SYRACUSE With its brutal opening slate - Baldwinsville, Liverpool and CBA - behind them, the Cicero-North Syracuse football team hoped that the harsh lessons learned in those three defeats would translate into increased determination to turn things around.
And the turnaround, perhaps, started Friday night at Corcoran, where the Northstars delivered first-year head coach Joe Sindoni his first win at the helm in impressive style, leading from start to finish as it rolled past the Cougars 34-14.
C-NS did catch Corcoran at a good time, coming off a short week after it had played Saturday in a tense, emotional 35-28 defeat to city rival Henninger that had followed a 2-0 start.
Still, the Cougars had to be surprised when, in the first quarter, Owen Dziados went deep from his own 32-yard line and found Jordan Schaffer, who took it the rest of the way for a 68-yard touchdown that put the Northstars in front for good.
As each game passes, Dziados and the rest of the players are growing more comfortable with Sindoni's spread offense, and that showed in this game as Dziados threw four TD passes to four different receivers. Mitch Dunay caught one of those scoring passes, a 17-yard strike, that made it 13-0 early in the second quarter.
When Corcoran cut the gap to 13-7 on Roy Bell's 17-yard TD pass to Jamal Harris, it looked like the Cougars were back in form. But just before the half, C-NS moved the ball down to the two-yard line, and Dziados found Brian DeMonte for the TD with just 19 seconds left.
Fired up by that scoring drive, C-NS came out int the third quarter and extended the cushion to 27-7, a blocked punt deep in Corcoran territory setting up Dziados as he found Connor Evans for a 10-yard touchdown.