Liverpool's Nate Keyes (81) puts a hand to the face of Baldwinsville's Nate Jaquint (2) as he runs toward the sideline in last Friday's game. Keyes scored the Warriors' only touchdown in the first quarter of a 35-7 loss to the Bees.
Having taken a short road trip to claim a second consecutive shutout over Liverpool, the Cicero-North Syracuse football team made a much longer trip Friday night to an old venue with a brand-new look.
Auburn was celebrating the first home game at Holland Stadium on its brand-new Field Turf, but the Northstars proved very unwelcome guests, erupting for 28 points in the second quarter on its way to a 54-7 victory over the Maroons.
Meanwhile, at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, Liverpool was dealing with its other undefeated neighbors, from Baldiwnsville, and could not contain the Bees in a 35-7 defeat to fall to 1-3 on the season.
C-NS arrived in Auburn sitting at no. 12 in the state Class AA rankings, having not allowed a point since its season-opening win over Fairport Aug. 31 in the Carrier Dome, after which it blanked Liverpool and Horseheads by a combined 102-0 margin.
The Maroons, who were 2-1 in three straight road games to start the season, kept things scoreless through much of the first quarter. All of that changed, though, when quarterback Conner Hayes broke loose on a 50-yard touchdown dash with 2:38 left in the period.
Erik Pride got on the board early in the second quarter with a 45-yard scoring run. Then, after an Auburn fumble, Pride nabbed a second TD from 23 yards out to make it 21-0.
With the C-NS defense preventing the Maroons from sustaining any type of drive, the Northstars kept getting possessions and kept converting, with Shy’rel Broadwater scoring on a 35-yard run and Hayes finding Lukas Merluzzi on a 57-yard TD pass.
Even a 35-0 halftime lead didn’t keep C-NS from adding to its big-play highlight reel in the third quarter. Pride scored for a third time on a 75-yard run, and Jeremiah Willis had a 50-yard TD run.
About the only thing that went wrong was that Auburn, in the final period, broke the C-NS shutout streak that had lasted 13 consecutive quarters when Dajour Morris found the end zone from eight yards out in the final period against the reserves.
C-NS takes on Nottingham next Friday at Bragman Stadium, the last hurdle before a showdown with Baldwinsville Oct. 6 that will likely decide the Class AA-2 division regular-season title.
What the Bees and Northstars already share are lopsided wins over Liverpool, who would not get shut out at B’ville, but would again struggle on offense most of the way.
Trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, the Warriors assured it would not get shut out when Zach Neufang hit Nate Keyes on a 34-yard touchdown pass.
But that was all B’ville’s defense would allow. For the rest of the night, the Bees shut down anything the Warriors tried, which allowed the other side of the ball to keep things on the ground and pound away. Liverpool had just 92 yards on the ground and 205 total yards.
Bees tailback Aquari Warner would carry the ball 31 times for 180 yards, getting his team on the board with a 34-yard scoring run in the opening period.
Then, in the second quarter, Warner added two more TD’s on runs of eight and nine yards, capping long drives that put the Bees ahead for good. Up 21-7 at halftime, B’ville kept going, with two more scoring drives ended by short TD runs – a fourth for Warner and a one-yard plunge by Ben Dwyer.
Liverpool is back home next Friday to take on Utica Proctor, who is 2-2 following a 38-13 win over Nottingham.