Oct 12, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Here, more than anything else seen so far, is the clearest indication that the Cicero-North Syracuse football team will not get pushed around, unlike seasons past.
With Mitch Dunay anchoring a powerful ground attack, and the defense making key stops when it had to, the Northstars knocked off West Genesee 28-24 Friday night at Bragman Stadium and inched closer to a Section III Class AA playoff berth.
Though it was just C-NS’s second win of the season, the Northstars are 2-2 in the Class AA-1 division, only requiring a win next Friday at Central Square to secure a return to the post-season.
West Genesee, a program much more established in its winning ways, entered the night still having designs on grabbing, at best, a share of the league title, and had, in senior tailback Naes Howard, the most decorated player on the field here.
None of that mattered to the Northstars, though. Tailing Howard wherever he went, C-NS held him to just 66 yards on 16 carries while, at the same time, employing its own ground game to batter the Wildcats from start to finish.
Dunay, the imposing senior fullback, did most of the damage, carrying the ball 32 times for a career-best 219 yards and three touchdowns, all part of a running attack that accumulated 321 yards by the time the night was done.
It was Dunay putting up the night’s first points, scoring from 16 yards out in the first quarter. WG quarterback Bailey Gauthier also found the end zone on a 16-yard run, but the Northstars blocked the extra point, setting the tone for failed Wildcat conversions the rest of the night.
During the second quarter, Dunay got loose again, going 22 yards for his second TD. Tyler Griffo, who made all four of his extra points, converted the PAT, and the Northstars’ 14-6 lead held until halftime.
The Wildcats replied with Gauthier scrambling 11 yards for six points early in the third quarter Again, though, WG missed the conversion. Then the Northstars put together a long scoring drive late in the third quarter, Dunay going the final yard to make it 21-12.
Gauthier, returning from a three-game injury absence, hit Michael Schmidt on a 59-yard TD pass just before the period ended, only to have C-NS restore the lead to 28-18 as Nick Golembieski found the end zone from 33 yards out with 10:04 to play.
One more time, the Wildcats offered a response, this time on special teams. Right after Golembieski scored, Tommy Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown.
For the third straight time, though, C-NS stood up on defense and prevented WG from getting the conversion, and it made more key stops down the stretch to preserve the margin.