September 23, 2006


Brenchley heroics for Trojans


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central tailback Mark Brenchley rushed for a school record 322 yards in Friday’s 33 -22 win over Solvay.

Staff Writer

Poise, character and the help of a record-setting tailback helped Homer Central overcome a 22-13 deficit in the second half as the Trojans posted a 33-22 win over Solvay at George Butts Field on Homecoming Night.
The Trojans are now 3-0 in Section 3 B-West play (4-0 overall) and head to Westhill next Friday for a first-place showdown with the Warriors, who hold identical records after a 36-9 win over Jordan-Elbridge.
Trojan senior Mark Brenchley set a new single-rushing record at Homer with 322 yards on 24 carries, breaking the record of 274 yards set one year ago by Dustin Morris at Solvay.
Brenchley scored three rushing touchdowns, had a 57-yard punt return for another six points, had double digits in tackles and recorded three quarterback sacks. Factor in 32 kickoff return yards and another eight-yard punt return and Brenchley accumulated 419 all-purpose yards. All this earned Brenchley News 10 Now Player of the Week honors on their Friday night highlight show, “First and 10”.
“We definitely all had a big game tonight,” Brenchley said modestly. “The line stepped up, our fullback (K.J. Reese) stepped up. The only bad thing is that I now owe the linemen dinner. Everyone really chipped in.
“I just do whatever it takes to help the team win. I am glad to put myself on the line for my teammates because I know they will do that for me.”
“I am glad Mark broke my record and I was glad I was here to see it,” said Morris, who was in attendance. “People were saying that the (single-game) record would last for a long time, but I kept telling them it wouldn’t. Mark did good tonight. The whole team did well tonight. He had better remember his linemen, that is my only advice. I am really proud of him.”
“It was a great night for Mark and it was a great night for the entire program,” Homer assistant coach Tom Cottrell said. “ I know Mark would be the first to tell that it was his teammates that made it all possible. Mark is a very special athlete and a great kid. It was great to see him put on that kind of performance and to have Dustin here to see it as well.”
Senior lineman Jon Morrison was part of the line that helped Morris get his records last year and he is the leader of the guys up front that was part of Brenchley’s record-setting effort tonight.
“We have a lot of faith in Mark,” said Morrison, who had two fumble recoveries of his own. “We had the same faith in him even when Dustin was here. Mark also has a lot of faith in us. From the first quarter through the fourth quarter, he kept pushing for us and we made sure that we made the blocks for him. We have a great group in myself and Zach Morgan on the one side, Kyle Sandy and Chris Crossway on the other side and Mike DiOrio in the middle. We just keep pushing every play. We all work hard and we have some good guys backing us up.”
The Trojans started quickly as Brenchley took a handoff on third down on a draw play. He burst open the middle and ran untouched for a 72 yard touchdown for a 6-0 lead 1:45 into the contest.
Solvay (1-2, 1-3) tried to answer and moved into Trojan territory before Will Connery made a diving interception at the Homer 14-yard line to stop the Bearcats.
Brenchley took the ball off-tackle on the first play from scrimmage after the turnover and ran 86 yards for another Trojan touchdown. Talon Sprouse kicked the extra point for a 13-0 advantage with 5:50 left in the quarter.
After an exchange of punts, lay moved into the second quarter and Solvay got on the board with a six-play drive. Bearcat quarterback Peter Albrigo (11-for-15 passing for 176 yards) capped the drive with a screen pass to the left flat that tailback Victor Young turned into a 44-yard scoring play by dashing down the far sideline. Albrigo threw the conversion pass to Jesse Dinneen with 8:55 left in the first half as the gap narrowed to 13-8.
The Trojans marched to the Solvay 22 before the drive stalled. After a incomplete fourth-down pass, the Bearcats took over and marched 78 yards on 11 plays. Junior fullback Ben Carl capped the five-minute drive with a one-yard plunge on third down as Solvay took a 14-13 lead. The conversion attempt failed, but the Bearcats enjoyed the one-point cushion into halftime.
Solvay opened the third quarter with a five-play, 56 yard scoring narch. Carl completed the series with a 34-yard run on the counter. Albrigo threw to Michael Acchione for the conversion and the Bearcats led 22-13.
After the Homer offensive drive stalled, the Trojans needed a spark to turn things around. They got it when Young fumbled and the Solvay 27 and Morrison dove on the loose ball. Five plays later, Trojan quarterback Tristan Hartneet run the option to the right, found a lane and raced 15 yards to paydirt. The extra-point kicwas no good, but the Trojans pulled to within 22-19 with 3:58 left in the third quarter.
Solvay was on the move again, but Dineen was tackled after a 13-yard pass from Albrigo. The loose ball was again covered by Morgan at the Trojan 46. The Trojans could not move and play rolled into the fourth quarter.
Homer held defensively and Mossotti punted the ball. Brenchley fielded the ball cleaning and raced 57 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Sprouse kicked the extra ball for a 26-22 lead with 6:19 to play.
Solvay began another drive and reached the Trojan 49 before Brenchley sacked Albrigo fro the second time. Ben Przepiora broke free on a 21-yard run on the next play to the Trojan 31, but Brenchley recorded another sack on the next play. One play later, Jake Smith sacked Albrigo, who tried to throw the play away. The three-yard loss and 15-yard intentional grounding penalty took the ball back to the Solvay 48. The drive stalled at this point and the Bearcats punted.
On the next play of scrimmage, Brenchley broke the record as his 19th carry of the game netted 25 yards. Three plays later, Brenchley topped the 300-yard mark with a nine-yard scamper to the Solvay 17. The seven-play scoring drive was capped two plays later when Brenchley raced 15 yards for the score. Sprouse kicked the extra point as Homer led 33-22 with 1:57 to go.
A good kick return and two Albrigo completions moved the ball to the Trojan 27, but Connery recorded his second interception of the game on the next play at the Homer eight-yard line.
Hartnett ran five yards to the Trojan 13 before taking a knee for the final two plays of the game.
Carl finished with 67 yards on 10 carries while Acchione caught five passes for 64 yards to lead the Bearcats statistically.
This is a big win in so many ways for the Trojans.
“It was a great win and it now sets up a showdown with Westhill next week,” Brenchley said. “The win will be a great boost for our confidence and it shows that we can play with anybody.”
“It was a great win for our program and we are now looking forward to next week,” Cottrell added.



