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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

AS A HEAVY rain falls, Eldred quarterback Nick McCormick hands the ball off to Jonathan Counts. Among the Yellowjackets blocking for Counts is Nick Simonelli (55), who is preventing Livingston Manor/Roscoe’s Justin Murphy from breaking through the line.

Eldred Beats

By Ted Waddell
ELDRED — October 18, 2005 – In the wake of a controversial call that erased a touchdown, the Eldred Yellowjackets buzzed back in the final quarter Friday night to defeat the Devilcats of Livingston Manor-Roscoe 12-6, in a Section IX Class D football game.
At 3:46 in the first quarter, LMR’s Mike Perry scooted across the goal line for six, but the PAT came up short. After the Yellowjackets brought the ensuing kickoff back to the 48-yard line, they fumbled and the Devil Cats recovered and it looked like the momentum of the mud bath played under the sizzling lights might be going to LMR (1-6, 0-2 Class D).
About 10 minutes into the second quarter, the Yellowjackets attempted a fake punt, but the ploy misfired.
With 45 seconds remaining before halftime, Eldred’s Jonathan Counts took the ball around the right side of the line on a 15-yard touchdown run. A 2-point conversion attempt on the ground failed, but game was tied 6-6 at intermission.
In the third quarter, Perry picked off a Nick McCormick pass to give LMR possession near midfield. At 6:59, the Devilcats recovered a fumble, and about three minutes later, Perry grabbed another McCormick pass and gained significant yardage.
On the following snap, LMR fumbled in the backfield and Eldred (6-1, 2-0 Class D) took it down to the Devil Cats’ 18-yard line. A quarterback keeper by McCormick brought it down to the 2-yard line, but a penalty negated that scoring opportunity.
Counts scored what would be the game-winning TD on a 15-yard run with 6:37 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Then it was time for a seldom called penalty for an obscure infraction of the fine print.
With 59 seconds left in the game, J.T Vogt reeled in a McCormick pass in the end zone. But a sharp-eyed official caught the mud-soaked player without his protective mouthguard and blew his whistle, thus erasing the TD. The referee sent the rain-slicked football back to the 25-yard line as he tallied up a 5-yard penalty for the mouthguard infraction, plus another 15-yard penalty as an Eldred player was tagged for unsportsmanlike conduct as he disagreed with the call.
Counts carried the ball 25 times for 140 yards and a pair of TDs, while McCormick was 1-of-4 for 14 yards passing. Leading the Yellowjacket defense were Jeremy DeForge, who had seven tackles and one assist, and Vogt, who recorded five tackles and two assists.
Kelly Lackey led the Devilcats with 15 rushes for 58 yards and a TD. Perry led the LMR defense with his pair of interceptions.
“It was a defensive game with the terrible field conditions,” LMR Co-Coach Fred Ahart said.
“Defensively, we did a fine job, but we had execution errors on offense,” he added. “It’s a new program, and each game is a step up… we’re looking forward to our last two games.”
“I think it was a great defensive battle in the mud,” Eldred Coach Frank Kean said. “We had two or three scores called back by penalties, and offensively we moved the ball between the 20 and 20, but couldn’t get inside the 10 [yard line].”
Kean’s reaction to the infraction of the mouthguard rule?
“I’ve never seen that called before,” the veteran coach replied.

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