2002 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 2 vs Oneonta -  CF wins 56-7!

Devils "sting" the Yellowjackets often and in many ways


Articles courtesy of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin and 
the Oneonta Daily Star
three other articles below the game stats)

to Game 1 - Elmira FA

to the 2002 team page

to Game 3 - Dryden

Forks manhandles Oneonta



Chenango Forks staked its hearty claim to it Saturday with a blistering 56-7 dismantling of an erstwhile respectable Oneonta football team.

With one impressive victory already under their belt (a 20-0 whitewashing of Elmira Free Academy), the defending Section 4 Class B champion Blue Devils (2-0) laid into the Yellowjackets thick and heavy, early and often, embodying all the right moves of the Southern Tier's premiere gridiron superpower.

The Devils showed they can score any which way they choose, vastly upping the ante on the 25-14 victory over Oneonta (1-1) in last season's sectional final. Forks' first three scores came on: An interception, a run following a blocked punt and a pass play.

* The body blow: Forks linebacker Matt Blackman picked off Oneonta quarterback Steve Sclafani's second attempt and waltzed in from the 13 at the five-minute mark of the first quarter.

* The left jab: Two minutes later, Jesse Smith stormed the line to block Jackets punter Collin Hoffman's boot. CF's Steve Samson fell on the ball at the Oneonta 1-yard line.

* The right cross: On first-and-goal, Chris Spencer stepped in for the score leading to a 14-0 Forks lead.

* The finishing flurry: After a three-and-out for Oneonta, Devils quarterback Matt Juriga found halfback Nick Mirabito alone in right flat. He turned, planted and juked Oneonta safety Geoff Bean to the ground, then zipped 43 yards for the score as the horn sounded ending the first quarter.

"This, we thought, would be a continuation of last year's sectional final where we had to come back to win," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "But we had some nice defensive play, and things just snowballed on Oneonta. We did everything right. There's no way we're seven touchdowns better than them."

It was 42-0 at the half.

"We weren't prepared today," Oneonta coach Art Rigas said. "They're very opportunistic. You can't make mistakes against a great football team and we made a lot of mistakes."

Adding salt to the gaping wound was Forks fullback Kelsey Jenks, who scored three times in the second quarter on runs of 3, 1 and 22 yards. Jenks led CF's ground attack with 87 of the team's 289 yards.

"Today was definitely a surprise," said Jenks, the senior co-captain, looking more like a grizzled old-time NFL defensive back than a high school kid. "But we just keep doing what we do. No matter who we play, we get up for it."

Exemplifying Forks' dominance were the following first-half comparisons: 10 first downs to Oneonta's none; 252 total yards to Oneonta's negative-1; and six Oneonta punts. Forks sacked Oneonta quarterbacks five times in the first half, seven times on the day. 

1st photo caption & credit: The Devils' Kelsey Jenks gets ready to collide with Oneonta's James Hurtubise (4) and Tony Dilello during the second quarter. - Jim Sanchez, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

2nd photo caption & credit: Steve Bronson is about to haul in scrambling Oneonta quarterback Steve Sclafani, who failed to make it back to scrimmage in the second quarter. - Jim Sanchez, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

1 2 3 4   Tot
Chenango Forks 21 21 07 07 - 56
Oneonta 0 0 0 7 - 7
  • CF - M. Blackman 13 interception return (T. Batty kick).
  • CF - Spencer 1 run (T. Batty kick).
  • CF - Mirabito 43 pass from Juriga (Batty kick).
  • CF - Jenks 3 run (T. Batty kick).
  • CF - Jenks 1 run (T. Batty kick).
  • CF - Jenks 22 run (T. Batty kick).
  • CF - Babcock 4 run (T. Batty kick).
  • CF - Stephens 15 run (T. Batty kick).
  • O  - Bean 12 run (Hoffman kick).


Oneonta CF
First Downs 5 14
Rushes-Yards 29-45 54-289
Passing Yards 28 68
Comp-Att-Int 2-13-2 3-5-0
Punts-Ave yards 7-24 1-27
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 3-1
Penalties-Yards 10-75 5-17
Note - In the Binghamton paper, the passing and punting stats were reversed.


Oneonta rushing:  

  • Bean 14-71, 1 TD
  • Hurtubise 3-1
  • Sclafani 10-(-23)
  • Chicorelli 1-1
  • Konstanty 1-(-5)

Chenango Forks rushing:  

  • Jenks 12-87, 3 TDs
  • Tronovitch 5-17
  • Juriga 4-30
  • Mirabito 2-3
  • D. Batty 1-4
  • Spencer 3-6, 1 TD
  • Pendleton 6-29
  • T. Batty 2-42
  • Babcock 6-22, 1 TD
  • Stephens 7-30, 1 TD
  • Parga 1-2
  • Voorhis 5-17

Oneonta passing

  • Sclafani 2-for-9, 28 yards, 1 int.
  • Konstanty 0-for-4, 0 yards, 1 int.

