Oct 30, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Back in September, senior Parker Kiff, who had hoped to be the featured running back on the Baldwinsville football team, left the squad when he found out that sophomore Tyler Rouse would get most of the carries.
“I was just hot-headed,” Kiff said of his abrupt departure.
Within a few days, Kiff was back on the team – and when Rouse went down with an injury early in Saturday night’s Section III Class AA semifinal against Fayetteville-Manlius at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium, Kiff took charge.
The quick, powerful runs of Kiff and his backfield mates, combined with the superb blocking offered once more by B’ville’s offensive line, led to a 21-14 victory over the previously unbeaten Hornets, the second time in as many years that the Bees (8-1) have knocked the Hornets out of the post-season.
All told, Kiff had 155 yards on 31 carries, with 20 of those carries coming in the second half as the Bees broke out of a 7-7 tie with a pair of scores, then held off a fierce F-M rally to advance to a sectional finals rematch against Christian Brothers Academy.
Head coach Carl Sanfilippo praised his team’s character, saying his players refused to panic when Rouse went to the sidelines at the end of the first quarter, not to return.
At the time, B’ville trailed 7-0, its ground game stifled even with Rouse in the lineup as it had not recorded a first down. F-M had gone ahead thanks to a 58-yard pass from John Wittig to Austin Perez that set up Wittig’s own five-yard touchdown run late in the opening period.
Not until the middle of the second quarter did B’ville start to move the ball with regularity. An 18-yard pass from Casey Colligan to Carter Twombly keyed a 50-yard march where Kiff and Ben Paprocki did most of the running. Kiff scored on an eight-yard run, and Mark Stanard’s extra point made it 7-7, where it stood until halftime.
It wasn’t until the second half, though, that the real power surge began. As so many other times this season, the front line of Nick Robinson, Matt Moreland, Jake Margrey, Ryland Jennings and Joe Tanguay, combined with tight ends Twombly and Stanard, plus fullbacks Steve Mitchell and Jim Lang, started to dominate the line of scrimmage, pushing aside a tough F-M front seven.
Paprocki ignited the third-quarter push with a 42-yard punt return to the F-M 23, setting up a short drive that consisted of three plays, all runs by Kiff. He went three yards, then 10 yards, and finally bulldozed his way into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown, his second score of the night.
Later in the period, B’ville went 68 yards, with Kiff mustering the same kind of power runs that Rouse had made routine for much of the season. He had five carries on the drive, after which Paprocki took it to the goal line, from where Colligan sneaked in to make it 21-7.
Still, F-M would not go away. On fourth-down-and-10 on the first play of the fourth quarter, Wittig, from the 50, threw deep down the left side and found Perez, who caught it at the 10 and scored. Ari Waffle’s PAT moved the Hornets within a touchdown.
With Kiff continuing to churn out big gains, B’ville used two long drives to eat up most of the fourth-quarter clock. Yet it still could not get one last first down to end matters, setting up a nervous finish.
From his own 32, with just 31 seconds left and no time-outs, Wittig had a short scramble, then threw a pair of first-down passes to Waffle before spiking the ball. F-M had one more chance from the 32 on the game’s last play, but Wittig’s pass was short – and Eric Anthony picked it off to clinch B’ville’s victory.
And it sets up next Sunday’s Class AA final in the Carrier Dome at 2 p.m. against CBA (9-0), whom B’ville defeated 30-12 for the sectional title in that same spot a year ago.
Of course, the Brothers handed the Bees its only defeat this season, a now-infamous 14-10 game played Oct. 15 in treacherous, muddy conditions at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium. CBA beat West Genesee (55-6) and Utica Proctor (27-13) in this year’s playoffs to get to the Dome.
Sanfilippo said the Bees will not change strategy for this latest CBA encounter, especially since it knows the surface will be clean this time.
“We just have to be ourselves, and not be fancy,” he said.