For the area’s trio of Class B West football teams, points were scarce throughout Friday night’s action, but in two instances, Marcellus and Solvay were able to pull through with victories.
The Mustangs made it four wins in a row by fending off Institute of Technology Central 13-8, while the Bearcats, improving to 2-3 on the season, used a late touchdown to rally past Cortland 10-7. In non-league action, Westhill lost, 13-7, to the Southern Hills Storm.
At Marcellus, the defenses for both the Mustangs and ITC controlled matters most of the way, so it only figured that the decisive points came from a turnover.
Trailing 8-7 in the third quarter, Marcellus had pinned the Eagles inside its own 20-yard line. Then ITC fumbled, and Chris Hyatt picked up the loose ball, returning it 17 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.
Though the extra point was missed, and the Mustangs were shut out the rest of the way, the defense remained stingy, thwarting the Eagles’ multiple attempts to reclaim the lead.
During the first half, Marcellus notched the only scoring drive, Rob Seeley finding the end zone from seven yards out. Seeley was, by far, the Mustangs’ most effective weapon, carrying the ball 27 times for 169 yards as Nick Patterson Jr. could only complete seven of 13 passes for 57 yards.
Still down 7-0 early in the third quarter, ITC moved to the Mustangs’ seven, from where Jujuan Cousins threw to Jaheim Rosa in the end zone, and Cousins’ two-point conversion gave the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
Thanks to the Mustangs’ defense, though, that would soon change, and Marcellus would take a 3-1 league mark into a crucial game next Friday at Chittenango, also 3-1 in league play following a 35-14 loss to Homer.
At Al Merola Field, Solvay was in danger of a fourth consecutive defeat against an 0-4 Cortland side that would have all but crippled the Bearcats’ hopes of its first post-season berth in a decade.
Sensing that danger, Solvay, trailing 7-3, launched a fourth-quarter drive that reached the Purple Tigers’ seven, from where Lamar Flood charged into the end zone for the go-ahead TD. Lars Segger added the extra point.
Earlier in the game, Segger’s 25-yard field goal in the first quarter was the only points of the first half. The Bearcats’ 3-0 edge held up until Cortland’s Aaron Benjamin broke loose on a 63-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
Solvay didn’t allow anything else the rest of the way, overcoming a modest effort on offense where it only completed one pass all night and Jaimen Bliss led the ground attack with 65 yards on 14 carries.
Next weekend, Solvay takes on Westhill, and unlike the Bearcats, the Warriors still finds itself in a prolonged skid after a battle against Southern Hills, a combined team featuring players from Tully, LaFayette and Fabius-Pompey.
Aidan McKenney’s 80-yard TD run in the first quarter put Southern Hills in front 7-0. From there, the Storm and Westhill went into a long stalemate, neither side able to move the ball much.
Then, with 10:38 to play, Gary Edinger broke loose on a 40-yard dash to the end zone that made it 13-0. Desperate, the Warriors cut the margin to six and recovered an onside kick, only to get stopped by the Storm on fourth down with a chance to tie or take the lead.