Chenango Forks passing: 

  • Juriga 3-for-5, 68 yards, 1 TD

Oneonta receiving: 

  • Konstanty 2-28

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Mirabito 2-54, 1 TD
  • Tarnowski, 1-14

JV Score: CF 28-0

Yellowjackets rocked by bigger, faster, stronger Forks, 56-7


By Rob Centorani - Staff Writer - Oneonta Daily Star

CHENANGO FORKS Athletically, it wasn't close.

Competitively, it was almost like watching high schoolers play against college guys.

"We weren't ready for them, that's for sure," Oneonta High football coach Art Rigas said following his team's 56-7 loss Saturday to Chenango Forks. "We were making a lot of mistakes on offense and if you make mistakes on offense, they're going to take advantage of them."

But it was more than that.

The Yellowjackets, who trailed at halftime, 42-0, did not play well. Still, even if Oneonta had played a perfect game, it would not been nearly enough against this Blue Devils squad.

Chenango Forks (2-0) eked out a 25-14 victory over Oneonta in last season's Section Four Class B final in a game that was much closer than the score. Forks eventually lost, 14-7, to Peru in the state final.

Eighteen starters returned this season for the Blue Devils and they appeared to be bigger, stronger and faster.

"Even on our team, we compete against ourselves to see who gets the most tackles and who gets the most sacks," said Forks two-way standout Kelsey Jenks, who added he has narrowed his college options for next season to Syracuse, Penn State and Toledo. "We want to show off to our crowd and show them what we have, and that's what makes us so good.

"We have good competition not just against the other team, but on our own team," he continued.

The inner-squad rivalries might just be closest scores Forks has this season.

So dominant were the Blue Devils that Oneonta did not get its initial first down until late in the third quarter after Forks' starters had called it a day.

They outgained Oneonta, 221-to-minus 8, in the first half and scored on five consecutive possessions.

"Totally unexpected," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "We played well last week against a hell of an EFA team (a 20-0 victory). We came out this week and played well again.

"Everything seemed to go our way and it kind of snowballed on Oneonta," he continued. "They're a much better team than that score and we know that."

So out of sync was Oneonta that Rigas used his three first-half timeouts with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left in the first quarter.

"They're a pretty good football team," Rigas said. "They're very opportunistic. They made great plays on special teams."

Oneonta had the ball first Saturday and opened with a 4-yard run by Geoff Bean a gain that would equal OHS' longest until Steve Sclafani hit Mike Konstanty for a 27-yard completion in the final minute of the third quarter.

After a punt, Forks started at its 27 and drove to Oneonta's 7 with the 230-pound Jenks gaining 35 yards on four punishing carries. Forks then made its only mistake of the game as Jenks fumbled at the 2, and Oneonta's Andrew Brown recovered.

Any momentum that play might have given the Yellowjackets lasted one down. On a second-and-7 from the 5, Sclafani dropped back and threw a pass right to Blue Devils linebacker Matt Blackman, who returned it 12 yards for a touchdown. The first of seven successful extra points by Tim Batty made it 7-0 with 5:02 left in the first period.

Another three-and-out possession by OHS this one including sacks by nose guard Jenks and end Zach Tarnowski forced a punt by Collin Hoffmann. Justin Smith, however, blocked the punt and Forks took over at OHS' 1.

Chris Spencer scored on the next play for a 14-0 lead.

Three runs on OHS' next series netted 3 yards, forcing another punt. This punt covered 12 yards and Forks took over at Oneonta's 35. Facing a third-and-18 from the 43, Matt Juriga rolled right before finding Nick Mirabito in the right flat. Mirabito made a move to the middle before taking it back to the sideline and weaved his way for a touchdown on the final play of the first quarter.

They still had to play three more quarters, but this one was over.

Perhaps the biggest discrepancy between the teams was the Blue Devils' strength. Time and again, Forks ballcarriers dragged defenders for extra yards. It often took three or four OHS players to bring down Forks' tough runners. Conversely, it rarely required more than one Forks defender to bring down an OHS runner.

"It does show," Green said of his team's strength. "It pays dividends. It's a program right now they have a lot of pride in. Sometimes, it fosters itself with younger kids seeing it and getting in the weight room earlier. It's just a lot of kids who love football."

Jenks, who gained 87 yards on 12 carries, scored three second-quarter touchdowns on runs of 3, 1 and 22 yards.

"We did things right and when you do things right, good things happen," Jenks said. "Today, we had a near-perfect game."

The Yellowjackets (1-1), who play at 2-0 Whitney Point on Saturday, scored on their final possession. Bean, who had 80 yards on 14 carries, ran around right end from 11 yards and Hoffmann kicked the extra point.

"They returned a lot of starters and we're kind of in a rebuilding mode," Rigas said. "Maybe in seven or eight or nine weeks, we can put up a better showing against Chenango Forks."


