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Bears rip up Westhill, move to 5-0

Phelps breaks free for three long TD runs

Just a couple of years ago, while the Chittenango football program built itself back into prominence, Westhill was in the midst of a long reign atop the Class B West division.

The Warriors' reign is over now, and the Bears have taken over, as it showed by going to Westhill's new turf field on Friday night and putting together a 43-14 victory.

Chittenango's 4-0 start, culminated by a 42-0 shutout over previously unbeaten Homer on Sept. 21, had led to a no. 3 state Class B ranking.

That only increased the target on the Bears, and Westhill, 2-1 in league play going into the game, had a chance to move into first place - but Chittenango quickly disposed of those dreams.

Each of the Bears' vaunted trio of backs would score in the first quarter as the visitors raced to a 21-0 lead. Kyle Zimmer raced 24 yards for one touchdown, Joe Gilona went three yards for another score and Devin Phelps provided the big blow, a 50-yard scoring run just before the period ended.

Of course, Chittenango's superb senior quarterback was far from done. in the second quarter, Phelps put Westhill away by twice breaking free for long TD runs, of 53 and 40 yards, which increased the Bears' margin to 35-0 as Steve Billington was a perfect five-for-five on extra-point attempts in the half.

Gilona added a second scoring run of six yards in the third quarter as he, along with fellow linebackers Zimmer, Billington, Gilona and Kyle Mills tried to get another shutout. But it wasn't to be, as Westhill quarterback Rich Easterly threw TD passes of 34 and 64 yards to Dan Gratien in the late going.

The Bears are back home next Friday for an interesting non-league clash with neighbor East Syracuse-Minoa, the reigning Section III Class A champions. Kickoff is at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised by Time Warner Cable Sports.

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