Oct 31, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Tell the Fayetteville-Manlius football team that it will take a seven-point lead on Baldwinsville in the Section III Class AA semifinals, and that the Bees’ top runner would get knocked out of the game, and the Hornets would feel great, right?
Well, that’s exactly what transpired last Saturday night at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium – and the Hornets still lost to the Bees, 21-14, the so-called “Bug Bowl” going to the defending sectional champions as it advanced to meet CBA in this Sunday’s AA final at the Carrier Dome.
F-M had to deal with the fact that, for the second time in as many years, B’ville had eliminated them from the post-season. For that, the Hornets could blame Parker Kiff.
Stepping in when star sophomore Tyler Rouse was sidelined at the end of the first quarter, Kiff picked up 151 yards on 30 carries and helped turn the game around.
Back in September, Kiff, who had hoped to be the featured running back on the Bees, left the squad when he found out that 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 on this night, he was quite present.
At the time Kiff entered, F-M led 7-0, its defense stifling the Bees’ ground game 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 Bees’ 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, giving F-M one more chance.
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 end the Hornets’ season.
F-M, who finishes at 8-1, will see a large group of seniors depart, including Wittig, Waffle, Brent Strickland, Bryan Hill, Scott Barger, David Nuzzo, Dan Murphy, Louis Muraco, Matt Moro, Kevin Putnam, Sam Wells and Evan Butcher. The presence of Perez, Jimmy Krizman, Conner Chen, Jusin Bondoc, Jason Abdo and Sawyer Dew should keep the Hornets in the contending mix in 2011.
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