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September 4, 2010

 

Trojans’ tandem does in Lakers

Zimmerman, Sandy both surpass 100 yards

FootballRich Barnes/contributing photographer
Homer Central tacklers (from left) Sully Hartnett, Zach Hatfield and Andy Parker gang up to bring down Brandon Barron (15) of Skaneateles during Friday night’s season opener. The Trojans were 33-20 winners in Skaneateles.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

SKANEATELES — Zerek Zimmerman and Cody Sandy each topped the 100-yard rushing mark as Homer Central opened the 2010 Section 3 Class B West Division football season with a bang Friday night.
Zimmerman rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, Sandy scored twice in seven carries that totaled 135 yards and the Trojans posted a 33-20 over host Skaneateles to spoil new Lakers’ head coach Tim Green’s debut on the sidelines.
It was a game where Skaneateles hung around in the first half, trailing just 13-7, before Homer forced an early second half turnover and went on to score 20 points in the third quarter to pull away.
“Our guys put a lot of time into the off-season,” Sandy said. “It really paid off in the second half. It was a rough start in the first half, but we got things going.”
“We made too many mistakes, physically and mentally, to win tonight,” said Green, the former Syracuse University and NFL defensive tackle of his Lakers. “You really can’t say there were some moral victories because we did some goods things. In the end, we lost the game and you play to win. We lost to a very good football team tonight and we will get back to work this week and prepare for Phoenix.”
Homer got the first possession of the game, but fumbled the ball away after four plays. Skaneateles could only move the ball 17 yards to the Trojan 20-yard line before being stopped on fourth down.
The Trojan offense used the momentum given them by the defense and marched 80 yards and scored. Zimmerman capped the seven-play drive with a one-yard plunge. Zimmerman began the drive with a 32-yard dash. The Trojans then used some trickery as Zach Hatfield threw a 46-yard bomb to a wide-open Hunter Osborne at the Lakers five. Zimmerman bulled into the end zone three plays later for the 7-0 lead.
Using the spread offense, Skaneateles quarterback Troy Green began finding the short passing lanes. Greene completed 21-of-40 passing attempts in the game for 289 yards and two touchdowns. The 11-play drive stalled again at the Homer 20-yard line.
SANDY STARTED THIS drive off for Homer with a long 25 yard dash on the inside reverse hand-off. After a face-mask penalty on the Lakers, Sandy struck again with a 37-yard gallop to the Lakers’ three-yard line. Sandy took the next hand-off and scored to give Homer a 13-0 lead with 11:35 left in the second quarter.
Quarterback Green completed six passes in the next series, the final one a 26-yard toss to Brandon Barron for six points. The extra-point kick was good and the Lakers trailed 13-7 after the nine-play, 92-yard march.
Homer nearly scored on its next offensive play. Quarterback Thomas Austin rolled out to his left and began running towards the sideline. As he approached midfield, he cut back against the grain and ran down the field towards the right pylon, but was pulled down at the Skaneateles three-yard line. The Lakers turned up the heat defensively and a pair of sacks pushed the Trojans back to the Skaneateles 25. An Austin to Hatfield screen pass netted 15 yards on fourth down, but the ball needed to reach the end zone, so the Lakers got the ball back.
On the very next play, Green overthrew his target and Hunter Osborne pick off the errant throw, returning the ball 19 yards to the Lakers’ nine-yard line. Homer could not find the end zone on four tries, giving the ball back to the Lakers at their own one-yard line. The rest of the half ended quietly.
Though encouraged by being down by six points to start the second half, Skaneateles’ Ryan Sherman muffed the Frank Davis’ kickoff but recovered the ball at his own 18-yard line. After Barron gained 12 yards on the reverse, Green fumbled the ball and senior captain Joe Marchetti recovered for the Trojans at the Skaneateles 26.
Parker broke loose for 16 yards on the second play before competing the three-play march with an eight-yard scamper off right tackle for a 19-7 advantage with 10:15 remaining in the quarter.
The next Laker drive stalled at the Homer 40 and it took just one play for the Trojans to pad their lead. Sandy broke through the left side of the Laker line and raced 60 yards down the sideline for the touchdown. The Trojans led 25-7 with 7:20 remaining in the third quarter.
“MY LINE BLOCKED perfectly for me on each of my long runs, including the touchdown,” Sandy stated. “I have to give all the credit to them. The receivers also got downfield and made some nice blocks.”
The two teams traded touchdowns before the quarter ended. Green tossed a 16-yard scoring pass to Pat Roberts (8 catches-165 yards) and Homer countered with a five-yard Austin to Hatfield touchdown toss to make the score 33-13.
As play moved into the fourth quarter, the Trojan offensive line, which gave up four quarterback sacks in the first half, was much more solid. In fact, the Trojans held the ball for 10 minutes and 19 seconds in the fourth quarter by the ground-and-pound assault.
The only Laker possession of the fourth quarter ended with a Conor Herr to Roberts five-yard strike as the home team closed within 33-20 with 4:40 remaining.
Skaneateles tried an on-sides kick, but Nate Parker recovered the ball for the Trojans , who ran out the clock for the win. Homer finished the game with 349 yards on the ground and 101 through the air. The Lakers netted 52 rushing yards while 289 yards in the air.
“We set the tone for the second half with our physical play,” Homer head coach Gary Podsiedlik said. “We may not be very big, but we are physical. The kids hard work in the pre-season really came through. Our effort never wavered despite some ups and downs.”
The Trojans will get back to work this week to prepare for their home opener against Solvay this coming Friday evening at Butts Field.

 

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