October 20, 2006


Studious Trojans learn well


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Homer Central fullback Kevin Reese confronts South Jefferson’s Logan Hosley (80) during a second quarter drive for the Trojans second touchdown. Reese had a touchdown during the Trojans’ 37-6 Class B quarterfinal victory at Butts Field.

Staff Writer

For the first time this season, Mark Brenchley just cleared the 100-yard rushing mark in a game.
But the Homer Central senior tailback got plenty of support as the Trojans rolled to a 37-6 Section 3 Class B quarterfinal win over South Jefferson on cold, damp George W. Butts Field Friday night.
Homer will face the winner of today’s Cazenovia-Solvay contest at a site and time to be determined in next weekend’s semifinal round.
The Trojans (7-1 overall) pounded out 257 yards on the ground while senior quarterback Tristan Hartnett completed 5-of-6 passing attempts for 85 yards, including a 14-yard scoring strike to junior tight end Mike Carboine in the second quarter.
Brenchley did rush for 111 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries, but, overall, it was a solid team effort for the defending Section 3 Class B champion.
“The strength of this team is they are very good students of the game Saturdays,” said Homer coach Gary Podsiedlik. “These guys sit in the tape room and listen to constructive criticism and get it right. They may make a mistake this time, but they won’t the next time. The guys should be proud of that and that is what we need to do to keep winning. These guys have found a way to not panic when they face adversity.
“Tristan did a nice job of leading this team tonight, running when he needed to and passing the ball well. Coach (Jim) Whidden and I talked about the fact that we do have a effective passing attack, but it has gotten lost in the fact that we have run the ball so well this past month,” he added. “We know it. People have to understand that and our own kids have to know that we have both components and to start using them. When you are running the ball down the other team’s throat and they are not stopping it, you should not over-coach yourself. You do what is best for your kids. Coach (Jim) Luchsinger and Coach Cotts (Tom Cottrell) have done a great job of taking advantage of what the defenses are giving us.”
“We came prepared to stop a great young man (Brenchley) from running the ball and I think we did that effectively,” said South Jefferson coach Tom LaDuke. “We have been weak in the secondary this year and Homer took advantage of that. That was good coaching because Homer knew they were having trouble running the ball and needed to get their passing game going.
“We have been hurt by injuries this year and by the fact the some guys have felt other things are more important than football,” LaDuke added. “I cannot understand that part. We cannot give up a lot of points early because we don’t have the kind of team that can get into a horse race and score a lot of points.”
The Trojans set the tone early as the defense forced South Jefferson (5-3) to punt on its first series. The Spartans, expecting a running play, were surprised when Hartnett flipped a screen pass in the right flat to Carboine. The 6-foot-5 tight end raced 26 yards to the South Jefferson 45-yard line.
After two Brenchley carries resulted in a one-yard loss, Hartnett found Will Connery open on a 19-yard completion for the first down. Two more Brenchley carries moved the ball to the Spartan 12.
On the very next play, Hartnett handed the ball to K.J. Reese and the sophomore fullback powered his way into the end zone with 6:54 left in the first quarter. Dylan Calale kicked the extra point as the Trojans took a_7-0 lead.
South Jefferson started moving the ball behind the running of Jake Smith. The junior tailback accounted for 186 yards on 31 carries, but he was most of the offense as the visitors rushed for a team total of 203 yards and completed one pass for eight yards.
The visitors’ nine-play drive stalled at their own 37 after Smith was thrown for a four-yard loss by Chris Crossway. The visitors only netted 25 yards because of three fumbles, each recovered by the Spartans, and two illegal motion penalties.
Homer started its next drive at its own 45-yard line after a 23-yard punt by Tim Hodge and a five-yard return by Brenchley. Ten plays later, Brenchley capped the five-minute drive with a two-yard run for a 13-0 Trojan lead with 8:17 left in the second quarter.
The most serious South Jefferson scoring threat came on its next offensive possession. The Spartans drove from their own 26 to the Homer nine-yard line, but Brenchley threw Smith for a six-yard loss on fourth down.
Homer built a 21-0 cushion on a series of big plays that helped cover the 85-yard drive. Reese (six carries-50 yards) started things off with an 18-yard run. After a five-yard motion penalty, Hartnett hooked-up with Carboine for a 20-yard pitch-and-catch near the midfield stripe. A pass interference penalty on Logan Hosley prevented a touchdown pass to Connery on third down, but the 15-yard penalty kept the drive alive at the Spartan 35.
Two short gains brought up third down before Hartnett rambled 13 yards for the first down at the Spartan 14. Hartnett then flipped a screen pass to the left side. Carboine took the pass and raced the remainder of the distance and capped the drive by a dive into the end zone. Hartnett tossed the two-point conversion pass to Carboine for the 21-0 cushion with 43 seconds left until halftime.
On the ensuing kickoff, South Jefferson got its only points when Kyle Bossinger fielded the ball at his own 15-yard line and ran untouched for the 85-yard touchdown. The conversion run failed, but South Jefferson went into the halftime locker room trailing 21-6.
The Trojans controlled the ball for 14 minutes in the second-half and capped two long drives with a pair of Brenchley one-yard scoring runs. His three-touchdown game gives him 22 TDs this season, tying the single-season school record set by Dustin Morris in 2005.
Brenchley now has 1,696 rushing yards in 2006 and 1,982 career rushing yards. The single-season total moves him past Bob Avery (1,607 yards, in 1973) for second-place in the record books and he passed Luke Siwula (1,896 yards) for sixth-place on the Homer all-time rushing list.
South Jefferson did drive to the Homer four-yard line in the final minute of game against the Homer second defensive unit, but quarterback Mike Ross fumbled the snap and the ball rolled back to the Trojan 19 before Asa Spencer recovered the ball for the Trojans. Connery took a knee twice as the Homer quarterback to run out the clock.




