Story by Jon Dinan
ROSCOE Roscoe junior running back Brad Dreher said “It felt weird right from the start” as former teammates were opponents Saturday afternoon on the Livingston Manor High School gridiron.
It was Roscoe and Livingston Manor’s first football meeting since they were a combined team, merged from 2007-2011 due to low participation numbers at both schools.
But this fall, the two districts separated again failure to come together on a proposed merger study apparently split the athletic teams for good. Roscoe found a new partner in Downsville while Manor stayed on its own.
Since the split, neither team has won a game a far cry from last year when the “Devilcats” went 5-5.
For Dreher and his Roscoe-Downsville teammates, their combined team proved to be too much for the young, undermanned Manor team, recording the easy 40-14 victory.
“It was a tough game,” said Livingston Manor coach Kevin Clifford. “Roscoe has a lot of tough, talented kids. The split was hard on us, but it happened and you have to keep playing. In many ways it made it even more of a rebuilding year for us.”
Said Ahart about the un-merger: “It’s unfortunate but it’s the way it is, and I’m proud of the way we handled it today.”
It was Dreher who made the game’s first big play, one of many he made throughout the game. Midway through the first quarter, he broke loose on a 20-yard run inside the Roscoe 25-yard line. That play would set up a 20-plus yard shovel pass that was taken in for a score by Jake Hathaway with 3:40 left to go in the first quarter. Just over a minute later, Manor answered back with a touchdown of their own, a 50-yard quarterback scramble from Matt Janik.
In the second quarter Roscoe began methodically asserting its dominance. After quarterback Collin Tallman connected with Antonio Gomes for a gorgeous 35-yard catch-and-run touchdown, Roscoe pinned Manor deep in its own territory.
On the ensuing Wildcat punt attempt, the snap was botched and Manor’s kicker was tackled for a safety by Joe Schwartz. Roscoe would go on to score 26 more points in the second quarter and open up an insurmoountable 40-6 lead.
Manor would add a final score with just under six minutes to go in the fourth on a another scramble from Janik.
“We obviously feel good,” said Roscoe head coach Fred Ahart about the team’s first win. “We played well both offensively and defensively.”