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Bears smash past Phoenix, 48-0

Chittenango rebounds from OT loss to Westhill

— Just the right combination of circumstances surrounded the Chittenango football team as it set out to atone for its tense 21-20 overtime defeat to Westhill in the Sept. 6 season opener.

For one thing, the Bears got to stay at home to face Phoenix a week later. Also, the Firebirds were just five days removed from its opener, a 52-6 defeat to Homer in the Kickoff Classic at the Carrier Dome.

Above all of that, though, Chittenango was mad at how things got away against Westhill, and was going to make Phoenix pay for it, to the tune of 34 unanswered points in the first half on the way to a 48-0 shutout of the Firebirds.

Ignoring the misty rain that fell throughout the evening, the Bears quickly seized control when, on Phoenix's second possession of the game, John Guignard recovered a fumble in the end zone for the game's first touchdown, igniting a 21-point outburst in the opening period.

As a follow-up, Chittenango drove, on its next possession, to the Firebirds' 20, from where Conor Mills found the end zone. Minutes later, quarterback Matt Cretaro found Bill Strodel on a 27-yard TD pass.

What the Bears did was also take care of the ball. Even though it fumbled three times, Chittenango's struggles paled next to Phoenix suffering through nine fumbles, many of them botched snaps.

More was to follow in the second period. Corey Benn's 20-yard TD run extended the lead to 28-0 (Matt Milliman was four-for-four on extra points early), and when Matt Cretaro hit his brother, Josh Cretaro, on a 27-yard scoring pass, the margin ballooned to 34-0, where it stood at halftime.

Chittenango's deep group of reserves would see plenty of action in the second half. Drew Flack had the biggest moment, though.

Finishing with 106 yards on just nine carries, Flack took a handoff on his own 23 and didn't stop until he was in the end zone 77 yards later. Dan Brazeau added a three-yard TD run.

At 1-1 on the season, the Bears pay a visit to Homer next Friday at 7 p.m. in a game that could go a long way into determining who is the favorite in the Class B West division race. The Trojans followed up its Phoenix rout by beating Skaneateles 23-13, the Lakers' first regular-season defeat since 2010.

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