Dryden goes OT for title

Sports Editor

“This is beautiful,” were the adoring words of Dryden Central forward Jordan Minnis.
As the last player still frolicking on a damp SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex carpet late Friday night, he was clutching and gazing upon the trophy presented moments earlier to the Interscholastic Athletic Conference boys’ soccer champions.
“I’ve waited three years for this,” added the Purple Lions’ senior stalwart.
In a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory over Lansing in this IAC title game showdown, Minnis had opened the scoring with a goal in the 11th minute. It was much later in the proceedings that he provided a nifty assist that enabled teammate Dylan Luce to send everyone home.
In the latter stages of the second 10-minute ‘sudden victory’ overtime stanza, junior forward Luce was set free to deliver the low game-winning shot to that slid under Lansing goalie Teagan Barresi and glanced off the left post before settling into the Bobcats’ goal.
Not that Luce — who had tallied twice in the opening moments of Wednesday’s 2-0 semifinal round victory over Marathon — was the perfect eye-witness to this memorial accomplishment that came with 2:55 showing on the scoreboard clock. “I didn’t think it was a goal, I didn’t really see it. Then they started jumping on me, and I couldn’t see or breathe,” said Luce.
That timely tally delivered the championship to Dryden, the Division I regular season first place finishers with a glowing 17-0-1 record and a No. 12 ranking in the most recent Class B state poll.
Defending champion Lansing (14-4-1) was a wild-card entry to the playoffs after finishing second behind Marathon in Division III. After knocking off Division II leader Spencer-Van Etten 3-0 in the other semifinal game, the Bobcats were playing Dryden on even terms until Minnis and Luce hooked up to spoil things.
Walker Diebolt had pulled the Bobcats even by putting away a rebound of his own shot with 24:06 left in regulation, as Lansing played well enough to win.
“I don’t think our play was as composed as we wanted it to be playing on the turf,” said Lansing coach Adam Heck, whose team is 0-2-1 in three meeting with the Purple Lions this season. “They’re bigger, quicker and faster than us, and that kid had a nice finish at the end.”




Stingy Dragon goalie

BROCKPORT — SUNY Cortland goalie Ben Binga will always remember his collegiate ice hockey debut.
The freshman out of Rochester made 37 saves as the Red Dragons opened the season with a 3-0 victory at Brockport in the non-league SUNY Athletic Conference Challenge.
Though Cortland was out-shot 37-22 at the Tuttle North Ice Rink, the Red Dragons killed off 11 Brockport power play scoring chances to earn the first shutout since January of 2000. Goalie John Larnerd had the school’s last shutout in a 0-0 tie against Fredonia. The last Red Dragon shutout victory came with Chris King between the posts in a 5-0 win over Plymouth State in 1997.
Junior Barry McLaughlin figured in all three Cortland goals, finishing with two goals and an assist.
The Red Dragons will face Fredonia, a 5-4 winner versus Buffalo State, this afternoon at 4 p.m. in the pre-determined tournament schedule.
Binga made 12 saves in the opening period and nine in the second, then turned away 16 shots on goal over the final 20 minutes.
McLaughlin put the Red Dragons on the board 3:40 into the contest when he scored off an assist from freshman defenseman Gerard Heinz. McLaughlin struck again just 37 seconds into the second period, assisted by sophomore forward Nick Catanzaro, with each team down one skater.
Catanzaro and McLaughlin assisted on Cortland’s final goal, a tally by junior forward Matt Nichols with 6:01 left in the game.