banner

 

September 7, 2013

 

Purple Lions roll at 'home'

DrydenBob Ellis/staff photographer
Eymel Deas (24) of Dryden eludes Oxford tackler Nick Hansen Friday night at Cortland High’s Moiseichik Field, where Dryden opened the season winning 32-14.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

Dryden High had to change the site of its Section 4 Football Conference non-league football opener, but the change of venue didn’t slow down the Purple Lions.
Senior running back Eymel Deas brought the Dryden faithful to its feet at Cortland High’s Moiseichik Field with an 88-yard kickoff return and fueled the Purple Lions’ 32-14 victory over Oxford in the season opener for both teams.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Deas said of the third quarter return when he simply took off down the middle of the field without a finger being laid on him. “The blocks were there just like we practiced. Those guys made the blocks, I just ran the ball.
“It was a good way to open the season,” he added. “The young guys are going to continue to come along. I really think we will make the playoffs.”
Deas rushed for 51 yards on eight carries in a contest where both Dryden quarterbacks led the team in rushing because of the option game.
Junior back-up quarterback Noah Welgoss led the Purple Lions with 113 yards on just four carries with a long touchdown runs covering 58 and 57 yards in the third quarter. He also tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Matt McHerron. Senior starting quarterback Alan Davis completed two-of-five passing attempts for 50 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Davis ran for 83 yards on 10 carries.
“We all played hard,” Davis said. “I know we have a young team, but I’m happy they all came to play and I think they will help us get this program on the track for some good seasons. I love everyone on this team. We have a lot of enthusiasm and everyone supports each other.”
Davis helped Dryden get in scoring position with a 24-yard run to the to the Oxford 21-yard line, but his attempted pass to Matt McHerron had a little too much air under it and Blackhawk cornerback Trenton Lyons picked the pass off at the one-yard line. Oxford could not generate any offense and the Purple Lions got the ball back at the Blackhawks 40-yard line after a fourth down punt.
Davis wanted redemption and wasted no time. Using his strong right arm, Davis sent a 40-yard pass toward McHerron on the first play of scrimmage. The sophomore receiver was behind the defender and made the catch for the touchdown and a 6-0 lead with 4:09 left in the first quarter.
“When I went to the sidelines after the interception I told the coach I wanted redemption,” Davis said. “Coach said redemption first and I said yes. I got the second chance and made a nice pass to Matt.”
That would be the only scoring the first half as both offenses moved the ball some, but the defenses also looked strong.
“We did have a couple of mistakes, but the guys never got down like they did last year,” Dryden head coach Dan Fink said. “The guys regrouped and hung together as a team. That was nice to see.
The third quarter was wild with 25 points going on the board, 19 were scored by Dryden who was very efficient in the second half. The Purple Lions only had the ball for five minutes, but totaled 26 points. The offense scored quickly and the Purple Lion defense held for the most of the half.
On the first snap of the third quarter, Welgoss scooted 58 yards around the left side and raced into the end zone for a 12-0 lead.
Oxford responded with a eight-play, 74-yard scoring drive. Nick Neer capped the drive with a three-yard run to get the Blackhawks on the board at 12-6. Neer led Oxford with 73 yards on 28 carries.
On the ensuing kickoff, Deas found that open seam and took off on his 88-yard touchdown dash as Dryden led 18-6 with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
Four minutes later, Welgoss lofted a 28-yard scoring strike to McHerron. Tyler Andrews kicked the extra point for a 25-6 Purple Lion lead. McHerron finished the game with three catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
As play moved into the fourth quarter, McHerron picked off pass by Oxford quarterback Angelo Gonzalez at the Dryden 25-yard line and returned the ball to midfield. After fumbling the snap and losing seven yards on the first play after the turnover, Welgoss took the next snap and raced 57 yards for his second touchdown of the game. Oxford appeared to have the junior corralled on the sideline at the Blackhawk 10, but he made a nice little cutback move and finished off the scoring run, Andrew kicked the PAT for a 32-6 lead with 9:20 left in the game.
Oxford scored a final touchdown with 2:34 to play. Nick Hansen scored on a one-yard plunge and Gonzalez ran the two-point conversion for the 32-14 final.
Fink finished up very pleased with his backfield’s success.
“Eymel has speed,” the coach said of Deas. “Alan has a cannon for an arm. Noah has a lot of good things going on as well. When it all works together it really looks
nice.”
Dryden will look to keep that momentum going next Saturday traveling to Moravia for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.
Groton 21, Lansing 13:Zeke Wright rushed for two touchdowns and returned a kickoff for another score as Groton defeated Lansing, 21-13, in the season opener for both teams at Ross Field.
Wright ran for one score and added the kickoff return as the Indians took a 14-6 halftime lead.

 

To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe