Democrat Photo by Nathan Mayberg
PERFORMANCE CYCLE WON the Sullivan County Flag Football League Championship on Sunday. Kneeling from left to right are Scott Franza, Carl Bonitz, Steven Matthews (Captain), Lance Davoren, Ali Colon and Kenneth Stalter Jr. Standing from left to right are Chip Cavallaro, Kareem "Big Dog" McCline, T.C. Hutchins, Victor Vargas, Eric Vargas, Ken Stalter, Jason Vargas, Rob King, Marc Lieberman, John Anderson and Tim Bult.
Was on the Money
By Nathan Mayberg
LOCH SHELDRAKE November 23, 2004 Performance Cycle won a hard-fought battle over McCabes to take the Sullivan County Flag Football League Championship by a score of 13-6 on Sunday at Sullivan County Community College.
Performance Cycle was led by the sterling play of quarterback Ali Colon, who threw for over 135 yards and ran for over 50 yards. Colon credited his great play to a standout offensive line, consisting of John Anderson, Lance Davoren, Steven Matthews and Eric Vargas.
The tough-as-nails Performance Cycle defense was also a big factor in the games outcome.
Despite the impressive play of Performance Cycle, McCabes was never out of the game. In fact, McCabes threatened to tie the game on a last-minute drive towards the end zone. However, quarterback Matt Stoddards pass was intercepted by Performance Cycle defender Jason Vargas near the goal line before time expired.
Performance Cycle jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first half on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Colon to Chip Cavallaro.
McCabes were led by the exceptional play of Stoddard, who was equally adept at throwing and running the football. Evan Mullen was a force as well, particularly on a 33- yard kickoff return in the first half. He topped that moments later on a 25-yard option pass to Brian Caruso. That set up a 15-yard touchdown pass thrown by Stoddard to tighten the score at 7-6.
Performance Cycle added its second touchdown of the game in the second half on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Colon to Rob King.
Eric Vargas, a Performance Cycle defender, made a key sack late in the second half.
We had our chances; we just didnt adjust, McCabes Coach Bill Stoddard said moments after the game. This was the second year in a row that McCabes lost the championship game.
We were a little lethargic, Stoddard added.
He said his team normally averages 24 points a game, but could not muster enough points against the stingy Performance Cycle defense to win the game.
McCabes played without its top offensive lineman, Adam Burkett. He was suspended for the contest after an altercation in the teams game against Currency Club the previous weekend.
John Anderson, a member of the Performance Cycle team, was jubilant following the title game.
A lot of key players stepped up all season, Anderson said.
He gave credit to his fellow offensive linemen as well as McCline, for his standout defensive play and Cavallaro for his dynamic effort as a wide receiver. He said Scott Franza was one of the most valuable players on the team, which Franza modestly downplayed.
Lance Davoren, who has played on the team for the last four years, was happy that the squad won its first championship.
We finally clicked, he said.
Both Davoren and Anderson said that key acquisitions over the last two years contributed to the teams ultimate victory.
One of those acquisitions was Colon.
The Performance Cycle quarterback said his offensive line was particularly keen. They recognized that McCabes was rushing him hard from the outside, and so the team ran the ball up the middle to keep the defense honest. By making that adjustment, Colon noted that he had plenty of time to make decisions while standing back in the pocket.