Sep 16, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Weather was not kind for the latest evening of Friday night football, with thunderstorms causing early delays and rain lingering hours after play resumed.
And of the many local teams trying to break into the win column, only Bishop Ludden proved successful, the Gaelic Knights building a big margin in the first three periods and holding off Institute of Technology Central 27-16 at Clary Middle School.
Elsewhere, it was nothing but frustration. Marcellus was close with defending Class B champion Chittenango before the Bears got away and prevailed 29-6. Westhill could not get on the board in a 13-0 loss to Cortland, while Jordan-Elbridge fell to Tully 34-6 and Solvay, still in search of its first win since 2010, took a 57-22 defeat to Homer.
Ludden’s game with ITC always has more meaning because John Cosgrove, who led the Gaelic Knights to the 2007 state Class C championship, coaches the Eagles.
Once it took the field, Ludden wasted little time taking charge. Zack Harding’s 55-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Montgomery and Corey Wilkinson’s two-yard run made it 14-0 by the end of the first quarter.
Harding took it in himself from 20 yards out, expanding the margin to 21-0 before halftime, and Wilkinson, who finished with 157 yards on 15 carries, scored his second TD on a nine-yard run in the third period.
That was enough as ITC did get a pair of late touchdowns, but were too far behind. Ludden improved to 2-1 on the season and gets a big test Friday when it visits 3-0 Tully, who had just beaten J-E to drop the Eagles’ mark to 1-2.
Amid the rain, J-E got a rare passing touchdown in the second quarter. Austin Barrigar, who completed just two passes all night, connected with Sean Ryan on a 20-yard scoring pass that briefly tied the game at 6-6.
Tully quickly regrouped, though, as Nate Doody’s 60-yard TD run put them in front for keeps. It was 20-6 by halftime, and the Black Knights added two more scores, both by Mike Spain (one of them a 65-yard run), to get clear.
Colby Trexler again led J-E’s ground attack, carrying the ball 28 times for 115 yards. Defensively, Luke Schwarting led with seven tackles, while Tyler Landers and Ryan Matousek each managed six tackles, four of them solo in Landers’ case. Payne Roberts recovered a fumble.
Marcellus was still winless as Chittenango paid a visit, and the Mustangs’ defense, led by Jason Decker (15 tackles), did a strong job in the first half, holding the Bears without a touchdown.
Still, the Mustangs trailed 10-0 at the break due to Steve Billington. The Chittenango linebacker returned a Duncan Merritt interception six yards for a TD late in the first quarter and added a 25-yard field goal in the second period.
Yet the Mustangs almost rallied. Merritt capped off a 70-yard march with an eight-yard scoring run that cut the margin to 10-6 early in the third quarter, and Marcellus recovered an onside-kick attempt – or so it thought.
Officials ruled that a Mustang player touched the ball inches before the required 10 yards. That gave Chittenango possession, and the Bears promptly drove to Kyle Zimmer’s one-yard TD run. Marcellus never recovered as Devin Phelps scored twice on runs of 46 and 15 yards to clinch it.
At least Marcellus and J-E got on the board – something that eluded Westhill, who saw Cortland get what proved to be the game-winning points on the opening kickoff when Teddy Phillips returned its 87 yards for a touchdown.
From there, the game settled into a long stalemate. The Warriors’ defense continued to show its strength, constantly thwarting the Purple Tigers and keeping the visitors within range.
However, Westhill could not generate anything against Cortland, who finally put the game away in the fourth quarter when Andrew Potter broke loose for a 36-yard TD run.
Westhill will next host Solvay, who had one of its highest point totals in recent memory thanks to Nick Cometti, who had a 50-yard TD run in the first quarter and added a 60-yard scoring burst, plus a one-yard plunge, in the final period.
By then, though, Homer had pulled away. Four different times, the Trojans scored on runs of 20 or more yards, and Mark Dove, who had 138 yards on nine carries, found the end zone twice on offense and again on defense when he returned a Bearcats fumble 36 yards for six points.