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2001 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Section 4 Class B Championship vs Oneonta - CF Wins 25-14!

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Ten down, three to go!!! 

Article courtesy of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin - Kevin Stevens

Photo Credit - Suzie O'Rourke / Press & Sun-Bulletin

An article from the Oneonta paper appears at the bottom of this page (after the stats).

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Chenango Forks reigns in 'B'

QB play, defense lead way to title victory


ENDICOTT -- Chenango Forks, uncharacteristically stung for two touchdowns in the first 7 1/2 minutes of play, tightened up thereafter and posted a 25-14 win over Oneonta on Saturday night for the Section 4 Class B football championship.

Junior quarterback Chris Spencer's 122 rushing yards featured a 66-yard sprint for the game's final points with 8:57 to play at Union-Endicott, punctuating the Blue Devils' 10th win in as many starts.

The next assignment comes at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Carrier Dome, a state quarterfinal against Section 3 championThe Devils' Drew Batty breaks away from Oneonta's Liam Murray and scampers away to a 72-yard touchdown run in the second quarter at Union-Endicott's Ty Cobb Stadium. Forks won, 25-14, to improve to 10-0 and advance to the Class B state tournament quarterfinals in the Carrier Dome against Cazenovia of Section 3 Cazenovia (9-1).

On this night, Forks showed its mettle.

Here was a team that hadn't surrendered more than nine points in a game since mid-September, trailing by 14-7 after Oneonta (8-2) had turned its second possession into a second TD.

But one telltale adjustment in the pass coverage, coupled with some championship-caliber pertinacity, turned matters around in a hurry.

The Blue Devils scored twice in the last six minutes of the second quarter, and when Roy Deyo crashed through defender Geoff Bean's tackle attempt at the goal line for a 1-yard score, it was 19-14 with 17 seconds to play before halftime.

"We haven't been in that situation a lot, but we were in it one game," Forks' Drew Batty said. "We knew we had to keep our heads up. We knew we had to stop the mistakes we were making and shut down their passing game."

That Oneonta passing game was at the root of Forks' early deficit.

Yellow Jackets quarterback Alec Macaulay completed four of his first five passes for 103 yards. Included were scoring passes of 9 and 61 yards to Chris Andreassen.

Something very clearly was amiss with this Forks defense that had allowed 7.7 points per game through the first nine.

"Our defense was pretty loose early on because our corners were out covering the split end, and that was freeing up the slotback," Spencer said. "So what we did was, the other safety and I moved out and we put the corner inside. We felt that would stop the slant pass."

Calling for the twist was assistant coach Dave Chickanosky, longtime keeper of all things defense at Forks.

The result? After his early-game success, Macaulay was 1-for-his-next-16 passing. And on a night the 'Jackets rushed for a 70-yard total, Forks was back in business.

"We adjusted our coverage a little bit, and we have some quickness back there, too," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "I can't imagine playing them without any."

Too, the Blue Devils demonstrated some quickness, strength and elusiveness on the offensive side of the line.

Just three plays after Oneonta had taken a 14-7 lead, Batty turned what was designed to be a garden-variety running play into a 72-yard score to draw Forks to within 14-13 with 5:53 to play in the half.

Note from the webmaster - the above is not true. While it WAS a three play drive culminating with Drew Batty's TD run, it did not occur 3 plays after Oneonta took the 14-7 lead. Oneonta did not score again after the mid-point of the first period.

"I broke it up, and the linebacker and two safeties had ahold of me," Batty said of his first carry of the night. "Maybe I had Crisco on me or something, I don't know, but I slid right off."

Forks' trek to the go-ahead score began from its 44-yard line with 59 seconds left in the half following an Oneonta punt. The big play on the drive was a 34-yard pass from Spencer to Scott Lance that brought the Devils to the 4-yard line.

Three plays later, Deyo banged over the left side from the 1, and the lead was Forks' for keeps.

The lone remaining score was the doing of Spencer, who, as is customary at Forks, shared duty behind center with junior classmate Matt Juriga.

On first down from the Devils' 34-yard line, Spencer kept on an option play to his left, broke it to the sideline and ran through an attempted tackle by speedster Bean en route to the touchdown.

"That kid is amazing," Spencer said. "He caught me the first time [on a 46-yard, first-quarter gain], and I knew if I got free I was going to have to beat Bean. He got me by the legs, but I just didn't want to quit."

Green said of Spencer: "He had a game, didn't he? What a day!"

Forks closed with 363 rushing yards. And though they allowed 203 Oneonta passing yards, the Blue Devils -- with aid of a drop here and there -- hounded Macaulay into a 9-for-30 night.

