Baldwinsville quarterback Gage Blasi (12) sets off on an option play, flanked by fullback Caleb Carter (33) and lineman Jakeith Jackson (74), in Friday nght's game against Cicero-North Syracuse. Blasi and the Bees would go on to beat the Northstars 34-27.
continued But working behind the offensive line of Jake Geer, Sam Gosson, Marcel Penfield, Jakeith Jackson and Karl Smiley, the Bees again methodically marched down the field as the regulation clock ticked down. Twice, Blasi kept the drive going with scrambles of 20 and 13 yards.
With 1:10 left, and having seen C-NS burn two time-outs to try and get the ball back, the Bees gave it again to Sparks on a toss, and the senior cut back up the middle and dashed to the end zone for the go-ahead TD, a 15-yard run that gave him a Rouse-like 301 yards on the night on 33 carries.
Though C-NS had one more possession, the Bees' defense stopped them at midfield, Mike Yorkey sacking Dziados as time ran out.
All of this followed a fun, back-and-forth first half. Sparks, on the third play from scrimmage, ran 50 yards to set up Blasi's one-yard TD sneak, only to see C-NS gradually improve its field position until a short drive early in the second quarter led to Dziados scoring from one yard out and tying it, 7-7.
Barely a minute later, B'ville went back in front 14-7 as Sparks, on an option pitch, tore 56 yards for his first TD of the season. Again, C-NS had a response, as a 40-yard pass from Dziados to Tyler Griffo set up a three-yard scoring strike to Jordan Schafer and a 14-14 tie.
Griffo wasn't done, either, as he intercepted Blasi's deep pass, which led to the Northstars taking a 20-14 lead when, on fourth down, Dziados faked a throw outside and threw over the middle to a wide-open Vinny Ianuzzo.
Now it was the Bees' turn to rally, thanks to Sparks, who keyed a 71-yard march with runs of 29 and 12 yards to set up his own five-yard TD sprint with 2:03 left in the half.
A missed extra point kept it 20-20, where it would stay until the Bees, in the latter stages, got back to the grinding, pounding style that has won so much in the past - and did so again here.
C-NS moves on to face archrival Liverpool in the annual 'Star Wars Cup' game next Friday at Bragman Stadium, the Warriors coming off a season-opening 14-0 defeat to Henninger - who, as it turns out, will take on B'ville that same Friday at Sunnycrest Field.