Sep 14, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, Marcellus and Westhill played four quarters of football amid Friday night’s rain and mist – but it really took less than eight minutes to decide matters.
Before the Warriors could even process what happened, the Mustangs had scored 26 unanswered points, and from there cruised to a 43-14 victory and the early lead in the Class B West division race.
Any chance Westhill may have possessed on this night got lost in the mistakes it made, including seven turnovers, three of them in the first quarter to fall into a big hole, and three more in the third quarter to thwart the Warriors” comeback attempt.
Coming off a dramatic 21-20 overtime win at Chittenango in the Sept. 6 season opener, and playing in front of home fans dressed in white for a “White Out” theme, Westhill could not have conceived how things would go so wrong in such a hurry.
In fact, Marcellus amassed a 19-0 lead before Westhill even ran an offensive play. The Mustangs received the opening kickoff, and on the first play from scrimmage Ian McGloon took a handoff and tore up the middle 70 yards for a touchdown.
Then Richie Easterly fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Tim Fiacchi jumped on it at the Warriors’ 43. A few plays later, McGloon was in the end zone again, a 26-yard score that doubled the lead to 12-0.
Incredibly, Westhill fumbled the next kickoff, too, and again Marcellus recovered. Tom Keegan’s 33-yard pass to Wyatt Stehle set up Keegan’s own one-yard scoring plunge, and Ross Filtch’s extra point made it 19-0, and the game wasn’t even four minutes old.
The Warriors finally got an offensive possession, but were stalled at the Mustangs’ 19. Then Keegan made things worse when, from his own eight-yard line, he threw a short pass to Will Coon that, with a missed tackle, turned into a 92-yard dash to the other goal line.
What helped Marcellus protect this huge early lead was Westhill’s difficulty running the ball. Head coach Joe Fiacchi said the Warriors relied too much on the pass (Reed Derrenbacher threw 43 times, completing 18 of those passes for 280 yards), making them easier to defend.
In the meantime, the Mustangs made it 33-0 late in the second quarter when, on fourth-and-goal at the Warriors’ 22, Keegan found Coon for their second TD connection of the night.
Somehow, Westhill shook this off and closed the gap to 33-14 by halftime, first with a scoring drive capped by Derrenbacher’s two-yard scoring pass to Chris Brusa, and then finding the end zone with 1.2 seconds left when Aaron Cusick dropped a punt near his end zone and Brusa scooped it up, tumbling in for his second TD.
Briefly, the Warriors entertained the notion of a miracle comeback, but it got quashed when Filtch picked off a Derrenbacher on his own 15 and the Mustangs, on the ensuing drive, went 85 yards, Keegan going the final 19 yards for the score.
Mike Hastings also had an interception in that period, and Eli Parrish recovered a fumble to thwart another Westhill scoring chance. Cole Walsh’s interception in the fourth quarter created a seventh turnover after Filtch hit a 30-yard field goal.
Marcellus now takes its 2-0 record into a big test next Thursday night, when it hosts defending Section III Class B champion Cazenovia in a game televised by Time Warner Cable Sports that kicks off at 7 p.m.
Westhill, meanwhile, will take on its other neighbor, Solvay, at Earl Hadley Stadium, this after the Bearcats suffered its 25th consecutive defeat last Friday when it lost to Cortland 42-12.
it was scoreless until the second quarter, when the Purple Tigers reeled off 22 points to negate Nick Cometti’s six-yard scoring run. Zach Whalen had two of Cortland’s TD’s on runs of six and 22 yards.
Cortland tacked on 20 points in the second half amid Cometti’s 12-yard TD run, and the Bearcats fell to 0-2 in a game that wasn’t as close as its 40-32 defeat to Marcellus five days earlier at the Carrier Dome.