Saturday's game

Oneonta 0 0 0 7 7
Forks 21 21 7 7 56

CF Matt Blackman 12 interception return (Tim Batty kick)
CF Chris Spencer 1 run (Batty kick)
CF Nick Mirabito 43 pass from Matt Juriga (Batty kick)
CF Kelsey Jenks 3 run (Batty kick)
CF Jenks 1 run (Batty kick)
CF Jenks 22 run (Batty kick)
CF Joe Babcock 3 run (Batty kick)
CF Matt Stephens 16 run (Batty kick)
O Geoff Bean 11 run (Collin Hoffmann kick)


First downs 4 17
Rushes-yards 30-42 54-285
Passing yards 27 76
Comp-att-int 1-13-2 3-5-0
Punts-avg 7-21.6 1-26
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties 7-19 10-60


Chenango Forks rushing: Kelsey Jenks 12-87; Tim Batty 2-43; Matt Stephens 7-43; Steve Tronovitch 5-32; Matt Juriga 5-31; Joe Babcock 7-21; Dan Pendleton 5-12; Chris Spencer 3-6; Nick Mirabito 2-4; Drew Batty 1-3; Rob Voorhis 5-3.

Oneonta rushing: Geoff Bean 14-80; John Chicorelli 1-1; Jim Hurtubise 3-0; Mike Konstanty 1-(-4); Steve Sclafani 1-(-35).

Chenango Forks passing: Juriga 3-for-5, 76 yards, TD.

Oneonta passing: Sclafani 1-for-9, 27 yards, int.; Konstanty 0-for-4, int.

Chenango Forks receiving: Mirabito 2-54; Zach Tarnowski 1-22.

Oneonta receiving: Konstanty 1-27.

Batty's injury hurts Forks in secondary

Press & Sun-Bulletin

Though Saturday's 56-7 pummeling of Oneonta further stamped Chenango Forks as the team to beat in Section 4 Class B this season, what should have been a good day turned very grim for the Blue Devils.  

Senior Drew Batty, a three-year starter at cornerback -- where he was an All-Metro selection last year -- and also CF's starting halfback, broke his left fibula when his foot got caught underneath him on a running play in the first quarter against Oneonta.

He will miss 6-8 weeks, a crushing blow for a CF team that has state title hopes this season.

"It's a huge, devastating loss to the team," CF coach Kelsey Green said. "He's obviously a talented player, but it's more about losing Batty the person than the athlete.

"He has such a love for football, and he's such a leader for the whole team. People are going to have to step up and fill that void."

Since CF employs a running back-by-committee, his loss won't be felt as much there, as Kelsey Jenks, Steve Tronovitch, Nick Mirabito and Batty's younger brother, Tim, all figure to get the extra carries.

Defensively, however, may be a different story. Batty is regarded as one of the top corners in in Section 4. For the time being, Matt Juriga will move from safety to cornerback, with Mirabito and Spencer sharing time at safety.

"We have some guys that can step in and do the job," Green said. "Are they as good as Batty? I can't say that. Drew's a special player.

"But I feel a football team isn't measured by just your first 12-13 players. People are going to have to pick up the slack, but I don't think we'll have a problem with the effort."

Forks has the stuff champions are made of

Football column by Rob Centorani

Chenango Forks will win the state Class B state championship this season.

Barring injury, this team will rip through its competition and finish what it fell just short of last season.

"After feeling what it was like last year, you get that taste," Forks senior Kelsey Jenks said after his team's 56-7 dismantling of Oneonta last Friday. "When we left last year losing at the Dome (14-7 to Peru in the Class B state title game), that gives you a lot of hunger to go back and win it this time. I'd say our main goal this year is to go back and win that championship."

These eyes have covered high school games in Section Four since 1991, and this Forks squad ranks with the best teams I've seen. They're strong, quick and well-coached.

They've outscored Elmira Free Academy and Oneonta quality teams that combined to go 18-3 last season 76-7 through two weeks.

Jenks is the leader on both sides of the ball as a fullback/nose guard. This guy, who is being recruited by several big-time Division I schools, has arms that are thicker than my legs.

He's 230 pounds of power a bigger, stronger, faster version of 2001 Daily Star Player of the Year Brian Neale, who led Delhi to a Class C state title last year.

Forks will be hurt by the injury of two-way starter Drew Batty, who broke his left fibula after a 3-yard run in the first quarter (Batty tried to walk on the leg as he was helped off the field), but the Blue Devils have plenty to overcome that injury.

Oneonta, which defeated a talented Maine-Endwell team, 28-21, in overtime in Week 1, will likely contend for the Division III title, but it was clearly overmatched Saturday.

Perhaps what Saturday's game showed was how talented Oneonta was last season.

The 'Jackets played Forks close in a 25-14 loss in the Section Four Class B title game as OHS failed to cash in on several marches deep into Blue Devils' territory.

Forks returned 18 starters from last year's team. OHS had 12 starting positions back.

"We have a lot of experience and that showed," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "We probably had a few more returners than Oneonta did and that probably played a big role in it. Down the road, if we played them again, who knows?"

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