By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG A quick start helped the Livingston Manor/Roscoe (LMR) Devilcats open their 2011 football season with a victory.
LMR took a 22-0 lead over the host Fallsburg Comets in the first quarter of their non-league game last Friday night at Morningside Park in Fallsburg.
The Devilcats extended their advantage to 43-0 at halftime on their way to a 43-8 win.
After forcing Fallsburg to punt after three plays, LMR (1-0) wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. On first-and-10 from the Comets’ 36-yard line, LMR’s Troy Correa ran to the left into the open field and sprinted to the end zone for a touchdown. Kenny Fisk made the extra-point kick to give the Devilcats a 7-0 lead with 9:06 remaining in the quarter.
On third-and-11 of the Comets’ next possession, the ball was fumbled and LMR linebacker Mike Mills recovered it at the Fallsburg 32-yard line.
The Devilcats picked up a first down to move the ball to the Comets’ 12-yard line. On first-and-10, Mills threw a pass to Kenny Fisk, who caught the ball in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
When the snap was high on the extra-point kick, Correa ran the ball into the end zone for two points. The successful conversion gave LMR a 15-0 advantage with 6:19 to go in the quarter.
After Fallsburg (0-1) picked up a first down and moved the ball to midfield, the Devilcats’ defense forced a punt.
A long run by Mills gave LMR a first-and-goal at the Comets’ 8. Correa ran right for the touchdown. Fisk tacked on the PAT kick and LMR had a 22-0 lead with 1:23 left in the opening quarter.
The Devilcats added three TDs in the second quarter. At the 10:15 mark, Mills connected with Chad Rosario on a 46-yard touchdown pass. Taylor Pagan ran for a 5-yard touchdown with 1:40 on the clock. Just 17 seconds later, Correa intercepted a Fallsburg pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown to give the Devilcats a 43-0 advantage heading into the intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, Fallsburg recorded its only touchdown of the night late in the fourth quarter. With 31 seconds remaining in the game, Comets’ running back Shakree Gibson swept to the right side of the line and outran a Devilcats defender to the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown. Gibson then ran into the end zone on the two-point conversion try to make the score 43-8.
Correa led the Devilcats’ rushing attack with 138 yards on six carries. Mills ran two times for 56 yards and Fisk had three carries for 22 yards.
Mills completed 3 of 4 passes for 68 yards and two TDs. Fisk had two receptions for 17 yards and Rosario had one catch for 46 yards.
“We played well tonight,” LMR Co-Coach Fred Ahart said. “It’s always good to start off the season with a win.”
“We have a lot of skill position players returning this year,” LMR Co-Coach Kevin Clifford said. “So it’s good that we can use a lot of different people.”
Both Ahart and Clifford were pleased with the Devilcats’ overall effort.
“I thought we played good offense and good defense,” Ahart commented. “It was a good team effort.”
Ahart also praised the Comets.
“You have to give credit to Fallsburg,” he said. “They came out and played much better in the second half.”
Fallsburg Coach Adam Ramirez noted that one area of the game really hurt his team.
“Turnovers killed us tonight,” he said. “We turned the ball over six times and they scored touchdowns after four of them.”
Ramirez was happy with his team’s effort.
“We were OK in the first half and worked harder in the second half,” he said. “Our guys kept their heads up the whole game and they didn’t quit.”