By Ted Waddell
ELDRED October 16, 2001 In Saturdays penalty- ridden football game, the Wildcats of Livingston Manor (3-3, 1-1 Class D) dished out a crushing 45-7 defeat to the home team Eldred Yellow Jackets (1-5, 0-3 Class D).
As the game progressed, there were so many flags being thrown that it seemed like a ticker tape parade or circus was coming to town. In fact, Manor coach Scott Branning got so wrapped in the penalty spirit, that he earned a flag of his own, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, by a rather ticked guy in a striped shirt.
George Thomas, an aggressive bull of a back for the Wildcats, came into the game with 961 rushing yards. Even though the home team doubled up on him, Thomas managed to break the magic high school 1,000 yard barrier as he racked up 136 hard won yards on 12 carries into a determined Eldred defensive line, including 30-yard and 43-yard TDs. After Saturdays victory, the sophomore had hammered out a total of 1,097 yards on the season.
In the opening frame, Manor started to pour it on, as Travis Morton scampered across the line at 7:29 with a 66-yard TD, followed at 5:23 by a 1-yard TD by QB Jon Schlerermacher. Both PATs cleared the uprights to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead.
While the Yellow Jackets were concentrating on containing Thomas, Morton seized a couple of golden opportunities in the second quarter to race into the endzone: a 93-yarder at 8:37 (the PAT was good) and a 24-yard TD at 4:13 (the 2-pt. conversion attempt failed) to give Manor a 27-0 lead at the half.
Morton scored three TDs during the game.
In the third quarter, Thomas broke one loose down the left side. The two-point conversion came up short, and Manor was in the lead 33-0. At 7:43 in final period, Thomas scored his second TD of the afternoon, a 43-yard carry across the line to make it a 39-0 ballgame. The two-point conversion failed. Eldreds second string freshman QB Brian Daboul connected on a 34 yard aerial stinger to Vinny Reilly to put the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard at 3:54. After a series of penalties, a 25 yard PAT sailed through the bars to make it a 39-7 gridiron contest.
With 1:48 remaining on the game clock, Schlerermacher pulled off a 30-yard quarterback sneak to end the scoring at 45-7.
Manor racked up a total of 421yards on the ground; Schlerermacher connected on two passes for 40 yards and carried it across the line for two touchdowns.
Thomas gained 136 yards on 12 carries, including two TDs and a defensive sack, while Morton picked up 212 yards on eight carries, including a game leading trio of TDs.
Remington Parker had 10 tackles and a fumble recovery for the Wildcat defense.
Eldreds starting quarterback Anthony Mangiamelli was 9/25 for 83 yards, while Daboul was 4/5 for a total of 88 yards including his 34-yard TD bullet. Warren Ritter picked up 103 yards on 20 carries.
Both teams are relatively young: Eldred has three seniors, five juniors, 10 sophomores and seven freshmen. Manor is 5-8-7 and 9, respectively.
I think we started out slow like we always do, said Eldred coach Frank Kean. But then we motivated ourselves and started playing football in the second period.
Were a young squad, he added. We saw a lot of positive things out there, but we saw a lot of things young kids do wrong.
Midway through the final frame, Kean sent in his freshman QB from the bench and a few minutes later the Yellow Jackets were on the scoreboard, thus averting a shutout.
Hes got a very good arm, said Kean of Dabouls 34-yard rollout TD pass to Reilly.
Manors coach Branning called it a really tough game...there was a lot of physical stuff going on out there.
They put eleven guys on the line to try to stop George (Thomas) and they were stopping him, so we went offside with Travis (Morton), he said. When that loosened up, we went back outside to George again.
According to Morton, he credited Manors win (and his three TDs) to a lot of great blocking on our side...a lot of good defense.
We came here with a lot of respect for them, but we won, Morton said. George Thomas take of the 45-7 victory?
It was a great game, and they hit hard.
His reaction to breaking the 1,000 yard barrier?
It makes me feel great, he said. I had help, and lots of it...I cant say this is all me. I had all these guys out there in front of me.