SYRACUSE 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.