Elbridge Already, the Bishop Ludden football team had endured the indignity of seeing one former coach (John Cosgrove, now at Syracuse’s Institute of Technology Central) beat them. It wasn’t about to let that happen again.
Jumping on early mistakes and pulling away in the latter stages, the Gaelic Knights swiftly rebounded from its one-sided defeat to ITC in that Sept. 6 opener, going to Jordan-Elbridge last Friday night and defeating the Eagles 27-6.
J-E is, of course, coached by Tim Hawkins, a four-year assistant under Mike Rogers before getting his chance to turn around the Eagles’ program. And it appeared that J-E had momentum after its dramatic last-minute touchdown that beat Hannibal 29-24 on the same night Ludden got hammered by ITC 41-0.
All of that momentum dissipated, though, the moment the Eagles fumbled the opening kickoff deep in its own territory. Ludden recovered, and just 1:08 into the game it had its first points of the season as Anthony Peccoriello scored from four yards out.
J-E’s defense settled down and, taking advantage of the wet, slippery conditions, shut out the Gaelic Knights the rest of the first half. The only problem was that the Eagles couldn’t move it, either, and the game remained 6-0 in Ludden’s favor going to the break.
They remained that way until a key moment in the third quarter. Working from J-E’s 36-yard line, Ludden again gave it to Peccoriello, who worked his way past Eagle defenders to get his second TD of the night. Conlan McGuire’s two-point pass to Tim Rooney made it 14-0.
And the Gaelic Knights would put it away in the fourth quarter. Pecoriello’s third TD, on a two-yard run, was followed by Cameron Beauford intercepting an Austin Barrigar pass and returning it 35 yards for six more points.
At least the Eagles broke up the shutout with Brad McMahon’s 21-yard touchdown sprint in the closing minutes, but J-E still fell to 1-1 on the season as it visits Port Byron/Union Springs (0-2) this Friday night. The Panthers lost an 18-16 nail-biter to ITC to remain winless in 2013.
Ludden, meanwhile, has its home opener against yet another 1-1 side, Canastota, who is coming off a 33-6 romp over Hannibal. Game time is at 7 p.m.