By Ted Waddell
ROSCOE September 20, 2005 In Friday nights non-divisional football game under the lights, the host Livingston Manor/Roscoe Devil-Cats won the coin toss of the coin and elected to receive, but they were forced to punt on their opening drive.
On the second snap of the Eldred Yellowjackets first possession, LMRs Dan DeVantier picked off a Nick McCormack pass.
But then the action stalled on both sides of the field as both teams seemed to have a case of the jitters.
The pace of the game picked up with a safety at 10:18 in the second quarter as a Troy Kirchner punt was fumbled and then recovered by Eldred (3-0) in its own end zone, suddenly putting the Devil Cats up 2-0.
Five minutes later, LMRs Mike Perry snagged took a pitchout, and, after cutting to the right, reversed direction to sprint 35 yards down the middle of the field for a touchdown. Kirchners PAT cleared the uprights, and the winless Devil-Cats (0-3) looked like they were headed for their first victory of the 2005 season.
With 3:35 remaining before halftime, McCormick connected with Mike Prunka in the end zone to put the Yellowjackets on the scoreboard. The two players then repeated their aerial performance for a successful 2-point conversion to cut the LMR advantage to 9-8.
With 1:35 left in the half, LMRs Kelly Lackey rushed across the goal line from 35 yards out. Kirchner booted the extra point through the uprights to give the Devils-Cats a 16-8 advantage.
On the ensuing kickoff, Eldreds Jonathan Counts raced 90 yards down the field and into the end zone. Counts was busting tackes all the way as his teammates surged into the breach, clearing Devil-Cats out of the way like chafe in the wind. The PAT came up short, and the hometeam was still up by two points, 16-14.
As the game clock ticked away, it looked like the Devil-Cats were headed for a win.
But at 1:49 in the final frame, McCormick hooked up with Prunka on a 35-yard TD pass. The PAT failed to make it through the uprights, but the Yellowjackets had their third consecutive victory of the year by a final score of 20-16.
Counts led the Eldred rushing attack, carrying the ball 25 times for 175 yards and the key 90-yard kickoff return TD. Patrick Kean ran 11 times for 32 yards.
McCormick was 4-fo-9 for 60 yards, including a pair of TDs and one interception.
For LMR, Lackey rushed 14 times of 67 yards, while Perry carried the ball 11 times for 62 yards and caught two passes for 19 yards. Lance Brookins rushed 10 times for 31 yards.
Lee Sanabria and Tyler Schmidt paced the Devil-Cats defense. Sanabria made 10 tackles and Schmidt had eight tackles.
Brookins completed 2-of-4 passes for 19 yards, Kirchner completed 1-of-4 for 10 yards and Perry completed1-for-3 for 10 yards.
Weve improved to the point where we had an opportunity to win the game, said LMR Co-Coach Fred Ahart. Our kids played hard, but Eldred came up with the big play.
Frank Kean, veteran coach of the Yellowjackets, said LMR showed up to play, and the coaches [Ahart and Kevin Clifford] had their team prepared.
I think they were a little frustrated because Eldred has been beating them in modified, j.v. and varsity for several years, Kean added. But this was a tough match for us, as both teams are now together on the same squad. They came togehter as a team tonight.
Kean also praised the performance of his players.
We have the talent this year, we put ourselves in position to go for the win and we got it, he said.