"Obviously, we have Kelsey [Jenks] at nose," Spencer said. "But if they double him, that frees up somebody else. We take pride in our defensive line. We're probably one of the most prepared teams for every game."

  • Picture Notes - The Devils' Drew Batty breaks away from Oneonta's Liam Murray and scampers away to a 72-yard touchdown run in the second quarter at Union-Endicott's Ty Cobb Stadium. Forks won, 25-14, to improve to 10-0 and advance to the Class B state tournament quarterfinals in the Carrier Dome against Cazenovia of Section 3 

 

1 2 3 4   Tot
Chenango Forks 7 12 0 6 - 25
Oneonta 14 0 0 0 - 14
  • O - Andreassen 9 pass from Macaulay (Hoffmann kick)
  • CF - Spencer 1 run (Tronovitch kick)
  • O - Andreassen 61 pass from Macaulay (Hoffmann kick)
  • CF - Batty 72 run (kick failed)
  • CF - Deyo 1 run (pass failed)
  • CF - Spencer 66 run (pass failed)

TEAM STATISTICS

O CF
First Downs 12 12
Rushes-yards 31 for 70 53 for 363
Passing yards 203 42
Comp-Att-Int. 9-30-1 2-3-1
Punts-ave yards 5-32.5 5-29
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 3-20 6-33
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Chenango Forks rushing:

  • Spencer 5-122, 2 TDs
  • Deyo 11-89, 1 TD
  • Batty 3-79, 1 TD
  • Hoover 18-57
  • Mirabito 5-11
  • Tronovitch 2-11
  • Juriga 8-4

Oneonta rushing:

  • Bean 12-45
  • Andreassen 10-30
  • Hurtubise 5-11
  • Remillard 2-
  • Macaulay 2-(-17)

Chenango Forks passing:

  • Spencer 2-for-2, 42 yards, 0 TD, 0 int
  • Juriga 0-for-1, 1 int.

Oneonta passing:

  • Macaulay 9-for-30, 203 yards, 2 TDs, 1 int.

Chenango Forks receiving: 

  • Lance 1-34
  • Deyo 1-8

Oneonta receiving:

  • Remillard 3-80
  • Andreassen 2-70, 2 TDs
  • Bean 3-42
  • Erbe 1-11

Oneonta football misses out on Class B title

Blue Devils stick a Fork in Yellowjackets' season with 25-14 triumph

By Rob Centorani
Staff Writer

ENDICOTT Missed opportunities in the first half, coupled with a rock-solid Chenango Forks defense, spelled the end to Oneonta High's football season on Saturday.

The Yellowjackets scored on their first two possessions, but failed on four other chances deep in Blue Devils' territory en route to a 25-14 loss in the Section Four Football Conference Class B title game at Ty Cobb Stadium.

"We came out pumped," said OHS quarterback Alec Macaulay, who completed 9 of 29 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns. "We put it in the first couple times, but we couldn't get it in the third time and that came back to play a huge role when they started stopping us."

Ron Deyo's 1-yard scoring run with 16.9 seconds left in the first half gave the Blue Devils a 19-14 lead, and momentum heading into halftime.

"We got inside the 10 twice and didn't get a point," OHS coach Art Rigas said. "You can't do that against a team as good as Chenango Forks and expect to win. Maybe I panicked a little on my play calling. It just wasn't meant to be today."

The Blue Devils (10-0) will play Section Three champion Cazenovia (9-1) at 5:30 p.m. Friday in a state quarterfinal at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

"They shut us down pretty well," Rigas said of a Forks outfit that limited Oneonta to 67 rushing yards. "They have a heck of a defense. They're going to represent Section Four well."

Early on, it looked like OHS would be the team playing in Friday's quarterfinal.

The Yellowjackets (8-2) drove 64 yards in 10 plays on the game's opening possession. Macaulay hit Adam Remillard on a post pattern for 21 yards to the Forks' 22. A 7-yard run by Chris Andreassen around the left end gave Oneonta a first down at Forks' 11. One play later, Macaulay hit Andreassen on a seam pattern for a 9-yard touchdown play. Collin Hoffman's PAT made it 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

"They attacked us," said Forks coach Kelsey Green, whose team had allowed 7.7 points per game coming into the final. "Art and his staff did a great job. That's a good football team we just played. We had to adjust and we did adjust."

Forks answered with a 64-yard drive of its own. The big play was a 47-yard option keeper by Chris Spencer that took the ball to the OHS 13. Two plays later, Spencer sneaked in from the 1 and Steve Tronovitch's extra point tied the score at 7.

