By Rob Potter
ELDRED October 5, 2004 The Eldred football team gave its fans plenty of opportunities to cheer on Friday night.
As a large crowd watched on the cool, crisp autumn evening, the Yellowjackets celebrated Homecoming with a 49-6 victory over Livingston Manor in a Section IX Class D game.
The Eldred defense caused four turnovers three interceptions and a fumble and the Yellowjacket offense outscored the Wildcats by a 35-0 margin after the first quarter.
Eldred improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Class D play. Manor fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Class D.
In the games opening minute, however, it was the Wildcats who brought their fans to their feet and grabbed an early lead. On the second play from scrimmage, Manor quarterback Josh Mendez handed the football to Mike Perry. The junior running back then ran around left end and raced down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown. With 10:56 left in the opening quarter, the Wildcats had a 6-0 lead.
On the 2-point conversion play, the Yellowjacket defense stopped Jason Bowers short of the end zone.
Eldred answered the Manor touchdown on its second set of downs. After the Yellowjacket defense stopped Manor on fourth down, the Eldred offense had great field position with a first-and-10 at the Wildcats 38-yard line. Three plays later, Yellowjacket QB Nick McCormick threw a pass to Patrick Kean in the flat. After grabbing the ball over one Manor defender, Kean then beat another Wildcat defensive back in a race to the end zone. The 62-yard touchdown evened the score at 6-6 and Taylor Diuguids PAT kick gave Eldred a 7-6 advantage with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter.
On its next possession, Manor moved deep into Yellowjacket territory. But on a fourth-and-seven play, Brian Daboul sacked Mendez for a big loss.
Eldred took over possession on its own 40-yard line and wasted little time in taking the lead. On first down, senior running back Kyle Schneider broke through the line and sprinted down the sideline for a 60-yard touchdown. Diuguid then added the PAT to give the Yellowjackets a 14-6 lead with just nine seconds left in the first quarter.
The Yellowjackets took control of the game with three touchdowns in the second quarter.
Jonathan Counts had a 63-yard touchdown run in the first three minutes of the quarter to extend the lead to 21-7. After an interception by Corey Proscia ended Manors subsequent possession, McCormick connected with Kean on a 55-yard touchdown pass with 3:19 remaining until halftime.
Kean then picked off a Wildcat pass two minutes later. Eldred converted the turnover into points when McCormick, who completed 4-of-6 passes for 147 yards and four touchdowns, threw an 18-yard scoring strike to Schneider. Following another extra point kick by Diuguid, the Yellowjackets took a 35-6 lead into halftime.
After stopping Eldred on its first possession of the third quarter, Manor put together a nice 11-play drive. But on a fourth down play, Yellowjacket defensive back Kyle Ranne intercepted a pass at the goal line to stop the Wildcats.
Six plays later, Schneider scored on a 6-yard run to give the Yellowjackets a 42-6 lead with 11:53 left in the contest.
Mark Thornton scored Eldreds final touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run later in the fourth quarter.
We had a good start, but then they got a couple of scores on us, Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said. After they scored a couple of touchdowns, we went kind of flat.
Clifford also noted that Eldred played well.
They were able to keep their intensity all four quarters, he said of the Yellowjackets. They are a good football team all of the players came out and did their jobs.
In addition to the big plays by McCormick, Counts and Schneider also provided sparks for the Eldred offense. Counts had four carries for 164 yards and Schneider ran the ball 14 times for 193 yards.
They came right out and scored, which woke us up, Eldred Coach Frank Kean said of Manors quick touchdown. But we were able to come right back and score a touchdown. Anytime you can do that, its a great character builder for your team.
While the veteran coach was understandably pleased by the way his team played, he also praised the Wildcats.
Give Manor credit, Kean said. They really came to play tonight and didnt give up.
Notes: The game was played under the same set of portable lights that were used for a September 24 game at Roscoe Central School. The lights were provided by the Eldred Football Booster Club.
Manor will look to get back on the winning track this Saturday, October 9. The Wildcats will host Chester at 2:30 p.m. in a Section IX Class D game.
Eldred travels to Millbrook on Saturday afternoon for a Section IX Class D contest. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.