October 6, 2012
Baldwinsville fans or otherwise, there aren't that many more chances to catch Tyler Rouse before his illustrious high school career concludes. Then again, defenses haven't caught him much, either.
Rouse may have enjoyed his finest performance in the Bees' 54-29 victory over LIverpool Friday, which put them in a tie for first in the Class AA-1 division. The numbers (380 yards, seven touchdowns) were gaudy enough.
But it was the timing of those big runs - TD's of 62, 63 and 57 yards in the third and fourth quarters after the Warriors had briefly moved in front 29-28 - that made this effort special. The great ones don't just fill up the stat sheet. They do so when it matters, and it sure did here. Now B'ville awaits to see what happens between F-M and Utica Proctor after a power outage forced that game to Saturday afternoon.
It also mattered at Alibrandi Stadium, where CBA brought the power and brought down Henninger to seize the outright AA-2 division lead and a top playoff seed.
Deshawn Salter, just a sophomore, pounded out 223 yards, and forced the Black Knights into a second-place showdown with West Genesee next weekend after the Wildcats kept C-NS winless with, among other things, Naesean Howard returning an interception 102 yards for six points, demoralizing the Northstars in the process.
Credit Indian River with seizing control in the Class A National division after Thursday night's 34-12 pounding of once-mighty Watertown. IR can clinch the league title with a win over Carthage, who got smashed at Nottingham. The Bulldogs' big win only reinforced the quality of J-D, who followed up its big win over them by blanking Fowler 35-0 to move to 6-0. No letdown there.
Also, big praise for Chittenango, once a Class A side, but now the reigning B champs and a no. 3 state-ranked power. All the Bears did was take down the defending A champs from ESM 27-26, largely beause Devin Phelps was magical again, with 212 yards on the ground and a big 62-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to put his side ahead for good.
The other Class B home games are spoken for now, since Cazenovia, led by a big effort from Jake Wilson, took care of Mexico 41-14, Oneida blanked South Jefferson 47-0 and Homer fought past Westhill 28-21. It's still difficult to imagine anyone challenging Chittenango or Cazenovia short of the Carrier Dome, but the Lakers thought that way too a year ago, and look how that turned out.
Any doubts about who was in charge in Class C West dissipated at Skaneateles, where the Lakers dismantled Tully 55-19 behind Conor Herr's 250 passing yards, which included a scoring pass to Jake Cooney that merely covered 99 yards.
So now the Lakers await the 16-team Class C playoff monster that starts next week, where Skaneateles, C South champion Canastota, C North leader General Brown and C East pace-setter Herkimer figure to be the favorites. Note, though, how tough 5-1 Bishop Ludden is, too.
And Class D figures to be real fun in the playoffs. The field just keeps shifting, as Sandy Creek proved by knocking off Westmoreland 21-19 to seize control of the Central division. Weedsport continued to show its strength, too, going to 6-0 by handling previously unbeaten Canastota 31-13 behind 200-plus rushing yards from Matt Pelc.