Ludden's big first half in a 39-25 conquest of Hannibal, plenty happened on the gridiron.

The most excitement was found at Marcellus, where another large crowd had reason to cheer and pay attention right up to the final minute.

Trailing 13-6 and with time winding down, the Mustangs, who had suffered a 54-19 defeat to reigning state Class A champion Maine-Endwell in the Carrier Dome just five days earlier, moved the ball into scoring position.

And after Duncan Merritt found the end zone to cut Westhill's lead to a single point with 35 seconds left, head coach Joe Fiacchi faced a decision - either try to tie it with an extra-point kick, or go for two points and the lead.

Fiacchi chose the latter, running Ian McGloon up the middle. But Westhill's defenders stacked the line of scrimmage and stuffed McGloon just inches short of the goal line. Marcellus could not get another chance, and the Warriors held on, avenging a 2011 home defeat to the Mustangs.

All game long, points were precious. Reed Derrenbacher threw a TD pass in the first quarter, and Marcellus countered with Merritt finding the end zone in the second period. But both conversions were missed, leaving the two sides at 6-6 going to the break.

They remained that way until the fourth quarter. Derrenbacher, who completed 10 of 24 passes for 175 yards, most of it on two long completions to Ben Walsh for 94 yards, hit Dan Gratien for the go-ahead score early in that period.

More importantly, Westhill kicker Collin Henson made the extra point, not knowing that the conversion would be the difference in the final outcome.

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