Baldwinsville For one half of football Friday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, it appeared that the Baldwinsville football team had maintained its mastery over its neighbors from Liverpool.
But then the second half started, and the Bees suddenly found itself on the receiving end of a furious comeback by the Warriors that turned a two-touchdown lead into a painful 31-24 defeat.
So instead of securing a Section III Class AA first-round playoff game, the Bees (4-2, 2-2 league) instead find itself going into next Friday's regular-season finale at Utica Proctor needing a win to hold on to third place in the league, ahead of Auburn.
It was Liverpool's sophomore tailback, Jaydakis Scott, taking over on the offensive side in those last two periods, the 10th-grader running for 159 yards and scoring all three of Liverpool's touchdowns, including the game-winner with 5:59 to play.
Warriors head coach Dave Mancuso singled out his defense for special praise. It was, after all, that very same defensive unit that got burned for 42 second-half points by Fayetteville-Manlius two weeks earlier as Liverpool blew a 24-7 halftime lead and lost to the Hornets 49-37.
But it all turned around here, even though B'ville entered the night at no. 21 in the state Class AA rankings, and had dominated much of the recent meetings with Liverpool thanks to big nights from Tyler Rouse, who is now playing at Boston College.
Playing at home on Senior Night, the Bees took the opening kickoff and went right to the end zone, Ricky Sparks scoring on a 14-yard run. Liverpool also scored on its opening drive, mixing up passes and runs on a 74-yard march culminated by Justin Capoto's three-yard TD pass to Ben Terzini.
The Bees countered as Cameron Skipworth's 60-yard kick return led to Sparks scoring from eight yards out. On the first play of the second quarter, Trevor Monk connected on a 31-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 14-10, but the game almost got away from the Warriors, in large part due to Skipworth.