By Ted Waddell
LIVINGSTON MANOR October 12, 2004 No question about it, the Chester Hambletonians proved why they are the defending Section IX Class D football champs.
On Saturday, the Hambletonians defeated the host Wildcats of Livingston Manor, 26-0.
After a scoreless first quarter, Chester quarterback Bryan Vandermark connected with a pass to Joe Tetz in the end zone with 4:20 remaining in the second frame for the first of four Hambletonian touchdowns on the afternoon.
A two-point conversion reception by Ruddie Montalvo made it a 8-0 ballgame.
With eight seconds remaining of the second quarter clock, Mike Schmidlein scored on a 1-yard run. But the two-point conversion pass to Montalvo came up short.
The Hambletonians led off the third quarter with an 11-yard TD run by Danny Browne at 1:56. A two-point conversion attempt on the ground by Ryan Burrell was stopped short by a determined Wildcat defense, but Chester was up 20-0.
A bit later in the quarter, Manor (1-5, 0-3 Class D) was knocking at Chesters door, moving the football inside the Hambletonians 20-yard line. But on a fourth-and-short play, the Chester defense held and the Hambletonian offense took over on deep in its own territory.
Moments before Chester (5-1, 3-1 Class D) scored their its last TD at 6:35 in the final quarter, Wildcats linebacker Kelly Lackey tried to fire up his defensive teammates on a goal line stance.
Play for pride boys, that all weve got now, he yelled.
Chester scored when Vandermark completed a 4-yard pass to Montalvo. The PAT kick was off the mark to the right, but the Hambletonians had rambled to a 26-0 victory.
Manor came to play
I knew they would, said Chester Coach Ronald Stover. We played them twice last year, and they have a very solid team
the kids have a lot of pride, and they hung in there.
Manor Coach Kevin Clifford served as an assistant coach under veteran helmsman Scott Branning last year. This is Cliffords first season as the head coach for the Wildcats.
We didnt play good defense
[and] when we didnt score in the third quarter, we kind of went flat, he said.
Reflecting back on the game, Clifford said, We were just a block here or there away from turning things on offensively.
He singled out the performances of quarterback/safety Josh Mendez and running backs Jason Bowers and Mike Perry.
Bowers gained 22 yards on 11 carries.
Kelly Lackey at linebacker was just all over the place, Clifford added. His heart and defense was unreal.
Lackey was back in action after sustaining a concussion during the previous weeks game against Eldred.
For Chester, Vandermark completed 13 of 20 passes for 138 yards and Schmidlein rushed for 110 yards.
Manor will look to earn its second victory of the season on Friday night when it plays traditional rival Roscoe in a Class D game. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. in Roscoe.