By Rob Potter
ELDRED November 4, 2003 Night football came to the Eldred Central School campus on Saturday evening as a large crowd watched the host Yellowjackets battle the Roscoe Blue Devils.
Funds raised by the Eldred Football Booster Club paid for the temporary lighting that was set up on the sidelines. The hometown fans were not disappointed as Eldred recorded a 26-12 victory in the Section IX Class D game.
Vinny Reilly carried the ball 29 times for 197 yards as the Yellowjackets earned their second victory of the 2003 season. Reilly recorded touchdown runs of 4 and 14 yards and caught a 20-yard TD pass from quarterback Nick McCormick.
After Roscoe (0-9, 0-4 Class D) was forced to punt on its first possession of the game, Eldred took over at its own 18-yard line. The Yellowjackets overcame three penalties on a 12-play scoring drive. On a fourth-and-three play at the Roscoe 20-yard line, McCormick threw the ball to Reilly on a screen pass. The senior running back then scampered down the left sideline to give Eldred (2-6, 2-2 Class D) a 6-0 lead with 2:33 remaining in the opening quarter. Taylor Diuguid then kicked the football through the uprights to make it a 7-0 game.
But Roscoe wasted little time in answering the Eldred touchdown. On the subsequent kickoff, Blue Devil Joseph Bowers fielded the ball near his own 30-yard line and ran down the right sideline for big yardage before being brought down inside the Yellowjackets 20-yard line. Three plays later, Derek Haas burst through the middle on a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:29 showing on the clock. On extra-point kick attempt, however, a pair of Eldred defenders were able to plow through the Roscoe line and block the kick to preserve the one-point lead.
After stopping the Yellowjackets from reaching the end zone when they had the ball near the goal line, the Blue Devils took possession of the pigskin. But trapped deep in its own territory, Roscoe utilized a quick kick on third down.
Following the kick, Eldred had a first-and-goal situation at the Roscoe nine-yard line. On third down, McCormick, who completed six-of-nine passes for 84 yards on the night, connected with senior Kyle Jasper on a 7-yard touchdown pass to give the Yellowjackets a 13-7 lead with 5:29 left until halftime.
As with the first Eldred touchdown, Roscoe responded on its very next possession. The Blue Devils capped an eight-play, 60-yard drive as Justin Bowers, who completed 10-of-17 passes for 113 yards, threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to John Clancy in the corner of the end zone.
The PAT kick was wide left, however, and Eldred maintained its one-point lead.
Neither team reached the end zone in the third quarter and as the final 12 minutes of play began, the Yellowjackets were still clinging to the 13-12 lead.
Reilly added to that lead with 10:18 remaining in the game when he ran for a 14-yard touchdown. Diuguid added the extra-point as Eldred took a 20-12 advantage.
Reilly then scored on a 4-yard run about three minutes later, which proved to be the final points of the game.
We were finally able put it together in the second half, Eldred Coach Frank Kean said. All season, we seemed to play okay in the first half, but had some trouble in the second half. Tonight we were able to play better in the second half. Im very happy with that.
While Reilly had the majority of rushing attempts for the Yellowjackets, junior Tim Hallock added 52 yards on 13 carries. Defensively, Jasper had two interceptions, Jonathan Counts made five-and-a-half tackles and Corey Proscia added five tackles.
Vinny Reilly did an outstanding job tonight, Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said.
Ahart also praised his players for the way they moved the ball downfield on the pair of scoring drives.
We threw the ball well and ran the ball well on those drives, he said. And the blocking was good.
The game was the final scholastic gridiron contest for the seniors on both squads. Roscoe has five seniors on its roster: Alonzo Ackerley, Justin Bowers, Shane Bowers, Robert Eggleton and Brenden Hendrickson. Ahart noted that three of those seniors Justin Bowers, Eggleton and Hendrickson were members of last years Blue Devil squad that won the Section IX Class D regular season championship. Those three seniors played in postseason games at Kingstons Dietz Stadium in 2001 and 2002.
They had outstanding careers, the veteran coach said.
There are eight seniors on the Eldred roster: Dave Albanese, Matt Counts, Rick Daboul, Jasper, A. J. Martucci, Nic Olcott, Reilly and Todd Walter.
Im very proud of all eight seniors, Kean commented.