But Oneonta came right back. On a third-and-8 from its 39, Andreassen ran the same play that resulted in the first touchdown. He lined up over the right tackle and released straight up the field. Macaulay hit him about 7 yards down field. Andreassen broke a tackle about 15 yards down field and then received a block from Remillard around Forks' 20 that sprung him for a 61-yard touchdown play. Hoffman's PAT kick made it 14-7 with 4:34 left in the first quarter.

"We knew coming in that this team was not going to be a pushover," said Spencer, who ran for 122 yards on five carries and completed two passes for 42 yards. "We knew they'd be able to move the ball against us."

However, the sledding got much rougher after Oneonta's second TD. After Oneonta's defense forced a three-and-out, the Yellowjackets took over at Forks' 29 for their third possession. But on a fourth-and-2 from the 21, Macaulay threw high to Geoff Bean over the middle, starting a 1-for-his-next-16 slide.

"At the end of the first half, they started dropping a ton of guys into pass coverage, so we couldn't pop the quick ones in there," Macaulay said. "Basically, they just mixed their coverages and did a good job."

The Yellowjackets' defense, which aside from allowing four big plays did a solid job, forced another three-and-out as OHS started in Forks' territory again at the 46.

Bean ran right for 30 yards on first down to the 16. Runs by Andreassen, Bean and Jim Hurtubise set up a first-and-goal at the 5. On first down, Hurtubise gained one yard. Remillard then ran left and might have scored had he tried to get to the corner, but instead cut back and was tackled at the 2 by Tronovitch. Macaulay threw incomplete on third down before Hoffman hooked a 20-yard field goal attempt.

Three plays later, the Yellowjackets found themselves in scoring position again, thanks to a gem of a defensive play by Bean. Matt Juriga threw a long pass down the middle of the field intended for Scott Lance, but Bean came from his safety position and jumped over Lance, tipped the ball in the air and then caught the deflection. He returned the ball to Forks' 17.

However, on third-and-11 from the 18, Coy Reynolds stepped in front of an OHS receiver for an interception.

"We have special kids," Rigas said. "I think if we could have gotten a couple breaks we could have won today. We were inside the 20 three times and didn't get a point."

Then Drew Batty broke a 72-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession. He took a toss left and broke three tackles en route to the end zone. It made the score 14-13, with 5:53 left in the first half.

It stayed that way until Forks took over at its 44 with less than two minutes left in the first half. The big play on the drive was a 34-yard completion from Spencer to Lance. Nick Catella had good coverage on Lance along the right sideline, but with Remillard's back turned, Spencer threw to Lance's outside shoulder.

"Nick was in position," Rigas said. "It was a perfect throw and sometimes that's what you need to win it all."

Spencer added: "I knew if I made a good throw, we'd have it, because (Lance) has great hands."

It took the ball to the 4 and Deyo crashed through the left side of the line for the touchdown two plays later.

After a defensive third quarter that saw the teams combine for four first downs, Spencer all but ended the 'Jackets' chances with a 66-yard touchdown run with 9:08 to play. After a convincing fake dive handoff, he took an option keeper left through a huge opening, broke free of a Bean tackle attempt 30 yards down field and raced in for a touchdown.

"Chris had a big day," Green said. "He ran the two-minute offense at the end of the first half and had a couple of big plays on the option."

Things got even bleaker for OHS when Deyo stripped Remillard on the ensuing kickoff and Forks recovered. But Deyo coughed the ball up two plays later and Bean recovered at the OHS 19.

From there, OHS drove to the Forks' 8. Macaulay completed three passes on the drive, including a highlight reel catch by Remillard. From the OHS 44, Macaulay zipped a side-armed pass about 20 yards down field. Remillard made a leaping grab in traffic and turned it up for a 42-yard gain to the Forks' 14.

But after a pass interference penalty gave OHS a first down at the 8, Macaulay threw three incompletions and then fumbled on a desperation scramble on fourth down.

Forks' defense deserves much of the credit for the victory. It did not allow a rushing play of more than 5 yards in the second half, turning OHS into a one-dimensional team.

"You start football with defense and you start defense with stopping the run," Green said. "Sometimes, they throw ball well enough to beat you and this was a team that could that, but we made the plays in the secondary."

Macaulay, who finished the season with 1,249 passing yards, said: "You're a family with your teammates. When you win as a whole it means a lot more than winning on your own or with guys you don't really care about. It was a lot of fun this season."

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