Oswego keeps Tigers win-less

Staff Writer

The difference in Friday night’s battle of football teams who had collectively come up winless in six games this season could be found on the ground.
As in, the visiting Oswego High football team was able to run pretty much when and where it wanted, while putting the clamps on host Cortland High’s rushing attack. The end result was a 28-14 Buccaneer victory at Moiseichik Field that put a damper on CHS’s Homecoming festivities.
“They blitzed all their linebackers in the first half to stop us on the run, so we needed to spread out and throw the ball, which we did. But which isn’t necessarily our game,” Cortland coach Jim Brown said after his team had fallen to 0-4 overall on the season with the non-league loss. “They also controlled the line of scrimmage offensively and defensively, and it wasn’t until the end of the first half and into the second that we were able to move the ball.”
By then it was too late, as Oswego had rolled to a 13-0 first-half lead — a 35-yard field goal attempt by the Purple Tigers’ Codi Clayton blocked on the last play before intermission — and then needed just five plays, all on the ground, to travel 55 yards and go up 21-0.
“We had done pretty good job of rushing the first half (20 carries for 115 yards), and at halftime our line seemed to think we’d be able to run up the middle in the second half,” Oswego coach Erwin Dewey said. “We were able to do that. We were confident coming in, but you never know. The biggest thing is finally getting a win. We’d played Chittenango, Jamesville-DeWitt and Fulton tough, but had nothing to show for it.”
Senior Rick Pritchard was largely responsible for making sure that didn’t happen again. He picked up 63 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown in the first half, but was shifted to fullback in the second half because the starter, Dale Thompson, went down with a possible broken wrist. In his new position, Pritchard picked up another 151 yards on 19 carries in the second half with another touchdown, to total 151 yards on 19 carries with two TDs.
Senior halfback Brian Benford was Cortland’s leading rusher with 52 yards on 12 carries.
“I got a lot of big blocks, and had some big holes to run through,” Pritchard said. “Our defense played well tonight, and it started when we didn’t give Cortland anything after two early turnovers. That was a big turnaround.”
The turnovers Pritchard alluded to were fumbles. The first came from senior Charles Kangah, who muffed the punt on Cortland’s fist possession of the game, senior Tim Fulton giving the hosts new life at their own 39 as he recovered it. After CHS bogged down, Oswego picked up 28 yards on two plays before Pritchard bobbled the ball, Purple Tigers senior Jay Hartnett falling on it at the Cortland 26.
Pritchard then intercepted a Meldrim pass at the Cortland 39, taking it back to the 31, and seven plays later Kangah went in from six yards out to make it 7-0 after Zach Grulich’s kick. Cornerback Benford picked off a pass from Oswego quarterback Jeremy Linn at the Cortland two-yard line early in the second quarter, but with CHS still unable to get going offensively Oswego melted 7:29 off the clock with a 16-play, 88-yard drive that Pritchard capped with a one-yard plunge to make it 13-0 with 1:32 left in the first half after a failed kick.



CHS still unbeaten, Homer still skids

PHOENIX — The beat goes on for the Cortland High golf team, which made it 10-for-10 overall this season on Friday with a 202-241 non-league victory over host Phoenix at Beaver Meadows Golf Club.
At Drumlins East, visiting Homer dropped its eighth straight match as Jamesville-DeWitt posted the 219-237 triumph.
Cortland 202, Phoenix 241: “The greens were aerated, making it a little difficult to putt,” Cortland coach Kevin Cafararo said. “The kids didn’t break 200, but were pleased with their score. Its always someone different whose score gets thrown out for us (as the sixth-best), so it’s nice that everyone’s contributing.”
Matt Porter was low man for the Purple Tigers this time around with a 36, while Nick Decker had a 39, Brandon Fitzgerald and Steve Stowell 41s and Ryan Wanish 45. Mike Congdon’s 50 was the score that was discarded.
Jeff Abold had a 42 and Dan Fallon a 47 for Phoenix.
The Purple Tigers return to OHSL Freedom National Division play — where they’re 4-0 this season — when they visit East Syracuse-Minoa at Poolsbrook.
J-D 219, Homer 237: Andy Saraceno posted a nine-over 45 on the Drumlin East front nine. Dan Miller shot 46, Molly Nulty 48, Lane Hopkins 49 and Nick Saraceno 49 for the Trojans (1-3 division, 1-8 overall). Greg Eves was the non-scoring member after his 52,
“We really have more trouble when we play away from home,” Homer coach Gary Wilcox said.
Mike Edwards and Colin Doran led J-D with matching rounds of 42.
Homer will travel to Beaver Meadows Monday to face Phoenix at 3:30 p.m.