ONONDAGA COUNTY – Just one more victory, and the football teams of Fayetteville-Manlius and Christian Brethren Academy can celebrate undefeated regular seasons.
Hornets, no. 6 in the state’s latest Class A standings, hosted Carthage on Friday and, with their powerful ground game, were able to fend off a thwarted offer from the Comets and win 35-25.
Meanwhile, the Brothers, also no. 6 in his Class AA state ranking, traveled to Liverpool and also struggled for a time, before his penchant for big plays allowed him to walk away and claim a 35-13 victory over the Warriors in trouble.
It was Senior Night at FM, and special on many levels. Not only were fans, family and friends in attendance, but also Syracuse University football coach Dino Babers on the eve of his team’s big game against North Carolina State.
Carthage wasn’t fazed by any of this and scored the game’s first points, which seemed to focus the Hornets, who tied it 7-7 on George LaCombe’s 40-yard touchdown scorecard.
Again the Comets went ahead, 10-7, in the second quarter, and again FM responded, moving ahead for good when Denim Hall broke free and ran 36 yards to the end zone .
During the second half, the Hornets patiently put together two more scoring drives, capping each of them with TJ Conley scoring from short distances, as well as two-point conversions.
Still, the game was not won until FM, leading 28-17 midway through the fourth quarter, saw LaCombe score his second touchdown of the night.
Meanwhile, the CBA faced a Liverpool side, coached by former CBA assistant Joe Sindoni, who had lost four games in a row and had been shut out 36-0 by Cicero-North Syracuse the previous week.
But the Warriors kept the Brothers off the board early and got on the board here when Jah’Deuir Reese broke free on a 40-yard TD run, with Marco Roja adding the extra point.
Shaken by that, CBA recovered to score twice, on runs for 14 yards by Jamier Handford and six yards by quarterback Jordan Rae, allowing him to go into halftime with a 14-7 advantage.
As long as the Warriors were able to keep the Brothers from getting those big marquee plays, they had a chance, but three second-half strikes helped the CBA clear.
First, Rae found Amarri Pitts on a 39-yard pass. Then the CBA defense got a touchdown when a Liverpool fumble in the end zone was kicked in by Andrew Cooney.
Then, after Reese scored a second time from a one-yard dive, the Brothers thwarted any possible comeback when Rae, of his own 35, threw deep and found highly touted receiver Syair Torrence, who made the rest of the way for a TD.