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Football Bearcats rally past Cazenovia; Mustangs oust CVA

first_imgShare this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Confronted with the possible conclusion of its dream season, the Solvay football team responded the way a champion would.The Bearcats rallied from four different seven-point deficits in Friday night’s opening-round Section III Class B playoff game against Cazenovia, scoring the game’s final 21 points to defeat the Lakers 42-28 and improve to 8-0.Not far away, Marcellus also kept its sectional championship hopes alive, the Mustangs holding off visiting Central Valley Academy 17-14 to move to 7-1, its lone blemish a defeat to Solvay.At Al Merola Field, Solvay was hosting a post-season game for the first time in a decade. It just so happened that Cazenovia was on the other side, and even though the Lakers had finished fourth in Class B East, it still carried a deep recent history of playoff success, having reached at least the sectional finals each of the last seven years.And it was the Lakers striking first, pinning Solvay inside its five-yard line with the opening kickoff and forcing a bad punt that set up a short field and Ryan Romagnoli’s 15-yard touchdown run less than four minutes into the game.As it would do all night, the Bearcats answered, Brock Bagozzi’s passes setting up a 16-yard scoring strike to Justin Scott. They stayed 7-7 through the end of the first quarter, each side fumbling the ball away on consecutive plays.Not even a minute into the second period, Romagnoli scored again on a 15-yard run after setting up the TD with a 29-yard pass to Keegan Bailey. Two minutes later, it was tied again, 14-14, two long Bagozzi pass plays leading to an eight-yard strike to Zach Bowen.Romagnoli found Bailey again on a three-yard TD pass after his own 50-yard kick return set it up. Solvay responded this time with a 71-yard drive, all on the ground, with Blaine Franklin accounting for most of the yards until Elijah Wright scored on fourth and goal with 1:21 left in the half.Intermission arrived with the Bearcats and Lakers level at 21-21, but they were far from done exchanging momentum.Bailey’s interception midway through the third quarter was followed, seconds later, by him catching a 26-yard screen pass from Romagnoli and Ty Freyer finding the end zone one play later.Solvay absorbed this and, trailing for the fourth time at 28-21, had Bagozzi throw 41 yards to Bowen to launch another drive that, on fourth-and-goal, ended with Bagozzi throwing four yards to Scott in the end zone.A.J. Rothfeld blocked Ethan Bigelow’s extra point to preserve a 28-27 Cazenovia lead, but as it had done throughout the season when tested, the Bearcats came up with big plays.None was more important than defensive end Brad Lando’s interception of a Romagnoli screen pass inside the Cazenovia 15 that led to Wright’s go-ahead two-yard TD run in the first minute of the fourth quarter.Bagozzi ran in for two points, and Solvay led for the first time, 35-28. More importantly, its defense began to contain Cazenovia’s multifaceted attack, making three crucial stops as the game went down the stretch.To put the game away, Bagozzi made two big completions – 15 yards to Scott, 13 yards to Russell Tarbell on fourth down – which led to Jaimen Bliss, returning to the offense after missing two games due to injury, going 15 yards for the clinching score with 1:49 left.Solvay now advances to face New Hartford (who defeated South Jefferson 35-12) in the sectional semifinals, while Marcellus will face 8-0 Oneida in the wake of its hard-fought win over a Central Valley Academy side that entered the night with a five-game win streak.Throughout the first half, the Mustangs used its trademark ground game to move the ball at will against the Thunder’s defense. Twice, it led to the end zone as Nick Kermes scored on a pair of three-yard runs.As it turned out, though, it was Paul Stewart’s 22-yard field goal just before halftime that was the most important points of the night, for it provided some insurance against CVA’s comeback attempt.Michael Dihrberg threw a 33-yard TD pass to Cole Brewer in the second quarter to get the Thunder on the board, and CVA scored again in the third period. But all through a tense fourth quarter, the Mustangs’ defense made the stops it needed.And now the sectional Class B semifinals loom. next Friday, Marcellus and Oneida meet at 6:30 at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and, a half-hour later, Solvay kicks off against New Hartford at Jamesville-DeWitt, with berths in the Nov. 9 sectional final at the Dome on the line. Tags: footballMarcellusSolvaylast_img read more

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Syracuse faceoff specialists look for improved play in scrimmage against Le Moyne, Hofstra

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 22, 2014 at 11:51 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Much of Syracuse’s preparation for the 2014 season has been centered on the last game it played. Rewind to May 27, 2013. Syracuse holds a 6-5 advantage over Duke at halftime and is two periods away from capturing the 12th NCAA tournament championship in program history. But then an old friend crept up on the Orange and spurred an 11-4 Blue Devils run. The final score read 16-10 in Duke’s favor and faceoffs were the decisive factor.“We’ve worked on them a ton,” redshirt junior midfielder Henry Schoonmaker said of faceoffs. “Last year that was like our downfall so it’s something we have to figure out.”The Orange will get its first shot to rectify problems at the X on Saturday, when Le Moyne and Hofstra visit the Carrier Dome for a three-way scrimmage at 10 a.m. SU still hasn’t solidified its faceoff core, but head coach John Desko named Chris Daddio, Ricky Buhr and junior college transfer Mike Iacono as those who will get faceoff opportunities this weekend. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCal Paduda missed the previous week of practice with a hand injury and is questionable, but he’s in the mix moving forward. Desko said he will be back soon.Le Moyne and Hofstra don’t present the stiff competition the team will see in its first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the tuneup will be a good measuring stick for where the Syracuse faceoff unit stands.“It was a point of emphasis when we walked off the field after our last game last year,” Desko said. “We’ve been doing it so much in the fall.”In last year’s national championship, Duke’s Brendan Fowler handcuffed the Orange and pushed the Blue Devils to the title. He took 20 of the game’s 30 total faceoffs and lined up for all but two. On the other hand, SU tried six different players at the X. Daddio finished the game 0-for-4 and Paduda 3-for-13. As Desko has expressed many times this preseason, he’d love to find a guy, like Fowler, that he could rely on to keep the ball in his offense’s hands.On Tuesday, Desko didn’t reveal much, but hinted that Iacono could be a possible answer. “He’s been very competitive,” Desko said. “Sometimes it’s a matchup issue where he’s done better than a couple of guys he’s going against. He’s been very comfortable coming in and he’s good when he picks it up. He’s probably the best guy we have after he gets the ball, too.”Iacono joined the Orange last week along with fellow junior college transfer Randy Staats. In a decorated career at Nassau Community College on Long Island, he was a two-time NJCAA All-American, led the Lions to two straight national title games and won 78 percent of his faceoffs that were recorded. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds Iacono is the biggest guy in the faceoffs mix and is looking to bring a deliberate approach to the X this season. The junior midfielder says he always starts the same way and can do every one of his moves out of that position, so defenders don’t get any advantage.It’s an approach that has worked well with him since breaking in with SU.“All the faceoff guys are well-rounded athletes,” Iacono said. “For me, I feel like it’s going to be tougher to get a starting spot, but when I do I’ll definitely keep it held down.”The Orange still has time to solidify the faceoff position, but Saturday’s scrimmage is one of the final chances leading up to the team’s season-opening game against Siena on Feb. 10. Figuring out the X is on everyone’s agenda, and Iacono assessed the coming season by breaking the game into two spheres.“Lacrosse is all about X play and goalies. Everybody knows that,” Iacono said. “If you don’t have a good X man, you’re never going to get the ball to score. That’s what it comes down to.” Commentslast_img read more

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