September 29, 2012
Happy Homecoming for Trojans
There is only one way to describe Friday’ night’s Homecoming football win by Homer Central — a total team effort.
Sophomore all-purpose back Jake Hayes scored the only points of the night in a 6-0 Butts Field victory over Oneida in a non-league football contest between Section 3 Class B foes.
Senior tailback Mark Dove rushed for 115 yards, and was named Homecoming King in halftime ceremonies.
And the tenacious Trojan defense held the visiting Indians to just 80 yards rushing and 137 yards in total offense.
All are examples of Homer’s entire roster coming together to improve to 4-1 overall and regain momentum heading into the final two Section 3 Class B West Division contests — the first a trip to Westhill next Friday night.
“A lot of it was my line,” Hayes said of his seven-yard dash with 9:13 left in the second quarter for the only touchdown of the night. “The line did it all. They opened up big holes.”
Hayes rushed for 38 yards on three carries and was one of three change-of-pace ball carriers head coach Gary Podsiedlik used to spell Dove and senior fullback Brandon Maxson. The Trojans rushed for 236 yards on 53 carries and that ground-and-pound style was key in time of possession as Homer held the ball for 30 minutes and 30 seconds of the game’s 48 minutes.
“It was a pretty incredible night,” said Dove on the win and the crowning as Homecoming king. “The biggest part for me was just coming off a hard loss from last week and playing strong this week to get a win.”
Dove helped Homer rebound from a 42-0 league loss to undefeated Chittenango a week ago. In this outing there was room to run, as Hayes and the rest of the crew found the holes as the Oneida defense wore down from the relentless attack.
“Again, my line did all the work up front,” Hayes said. “It was all them.”
THAT WAS A COMPLIMENT that senior center and co-captain Nate Cole really appreciated.
“I love Jake for saying that,” Cole said. “We do provide that push up front, but the backs still have to provide that cut to break the actual yards. It’s not a one-person effort, it is a team effort. We all showed up and we all worked together to get those yards.
“It was a great team effort,” he continued. “It shows how much we have grown since last week. It shows how much we have come together and you can do what. We find ways to break through with guys like Jake Hayes. It has plays, Brandon Maxson (44 yards on nine carries) has plays, Dove comes out with plays. We have multiple guys and, on defense, we all showed up and that was great.”
“It is a big momentum changer for the whole team,” Hayes added. “It shows everyone that we can win the big games that are important.”
“I do give the O-line a lot of credit,” Dove said. “The guys did a great job blocking the guys they were suppose to and we were able to pick up the yards we needed.
“It’s time to use this momentum to take that next step next week.”
Cole also donned the No. 68 Friday. He won the right to wear the late former Trojan Bryan Czarnecki’s number after a solid pre-season effort and Homecoming was the night he did decide to wear it instead of his usual number 57 jersey.
“It was a great opportunity,” Cole said. “It is an honor. It means so much to me because I love the guys in this program. I love the coaches. It means so much to carry on that tradition.”
ONEIDA MOVED THE ball on the game’s opening possession, but a big sack of quarterback Rory McCarthy by Maxson at the Trojan 39-yard line forced the Indians to punt.
The first Trojan possession stalled at the Oneida five-yard line, but the field position would prove crucial. The Indians got the ball back to their own 32 where McCarthy fumbled and Chris Brown recovered the ball for Homer.
The Trojans took eight plays to cover the 31 yards to the end zone which Hayes capped off with his scoring run. Casey Cleary completed a pass to Brandon Maxson for the two-point conversion, but another Trojan was flagged for offensive pass interference on the play and the completion was waved off. Since it was a non-timed down, the enforcement of the penalty is simply a loss of down which meant Homer did not get a second chance to got for the extra points.
From then on, it was the Trojans defense limited any damage Oneida could do. Hayes and Beau Riley had nice pass deflections in the secondary and any yards gained by the Indians were hard earned and limited. Brown and Matt Norris each recorded a quarterback sack while Maxson and Kyle Ritz combined on another takedown.
Hayes also picked up a McCarthy pass and gave Homer good field possession at the Oneida 25-yard line, but the Trojans could not capitalize. The Trojans held Oneida’s powerful fullback Dylan Cafalone to 91 yards on 13 carries. McCarthy completed just five of 16 passing attempts for 57 yards.
Twice, Oneida defenders intercepted Casey Cleary passes in the red zone. Cafalone got some revenge with a pick at the Indians’ 14 and return the ball 63 yards to the Trojans’ 23-yard line, but a personal foul penalty took the ball back to the Trojan 38. Oneida went three and out on the possession.
THE OTHER INDIAN interception on Homer’s last offensive play of the game with less than a minute to play. Bryan Inman made the pick at the Oneida one-yard line and returned it to the Indian 13-yard line. Out of time outs, McCarthy completed two passes for 25 yards and scrambled 14 yards to get the ball to the Trojan 48. Unfortunately, a dead-ball personal foul penalty at the end of the play moved the ball back to the Oneida 36 for one last desperation pass by McCarthy that fell incomplete as time expired.
For Oneida coach Bill Carinci, it was more about the mistakes that thwarted any momentum his team could build, especially the 11 penalties for 84 yards that really all came at key moments.
“Penalties absolutely killed us,” Carinci said. “Every time we did get something going, we had a penalty. Offensively and defensively we made so many mistakes. It was ridiculous. Twice we had personal foul penalties when we got the ball into Homer territory, just dumb.”
The Indians did have a bright spot. Despite giving up 285 offensive yards, Homer was just one-for-six in the red zone.“Our defense did play very well,” Carinci acknowledged. “We were able to shut Homer down many times. Homer had the short field many times, which made it a long field for us. We got several nice stops.”
Podsiedlik preferred to let his kids take the spotlight, but did acknowledge he was happy to get his first win against Oneida in five tries.
To wrap up the Homecoming activities for the night, Lexi Swartwood was named the Homecoming queen and the Trojan Senior Class won the annual Homecoming banner contest.
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe