Oct 21, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Even as it lost back-to-back games in early October, the Marcellus football team got rewarded for what it had done it September – plus had some help along the way.
The Mustangs’ early-season wins over Westhill and Cortland would prove valuable by the time Marcellus rolled past Phoenix 54-12 last Friday night.
In the final Class B West regular-season standings, the Mustangs and Warriors tied for second at 4-2 behind Homer (6-0). But since Marcellus won their head-to-head meeting 43-14 on Sept. 13, it will host an opening-round Section III Class B playoff game, while Westhill goes on the road.
Marcellus draws VVS (5-2) on Friday at 7 p.m., with the winner to go against Cazenovia or Cortland in one semifinal. At that same time, Westhill must pay a visit to Oneida (6-1) in hopes of springing an upset against the state-ranked Indians and getting a semifinal with Homer or Camden.
League play had wrapped up for the Warriors by the time it visited Camden last Friday night, so nothing was at stake in this game, which Westhill lost, 26-14, to the Blue Devils.
During a frustrating first half, the Warriors never got on the board, watching as Camden zoomed out to a 17-0 lead. The Blue Devils scored on the game’s opening drive, Ryan McCarthy finding Tom Harrington on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Three different Westhill possessions got stuffed, and Camden used runs of 15 and 26 yards by J.P. Musachio to set up McCarthy’s second TD pass, six yards to Matt Critelli. As if that wasn’t enough, McCarthy tacked on a 27-yard field goal late in the half.
Westhill’s futility continued in the third quarter, as McCarthy intercepted a Reed Derrenbacher pass and a fumble caused another turnover. Worse yet, the Warriors gave up a safety off a bad punt snap, and the ensuing free kick led to McCarthy’s exclamation point, a 24-yard TD run with 7:20 left.
Finally, the Warriors got on the board in the waning minutes, twice putting together scoring drives as Ja’Shai Jamison scored on a two-yard run and Derrenbacher threw a 16-yard TD pass to Chris Brusa in the final minute.
As that went on, Solvay completed a 1-6 regular season with a 49-18 defeat to Chittenango, whose playoff hopes were extinguished when Marcellus topped Phoenix.
Cory Benn helped the Bears to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, scoring on a four-yard run and getting a second TD from 11 yards out before Matt Cretaro found Bill Strodel in the end zone for two points.
Josh Cretaro made it 21-0 with a three-yard scoring run, and after Solvay’s Frank Pucello returned a Bears fumble 27 yards for Solvay’s first points of the night, Connor Mills countered with a 54-yard TD run, and Chittenango took a 28-6 lead to the break.
After Benn recovered a Jeff Honsinger fumble and returned it deep into Solvay territory, Mills scored his second TD on a three-yard run. Matt Cretaro found Strodel for a 22-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter before Justin Gondeck scored on a three-yard run.
Showing its fighting spirit, Solvay did put up a pair of big plays down the stretch, Honsinger breaking loose for a 54-yard TD run and Nick Cometti going 90 yards to Devlin White for another score. But Cometti managed just 12 yards on eight carries, stymied by a tough Bears defense when the game was still in doubt.