Homer Survives for Section III Class B Football Title
Published on December 14, 2017
Story and Photos by: Kent Paisley
Syracuse, NY— In a furious comeback bid that Homer couldn’t have written better himself, the Homer Trojans (10-0) hold on for the rubber match victory against the Cazenovia Lakers (9-1) in the Section III Class B Championship, 28-21 in the Carrier Dome.
Trojan First Half Dominance
The result was four unanswered touchdowns for Homer, whose lone blemish was a Tucker O’Donnell interception in Cazenovia red zone territory late in the second quarter.
The Trojans opened the scoring floodgates with a 33 yard run up the left side by Krillin Drake with 8:47 left in the first.
The Trojan offense churned out efficient drives, converting the next two trips into the red zone for touchdowns. They held a 21-0 lead when the Laker offense piled on to Cazenovia’s issues.
Lakers struggling out of the gate
In their semifinal playoff matchup, the Lakers failed to score in the first half, then pitched a second half shutout for a 14-3 victory over Marcellus.
The team followed that script, getting shut out in the opening half.
Cazenovia fumbled a kickoff return, leading to a Trojan touchdown. The Lakers recorded their opening first down with 7:32 to go in the second quarter.
The team settled down on the offensive end with consecutive first down runs thereafter, and then the ground opened up beneath them.
Laker senior captain Matt Regan threw a sixty-yard pick six, with Dante Yacavone evading 5 tacklers on his way to the end zone.
The Lakers did not give up a score the rest of the way. The third quarter and first half of the fourth looked like the game would remain uneventful.
The defending champion Lakers showed their experience at the end, with its seniors making the game interesting in the final minutes.
An Odyssey of a Comeback
Odysseus had to survive a multitude of hurdles on his way home to Ithaca in Homer’s greek epic The Odyssey.
Odysseus evaded Lotus Eaters, a trip to the underworld, the sirens, the Charydbis, stuck on an island for 7 years with Kalypso, amongst other struggles, until he finally returned home.
The Lakers faced a similarly tall task to claim its sixth section III class B championship in eight years.
Ball at its own 46 yard line.
4:40 to go, trailing 28-0.
The handoff went to senior Jake Macheda, who busted up the right sideline for the 54 yard score. The extra point converted.
The lotus eaters were dealt with.
Kicker Ian Fostveit sent an onside kick up the right side, which the Lakers collected.
The escape out of the underworld knocked off the list.
The Lakers dug deep into its playbook, with a five yard touchdown pass to starting senior wide receiver Scott McLaughlin from Regan, to trail 28-14 with 1:43 left in the game.
The Sirens were navigated.
Fostveit sent an onside kick up the middle. In the madness of the dog pile, Cazenovia came up with the ball at the Trojan 42.
They survived the Charydbis.
Back to back 20 yard plays to McLaughlin and senior tight end Kevin Stadler put the Lakers at the three yard line. A personal foul penalty would inch them closer.
The Lakers crowd was on its feet as Regan punched his way into the end zone on the QB sneak with 44 seconds on the clock.
The extra point was missed, but it remained a one score game, 28-20.
They entered Kalypso’s island.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, they did not have a lifetime to complete the comeback. Fostveit’s third consecutive onside kick bid went out of bounds.
The Trojans would kneel out the final seconds to claim the championship.
Jake Macheda and Tommy Britt were named MVPs of the game for Cazenovia and Homer, respectively.
The Trojans will play the Chenango Forks Blue Devils, winner of the section IV class B championship, next Saturday.
The Blue Devils defeated the Lakers last season after the Lakers Section III Class B title, 35-13.