Sep 21, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When the Liverpool football team welcomes undefeated, state-ranked Fayetteville-Manlius to its Homecoming festivities next weekend, it does so with a two-game win streak and a chance to roar to the top of the Class AA-2 division standings.
All of this was a result of Friday’s nerve-wracking trip to Holland Stadium, where it trailed Auburn at halftime, but made the plays in the second half to defeat the Maroons 21-10.
It took quite a while for Liverpool to accustom itself to playing on Auburn’s natural grass surface, and the Maroons took full advantage, blanking the Warriors in a sluggish first half.
When Dan Netti’s 34-yard field goal attempt sailed through the uprights in the second quarter, Auburn seized a 3-0 lead, and that’s where it stood at the break. Liverpool fans had reason to fear an offensive letdown similar to the one it had in a 14-0 loss to Henninger in the Sept. 6 opener.
But once the Warriors started to assert itself on the line of scrimmage in the third quarter, holes opened up, and Liverpool put together a pair of decisive scoring drives.
One march reached the Maroons’ four-yard line, from where Justin Capoto found Ben Terzini in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. Minutes later, the Warriors scored again, this time on the ground as Pat Twum broke loose for a 20-yard scoring run.
Still, Auburn stayed in it, as Julius Mizro broke though Liverpool defenders on a 62-yard TD sprint that made it 14-10 going to the fourth quarter. But the Warriors shut out the Maroons from there, and tacked on an insurance TD when Capoto took it in himself from one yard out.
While that was going on, Cicero-North Syracuse had to confront defending Class AA champion Christian Brothers Academy at Bragman Stadium, and while the Northstars stemmed the tide for a while, the Brothers eventually took over and prevailed by a score of 42-21.
This game had extra meaning for C-NS first-year head coach Joe Sindoni, who is a graduate of CBA and served as an assistant coach there for more than a decade. Also, both of his coordinators, Tim Brown (offense) and Tim Lee (defense), attended CBA and played under current head coach Joe Casamento.
None of this mattered much to the state no. 3-ranked Brothers, who found C-NS to be quite tough in the early going as the two sides played through a scoreless first quarter.
Then CBA’s star senior tailback, Deshawn Salter, took over in the second period, accounting for all three of his team’s touchdowns with a pair of short runs (four and two yards) and a 62-yard dash to the end zone that helped break the game open.
Trailing 21-0 at the break, C-NS got on the board in the third quarter when fullback Mitch Dunay scored on a seven-yard run. Again, though, the Brothers had a ready answer as Salter contributed his fourth TD on a five-yard run and Andre Dowdell scored from five yards out.
The Northstars battled to the end, though, as Dunay hit on a second TD, a four-yard run, and Nick Golembieski broke loose on a 60-yard scoring dash. Still, C-NS fell to 0-3 as it visits Corcoran this Friday night for a 5 p.m. kickoff.
Liverpool has an even bigger test against F-M, whose 3-0 start under first-year head coach Damien Rhodes has included 147 total points in wins over Schenectady, West Genesee and Baldwinsville.
The challenge for the Warriors’ defense will be to see if it can contain the Hornets’ multiple weapons, ranging from quarterback Jake Wittig to running back Jake Pulver to top receivers Luke Krizman and Jack Wilson. Game time is at 7 p.m.