Sep 17, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Once it got over its own shaky start and asserted its will on both sides of the ball, the Chittenango football team took charge of the Class B West division race.
The Bears went to Homer Friday night and, in a clash of unbeaten teams, pulled away in the second half and topped the Trojans 32-14 to move to 3-0 on the season.
Joe Gilona continually hurt Homer in his two-way role. On offense, Gilona picked up 166 yards on 14 carries and also caught an 11-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter to start the getaway.
Then, when Chittenango went to the defensive side, Gilona merely produced 13 unassisted tackles, spear-heading a unit that kept Homer off the board through much of the game’s latter stages.
Great as the finish was, the Bears’ start was equally unpleasant. It appeared Chittenango had thwarted a Homer scoring threat on the Trojans’ opening possession when Brad Phelps recorded an interception, only to see him take a safety when he was tackled attempting to run out of the end zone.
The next time the Bears had the ball, a high snap was pounced on by Homer’s Brandon Maxon, and his return set up a short drive and Austin Recor’s four-yard TD run, which made it 8-0 going into the second quarter.
Fuming at those early errors, Chittenango began to settle down with a 64-yard, seven-play march that led to quarterback Devin Phelps running 10 yards for a score and also getting the two-point conversion to forge an 8-8 tie.
Now it was Homer’s turn to hurt itself, as it fumbled a punt and committed a penalty that gave the Bears a short field. Kyle Zimmer took full advantage, his 16-yard TD run, combined with Steve Billington’s extra point, putting Chittenango ahead 15-8 at the break.
With its confidence increasing, the Bears controlled the third quarter. Anchored by tackles Nathan Fox and Aaron Jones, the offensive line created all kinds of gaps for Gilona and Phelps, who finished with 74 yards on the ground. As a team, Chittenango put up 350 total yards, to Homer’s 233.
Following Gilona’s TD catch, Chittenango increased the lead to 25-8 on Billington’s 30-yard field goal. Tom Austin found Dyson Sprouse for a 56-yard scoring pass to cut the margin to 25-14, but Zimmer’s three-yard scoring run clinched it.
Chittenango puts its 3-0 mark on the line back home next Friday against Mexico. Moved down from the Class A ranks this fall, the Tigers started with back-to-back wins before falling to Marcellus 26-12. Brothers Ray and John Eastman lead Mexico’s running attack.