Rarely in its recent annals had the Cazenovia football team ever needed to worry about whether it would make the Section III playoffs in the last week of the regular season.Yet the Lakers dealt with this stress quite well, venturing to Mexico Friday night and earning a comfortable 27-6 victory over the Tigers to win for the fourth time in five weeks.That result, combined with Central Valley Academy’s 20-7 win over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, allowed Cazenovia to finish alone in fourth place in the B East division behind the Thunder, plus Oneida and New Hartford. Romagnoli helped wrap things up with a 37-yard scoring run in the third quarter as the Lakers’ defense nearly got a third shutout in four weeks, keeping Mexico off the board until the fourth quarter, when the game was long in hand.Cazenovia held the Tigers to 144 total yards as John Frega had four tackles and three assists, with Vito Borio and Keegan Bailey each getting three tackles. A.J. Rothfeld assisted on six tackles and made two of his own.The Lakers had 394 total yards, 253 of them on the ground as Romagnoli gained 116 yards on 11 carries and Freyer had 89 yards on seven carries. Between them, Romagnoli and Freyer completed six of 14 passes for 134 yards.Meanwhile, Chittenango, who will miss the sectional playoffs, saw its five-game skid end at Camden, where it started fast, but ultimately needed a fourth-quarter safety to beat the Blue Devils 16-14.The Bears’ defense ended up keying the outcome, first by scoring on a Elias Clement fumble return as Nate Addison added a four-yard TD run to make it 14-0 through one period.Camden fought back, tying it 14-14 by halftime on short scoring runs by Eric Mitchell (one yard) and Mason Gerber (two yards). And it stayed even until the final period, when the Chittenango defense returned to trap the Blue Devils in its own end zone for the winning two points. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Tags: CazenoviaChittenangofootball And it sets up a highly-anticipated sectional Class B opening-round game next Friday as the Lakers venture to Al Merola Field to face undefeated, state no. 9-ranked Solvay, a once-great program who fell on hard times before roaring back to life this fall and making the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.With nothing guaranteed following its Oct. 11 home defeat to CVA, Cazenovia quickly gained control against a Mexico side that had lost six in a row. Ty Freyer got the Lakers on the board, scoring on a 20-yard run in the first quarter.Two more scoring drives followed in the second period, Ryan Romagnoli dashing 21 yards to the end zone and, minutes later, Cazenovia striking through the air as Romagnoli’s pass to Evan Murray turned into a 60-yard touchdown.
Donovan McNabb gave the Syracuse faithful one final salute. He hiked up the first level of stairs in the Carrier Dome and stood on the flat handicapped concourse, appreciating the 49,521 fans that packed the stadium on Nov. 28, 1998.The gesture was a courtesy, not necessary after the display he put on in his final home game. With a Big East championship and Orange Bowl berth on the line, he ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more in a 66-13 thrashing of Miami (Fla.).‘When they announced the seniors, and just tears came from your eyes because you knew that all the effort that the guys put forth throughout the summers and during the springs of just trying to establish a name and establish an identity for themselves at Syracuse University,’ McNabb said.Syracuse won the conference outright, finishing at 6-1, a game ahead of Miami, Virginia Tech and West Virginia — two of which SU beat in 1998. The Miami game was the stamp on the McNabb era, a four-year span when Syracuse went 23-5 in the Big East at a time when the Big East was a conference held in high regards. Syracuse competed with the likes of the Hurricanes and Hokies and had a Northeast rivalry with Boston College throughout the 1990s as well.And when Syracuse announced its move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference on Sept. 18, it meant those rivalries would be rekindled.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I think it’s great. If you look at the history of Syracuse football, Maryland and BostonCollege were staples,’ SU Athletic Director Daryl Gross said. ‘And then, like you said, Virginia Tech and Miami, those are going to be fun, too.’From the first year of full league play in the Big East in 1993 to the defections of perennial college football powers Miami and Virginia Tech in 2003, four teams won a conference title. Five for Miami. Three for Virginia Tech. One for West Virginia.And two for Syracuse, which, before its down years of the past decade, was a team that could compete with any school in the nation.