Oct 16, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Deftly handling matters on both sides of the ball, the Marcellus football has earned a share of the Class B West division regular-season championship.
The Mustangs went to Hannibal Saturday afternoon with the knowledge that Westhill had already beaten Skaneateles the night before, and that Homer was trying to claim its share of first place at Phoenix – which it did with a 33-19 victory.
So Marcellus had to win to get a shot at a playoff home game – and it did, keeping Hannibal off the board until the fourth quarter and breezing to a 34-14 victory over the Warriors.
And as the tie-breaker worked out, Marcellus finished second in B West, ahead of Homer but behind Westhill. Still, that means the Mustangs will host Holland Patent, the third-place team from C East, in Friday’s opening round, with the winner to get Cazenovia or Skaneateles in the semifinals.
A big part of this victory was seeing quarterback Kyle Hastings air it out. Hastings had enormous pressure on him when the season began as the successor to Will Fiacchi, the Mustangs’ all-time leading passer. And while Marcellus had started 5-1, Hastings had, at times, settled for a supporting role behind the ferocious Mustang defense and its solid ground game.
At Hannibal, though, Hastings did not let anyone get in his way as he threw for four touchdowns, three of them in the first half as Marcellus raced out to a 21-0 lead. Better yet, he made the Warriors pay for all the defensive attention given to top Mustang receiver Chaz Hayes.
In the first quarter, Hastings moved Marcellus to Hannibal’s nine-yard line, then found R.J. Linder in the end zone to put his team ahead 6-0. Later in the period, Hastings, from the Warriors’ 31, tossed a short pass to Allie Ragovin, then watched Ragovin weave his way in for the TD. Nick Nye’s extra point made it 13-0.
Marcellus notched the only points of the second quarter when Hastings reconnected with Linder, this time on a 25-yard scoring pass. Duncan Merritt, who has seen spot duty behind center all season, came in to throw a two-point pass to Linder.
Neither side scored in the third period as Hannibal continually found itself stifled by the Mustang defense. And even when the Warriors did get on the board in the final quarter, Marcellus had a ready answer.
Hastings notched his fourth TD pass of the day, finding Hayes from 13 yards out. And the Mustangs would string together one more scoring drive as Brad Kermes scored on a 17-yard run.
As Marcellus got ready for the opening round of the Class B playoffs, Jordan-Elbridge had a chance to finish the regular season with a winning record, but fell to Altmar-Parish-Williamstown 26-12 on Saturday afternoon.
Down 7-0 in the second quarter, J-E struck with a big play when Brennen Barrigar broke loose for an 80-yard TD run. The Rebels countered as Corey Booth scored from four yards out, and the Eagles trailed 13-6 at the half.
By the time Barrigar scored again late in the third quarter on a four-yard run, APW had taken control, twice finding the end zone with long drives that ended with Erik Kranz scoring on a pair of one-yard runs.
Barrigar led J-E with 68 yards on the ground as the team had 186 overall yards on the ground. Defensively, Zach Stevenson and Logan Smart each had 12 tackles, with Tom Albring adding 11 tackles and Barrigar getting 10 tackles.
Also on Saturday, Solvay suffered its sixth consecutive defeat when it went to LaFayette/Fabius-Pompey and took a 12-0 loss to the Lancers.
The Bearcats gave up the only points of the first half with a fumble that LaFayette’s Roberto Cruz recovered in the end zone. The Lancers then added an insurance TD when Leigh Hubler scored on a 34-yard run in the third quarter.