Kicking and defense advance Fayetteville-Manlius to second round in 22-14 win

first_imgOn Aug. 21, Fayetteville-Manlius head coach Paul Muench laid out what it would take for the Hornets to achieve their goals this season: an improved defense. Almost two months later, those words proved prophetic. With seconds remaining, Corcoran faced a fourth down from the six-yard line, down eight points. Dewayne Young dropped back but was quickly pressured. Three F-M defenders brought Young to the ground. He stayed there, head to the turf, his junior season over. The Hornets defenders sprinted to the sideline, arms raised, and their season alive for one more week.“It shows a lot of character,” Muench said. “I think with this team, we kind of do what we had to do.”The F-M (6-2) defense won the field position battle and the Hornets cashed in when they needed to. Massimo Giacona added two game-changing plays in the kicking game. And when all was said and done, Fayetteville-Manlius beat Corcoran (3-5), 22-14 on Friday night to set up a semifinal meeting with defending Section III Class AA champ, Cicero-North Syracuse. “We’re gonna practice as hard as we ever have, watch film, get in the weight room,” said senior Tim Shaw. “We’re excited and looking forward to Friday.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe game couldn’t have started much better for the Hornets. Zack Page received the opening kickoff inside his own 20, broke through a gap on the right side and dashed all the way to the Corcoran 18-yard line. Five runs later and Shaw was powering his way into the end zone from a yard out to take the lead. The Cougars answered early in the second when Jerome Davis bounced left, to the outside, and scampered in from 19 yards out. A two-point conversion sent the Hornets into the break down two points.That’s when Giacona spoke up. The Hornets’ kicker spent Thursday night watching film of how the Cougars align on kickoffs. He noticed a gap near the 40-yard line along the left sideline. On Friday before heading to Corcoran, he told the coaching staff what he saw. With half the game gone, Giacona knew it was time.“We went into the locker room for the halftime and I just told him we have to do this,” Giacona said. “It’s wide open.”He pooched the ball right into that space. It was bobbled by an onrushing Corcoran player, and Benjamin Delmarsh fell on it for F-M. That possession set Shaw up again. The senior captain had never carried the ball in his first two years of varsity football. But this season, he’s become a short yardage weapon for the Hornets, and for the second time on Friday night, he achieved his goal of “keep the legs moving.” Shaw pushed it in from one yard out, taking the lead back for F-M.After the F-M defense got another stop — the Hornets held the Cougars to 205 yards of total offense — Mitchell Seabury burst up the middle and into the end zone from 26 yards out to take a two-score lead. Giacona once more pulled out a trick. The call was “squib left,” meant to just send the ball skidding down the field. But he didn’t see a good lane, so he pounded it at the front man on Corcoran’s return team, Giacona said. It bounced off the Cougar player’s helmet and was recovered by F-M, allowing the Hornets to burn valuable time off the clock. In a game that came down to the penultimate play, those extra seconds Giacona’s squib turned fumble bought were crucial. “Kickers are people, too,” he remarked after the game.“To be able to create offense out of a kick is something that you don’t see a lot,” Shaw said. “And twice, especially. That was huge for us.”F-M took on C-NS on Sept. 22, and the Northstars won 35-21. Shaw recalled reading postgame coverage that day in which a C-NS player said “they didn’t think it would be that close.” For the seniors that have grown up together in the Hornets’ program, 26 in all on the roster, this is an exciting time, Shaw said. The F-M backfield was missing key contributors to injury in that game. The backs are all healthy now.And as Shaw said that mid-August day, “this is a season we’ve all been kind of talking about since we were young.” This group of Hornets hasn’t made it to a sectional final in the Carrier Dome. An upset of the top-seeded Northstars would do that. As F-M knelt in a postgame huddle after Friday’s win, an assistant coach stepped into the circle. His message was brief.“In the distance behind those trees is the Dome,” he said. “One step closer.” Comments What a play by @FMHornets @FMstudentsectio to start the second half. That’s Hornets ball.— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) October 19, 2018 Published on October 19, 2018 at 10:59 pm Contact Billy: | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Syracuse concedes 3 goals in 2nd half, drops season opener to No. 13 Georgetown, 3-1

first_imgIn Ian McIntyre’s 10 years as Syracuse head coach, the program has been almost perfect in season openers. The Orange typically face inferior opponents in the year’s first contest — they have lost just twice in such games since McIntrye’s tenure began in January 2010.From 2012 to 2016, SU started its season with a multi-goal shutout victory four times. The past two campaigns have started with more of a test, as the Orange squeaked by St. Louis in 2017, 2-1, and Oregon State in 2018, 2-1.In 2019, Syracuse had its toughest challenge to start the season in over a decade — on the home field of No. 13 Georgetown. McIntyre noted the difficulty of starting the season against a ranked opponent but saw it as a grand opportunity for the Orange.“It’s going to be a great test,” McIntyre said Wednesday. “We scheduled this tough game for a reason, to find out where we are. It’s going to be a benchmark.”Syracuse (0-1) showed its quality, particularly in the second half, but fell short to No. 13 Georgetown (1-0), 3-1 on Friday afternoon in at Shaw Field in Washington, D.C. The contest marked the 19th all-time meeting between Syracuse and Georgetown, with the Hoyas improving their record to 12-5-2.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Hoyas had the first threatening attacks of the afternoon through midfielder Jacob Montes, who fired two shots, including one off the right post, before 15 minutes had passed. Georgetown went on to strike the woodwork once more in the first 45 minutes and registered seven shots total to the Orange’s two. Freshman Luther Archimede was the sole SU player to test Hoyas goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis in the opening half.Georgetown began the second half where it left off the first. Junior Jack Beer fired at Syracuse goalkeeper Christian Miesch within one minute before junior Derek Dodson gave the home team the lead two minutes later. Midfielder Dylan Nealis played junior Paul Rothrock through on goal, and with two SU defenders in close pursuit, the junior slid it across to Dodson for an easy tap-in.Immediately after falling behind, the Orange began creating chances in its best spell of the game. Archimede tallied his second and third shots of the game in the following minutes. Just over a minute after Dodson’s strike, Nikopolidis took down Archimede in the penalty area. Sophomore Ryan Raposo stepped up and buried the penalty shot into the bottom left corner, knotting the match at one.Archimede continued to spearhead Syracuse’s attack over the next 15 minutes, ringing off three more shots, but none found the back of the net. Nikopolidis logged three of his four saves in a six-minute span following the Orange’s equalizer.The Hoyas withstood SU’s pressure and nicked the go-ahead goal when senior JB Fischer drilled a header in the top right corner from a corner kick with 15 minutes remaining. One minute later, graduate transfer Ethan Lochner’s cross found a wide-open freshman Dante Polvara, whose first touch took him past Miesch, where he slotted in Hoyas’ third goal.While the final scoreline favored Georgetown, the two sides posted similar stats. The Orange were outshot, 16-15, and had five shots on goal to GU’s six. The two goalkeepers were equally busy as Miesch recorded three saves to Nikopolidis’ four.Syracuse will host Binghamton in its home opener at 7 p.m. on Monday. Comments Published on August 30, 2019 at 6:51 pm Contact David: Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more