***Syracuse went toe-to-toe with the future national champion. The Orangemen fought off the ropes, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter to go up by two against Tennessee.Volunteers kicker Jeff Hall nailed a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give Tennessee, the 1998 national champ, a 34-33 win in the season opener in the Carrier Dome, but the win didn’t deter SU’s season.Syracuse went to Michigan Stadium the next week and jumped out to a 31-point lead in a 38-28 win over the then-No. 13 Wolverines, kick-starting a season that culminated in the Orange Bowl.‘They may beg to differ on the basketball side, but it was a football school,’ McNabb said. ‘When football season came around, our student section was filled every week, people on campus throwing Frisbees, they’re out there partying on Fridays, Saturday mornings they had their tailgate.‘It was an atmosphere that you look out on TV now, where we didn’t need (College) GameDay or ESPN there. We already had our GameDay, our fans are fired up and ready to go.’From 1996-99, the smallest home crowd at the Carrier Dome was 42,246 — for a game against Tulane. The lowest attendance of those four years is higher than the best attendance SU has received in its four home games in 2011.Syracuse’s days as a ‘football school’ are long gone, with the basketball team’s consistent performances and the rock-bottom seasons for the football program under Greg Robinson. But the move to the ACC, combined with the resurrection of the SU tradition under third-year head coach Doug Marrone, has some former SU players believing the glory days for Syracuse football could return.Mark Baniewicz, an Orange offensive lineman from 1996-99, felt jubilation when he heard the news that Syracuse escaped a conference on its deathbed.‘They tried to make a big deal about where the Big East conference was heading, but let’s be honest — it’s dying,’ Baniewicz said.He said the ACC was the right move, in part because it rekindles old rivalries that should put fans in the seats.‘Virginia Tech, BC and Miami were always the three red-letter games,’ Baniewicz said.The Carrier Dome used to get so loud that Baniewicz said he couldn’t have a conversation with the person standing next to him. When Syracuse played Virginia Tech in 1998, the fans stormed the field following McNabb’s last-second touchdown pass to Stephen Brominski to give the Orangemen a 28-26 win.Chris Rippon remembers that game fondly as well. Rippon held multiple defensive coaching positions with SU from 1993-2004, including working as Syracuse’s defensive coordinator from 1999-2003. On the Hokies’ drive prior to SU’s game-winning touchdown, he couldn’t communicate with the coaches in the booth because it was so loud.But Rippon, currently the defensive coordinator at Marshall, is slightly more skeptical than Baniewicz. Those were the 1990s. Syracuse football whiffed in the 2000s, and the rivalries may be too far removed to bring the days of almost 50,000 people back to the Dome.‘Syracuse has got phenomenal tradition, and Doug (Marrone) is trying to resurrect that,’ Rippon said. ‘I just don’t know what the mark is in the Northeast anymore, if that culture has moved on and gotten older.’***Nervous doesn’t describe McNabb’s feelings about his alma mater going up against schools like Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State. But he’s a little wary.‘I’m kind of, I wouldn’t say too much worried, but you’re kind of on your toes now,’ he said. ‘It’s kind of like really, do we have the recruits, do we have the athletes that can compete week in and week out in the ACC?’Recent history would say no. Syracuse snapped a seven-game losing streak to ACC teams with its season-opening victory over Wake Forest this year. And since McNabb graduated, Syracuse has lost at least five games in 11 of the last 12 seasons.But McNabb is also confident in what the Orange can become down the line.‘If Boston College and West Virginia and Miami can do it, I believe that we can,’ McNabb said. ‘It may take a couple years.’Syracuse lost 17-10 to Miami in the last Big East meeting between the two schools on Nov. 15, 2003. In SU’s second-to-last meeting with Virginia Tech, SU beat the Hokies in three overtimes. At the time of the last big conference shake-up, Syracuse wasn’t that far off from those schools.‘I think when you respect a program, it kind of brings out the best in you,’ Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said in the ACC coaches’ teleconference Oct. 5. ‘And we have always respected Miami. We have always respected Syracuse.’***Syracuse was beating Miami as soon as the Hurricanes’ airplane touched down.Andre King said most of the Hurricanes players had never seen snow before. King, a sophomore wide receiver on that 1998 Hurricanes squad, was on his first trip to the Carrier Dome.King led Miami in receiving on that day, catching three balls for 34 yards — a measly total when Syracuse was scoring 66 points. The Hurricanes’ top two receivers for the season, future NFL stars Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss, both went without a catch.