By Jeanne Sager
JEFFERSONVILLE September 23, 2003 Saturday dawned sunny, but a black cloud settled over Jeffersonville by afternoon.
After celebrating a big win over John S. Burke Catholic High school the previous weekend, the Sullivan West Bulldogs (1-2, 0-1 Class B) charged the field ready to play.
But they were joined by a bigger, older Spackenkill High School (3-0, 1-0 Class B) team there to rain on their parade.
The home team just never got a break.
During warm-ups, the Bulldogs lost top scorer Andre Trujillo to a twisted ankle.
On the first possession of the game, Spackenkill blocked a Sullivan West punt and returned it for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs fumbled on a missed hand-off on the 23, and the Spartans capitalized with a 15-yard field goal, making it a 10-0 game.
Losing Trujillo seemed to take the wind out of SWs sails, and the Spartans, with 19 seniors to the Bulldogs two and an offensive line with players weighing 330 and 290 lbs., took advantage of every mistake.
They grabbed an interception thrown by SW quarterback Corey Hornicek and returned it with a touchdown; and later the Spartans took advantage of the Bulldogs 5-yard offsides penalty on fourth down for yet another TD.
Spartans senior wide receiver David Corcoran had 118 yards receiving and caught touchdown catches of 55, 44, and 27 yards.
The only thing the Bulldogs were able to accomplish in the first half was the blocking of one of Spackenkills extra-point kicks. Junior John Kitson ran at the ball and successfully kept the Spartans from adding to their commanding lead.
SW Coach Ron Bauer could be heard from the sidelines trying to spur his team on.
Andre isnt the only football player, he admonished his team. As soon as Andre went down, we said Oh, God and we havent done a thing since.
We havent blocked, we havent hit.
Bauer even offered to get in the game himself.
In the end, he said his team just couldnt get into the game, falling by a final score of 37-8.
Losing Trujillo upset the team, he added.
I think mentally it hurt, Bauer said after the game. He is a good blocker, and it killed us.
Mentally they just werent in it until the second half.
After being pummeled 37-0 in the first half, the Bulldogs returned from the locker room ready to play.
They were able to hold Spackenkill scoreless, and get some numbers on the board with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Joe Meyer to Kenny Redard in the fourth quarter.
We made some adjustments [at halftime], and basically they played a better game, Bauer explained.
Spackenkill Coach Paul Valli noted that luck wasnt on SWs side Saturday afternoon.
Our kids came out ready to play, he said. Sullivan West had a couple of bad breaks.
Valli likened the game to last years matchup between the Bulldogs and the Spartans.
At halftime of the 2002 game, SW was leading 19-0. But they lost their lead in the second half, eventually losing the game.
Sullivan West will have a bye this week. The Bulldogs were scheduled to play Liberty High School on Thursday, but that game has been canceled since the Indians announcement that they cannot field a varsity team.
SWs next match-up will be against host Pine Plains on Friday, Oct. 3. That non-league game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.