‘Good competition, man. The Dome was always loud,’ King said. ‘I mean, the Dome seemed like the fans were right in your back pocket because it was so small and loud, but those games were good.’Syracuse completely dismantled a Miami team full of NFL stars. Wayne, Moss, Edgerrin James, Bubba Franks, Ed Reed, Dan Morgan and Damione Lewis were all starters in that game who went on to become first-round NFL draft picks.King said then-Miami receivers coach Curtis Johnson made King, Wayne, Moss and the other receivers stay on the field during Syracuse’s celebration following the game. The Orangemen set an example for Miami to watch.They were a model for a Hurricanes team that won the national championship in 2001.‘They were rolling oranges on the ground and saying they were getting ready to go to the Orange Bowl (which is played) on our field, that was painful to watch,’ King said. ‘… He made us go back out there and watch them celebrate, just so we can see how that felt and how we wanted to be there in the future.’That rivalry will return when Syracuse joins the ACC, a conference that will now have five former Big East schools among its 14 members. King said he’s excited for Miami and Syracuse to play again, although it’s hard to expect the hype to be there.There will be ways to bring it back, though. King expects Syracuse-Miami reruns on ESPN Classic to develop hype for the matchup and to remind people that, yes, it was a heated rivalry.Whether or not Syracuse will be at a level to compete with Miami and Virginia Tech the way it used to remains to be seen. But it will add a new, old element to Syracuse football once the Hurricanes and Hokies come back to the Carrier Dome.‘When you knew you were getting up for Miami week, everyone knew,’ McNabb said. ‘It was big on campus. You talk about tailgating and you talk about pep rallies, and it was one for us throughout my career, it was almost like the Big East championship.’firstname.lastname@example.org—Sports Editor Michael Cohen and Asst. News Editor Jon Harris contributed reporting to this article. Published on October 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: email@example.com | @mark_cooperjr Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Trojans.Like father, like son · USC coach Lane Kiffin and his father, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, have used the bye week to prepare for Oregon. – Mannat Saini | Daily Trojan Without the pressure of an impending game and the necessity to work out all the kinks by Saturday, the coaching staff can let players rest and recover from nagging injuries.The entire starting offensive line, beside redshirt sophomore Matt Kalil, sat out or was limited during practice. Senior center Kristofer O’Dowd rested what he called a “strained shoulder.”He was seen at the beginning of practice wearing a wrap around his shoulder, which was removed by the end of the practice session. He expressed no doubt he’d be ready for the game against Oregon on Oct. 30 and said he was expecting a Tuesday return. He called sitting out a preventative measure to ensure full health.Junior tackle Tyron Smith sat out with an ankle injury, and senior guard Butch Lewis sat out with an undisclosed injury. Redshirt sophomore guard Khaled Holmes was limited and sat on a training table during the second half of practice.“As we’ve said all along, hopefully we get these guys back by Monday, and be ready to go with a full week of practice,” said USC coach Lane Kiffin.—With all the injuries and the lack of depth on the team, the bye week functions as a training ground for the younger players to earn playing time and demonstrate to the coaching staff whether their talents can translate to the collegiate level.The Trojans spent significant time in a four wide receiver set from the shotgun to simulate the style of play of the highly touted, high-scoring Oregon offense.Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley was hurrying the team to the line and coaches were emphasizing quickness and speed on both sides of the ball.During a receivers and defensive backs drill, Kiffin told his players to ask themselves, “How am I going to tackle the fastest team in the country?”It was a common line from the coaching staff during the moments when the team was working on full-speed drills, especially during the scrimmage at the end of practice.—Freshman running back D.J. Morgan got a number of carries during Thursday’s practice, even with the first-team offense.He broke one of his carries for a touchdown and was picking up a number of yards on each attempt.Kiffin praised Morgan on his ability and said that it was promising that the freshman was able to show off his skill set in practice.“This is the first week that we’ve been able to see a lot with him,” Kiffin said. “He looks very explosive, even though he’s not 100 percent yet.”