MAROON KNIGHTS MOVE ON IN C 2 PLAYOFFS MUSCLE PAST MUSTANGS 34-18
It was Friday Night Lights in Frankfort, as the Frankfort-Schuyler Maroon Knights took on the Mount Markham Mustangs in a Class C 2 Section 3 Playoff game. The Maroon Knights came into the evening with a 4-2 overall record and 3-2 in league play while the visiting Mustangs touted a 3-3 overall record and 2-3 league record.
The home team proved to be too much on this night, as they rolled to a convincing 4-18 win and right into the next round of the postseason.
Tanzillo rushed on three straight carries, picking up enough for a Mustang first down. He then was handed the ball again on first down and broke free for a 14 yard gain and another first down.
Senior Josh Holtham saw his first action when he was given the ball on two consecutive carries, netting another first down for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs continued to run the ball on its next few carries but this time mixed it up with a combination of Tanzillo, Holtham and junior Eric Taylor Holmes, but the result remained the same – another Mustang first down.
With the running game working well, the Mustangs continued to pound the ball with Tanzillo and Holtham, but this time was met with resistance from the Frankfort-Schuyler defensive unit.
Facing a third down and eight yards to go the Mustangs looked to the air, but when sophomore quarterback Braydon Hudson found no open receivers he pulled the ball down and scampered for 7 yards just short of the first down.
With a fourth and one from the seven yard line the Mustangs turned to the big senior lineman Derek Mowers, who barreled in for the first down.
The Mustangs then turned to Tanzillo on first down, who was able to pick up just one yard and then followed with a quarterback keeper that resulted in no gain, after Maroon Knight junior Joe DeSarro came in for the stop.
Just three yards away from the goal line the Mustangs again turned to its senior running back Josh Holtham, who would not be denied this time and bounced to the outside after finding the inside shut down scoring the first touchdown of the game.
The two point conversion was no good and after a 16 play 63 yard drive the Mustangs held an early 6-0 lead.
The Maroon Knights were eager to bring out the offensive unit and after a return by junior Mitchell Shortt, brought them out to the 34 yard line, they were ready to go.
On the first play of the drive, junior quarterback Joe DeSarro looked down field and found sophomore Mike Irons on a 55 yard pass.
With a first down in hand and good field position, the Maroon Knights again looked to the passing game, but the pass attempt fell incomplete.
Frankfort-Schuyler handed the ball off on second down, picking up a yard and then followed with an incomplete pass on third down, however a 15 yard penalty on Mount Markham gave the Maroon Knights an automatic first down at the 7 yard line.
It took just two more plays for the Maroon Knights to get on the scoreboard after handing the ball off to sophomore Nick Spina and then to Brandon Longo, who muscled his way into the end zone.
The Maroon Knights converted the two point conversion when Joe DeSarro found Mike Irons in the end zone and Frankfort-Schuyler took a 8-6 lead.
The Mount Markham Mustangs were taken off guard when the Maroon Knights kicked off and surprised them with an onside kick which was recovered by Frankfort-Schuyler’s Mitchell Shortt.
Frankfort-Schuyler took over, but was unable to convert after following a series of running plays by Mitchell Shortt and Brandon Longo, who was stopped at the line by Mustang junior Josh Fargo.
Following an incomplete pass on third down and then a delay of game penalty, the Maroon Knights were forced to punt.
Mount Markham took over on offense and looked to run the ball with Holtham and then with sophomore Kyle Yager, but was unsuccessful after he was brought down by Frankfort-Schuyler sophomore Rich Morocco.
With the ball on the 13 yard line, the Mustangs took to the air, but the pass attempt fell incomplete and the Mustangs were forced to punt.
Special teams came into play after senior Mackenzie Dorie took the snap and Frankfort-Schuyler sophomore Josh Roberts came barreling through and blocked the punt, which was picked up by Mitchell Shortt who ran it in for a 7 yard touchdown and a 14-6 Frankfort-Schuyler lead.
Mount Markham started the second quarter after a short return by Kyle Yager and looked to establish its running attack by turning to Holtham on first down and junior Eric Taylor Holmes on second down.
A 15 yard facemask penalty on the Maroon Knights helped give the Mustangs a first down at the 45 yard line. The next two plays consisted of a 5 yard gain for Holtham and a pitch to Tanzillo which resulted in a first down.
The very next play the Mustangs again turned to Tanzillo, but he was stopped for a 1 yard loss. On second down and nine,
Mustang quarterback Braydon Hudson took a high snap and then was chased down by a group of Maroon Knights in Nick Spina, Brandon Longo and Josh Roberts for a 5 yard loss.
Needing 14 yards on third down for the first down, quarterback Braydon Hudson rolled out and threw a 39 yard strike to wide open senior Larry Hammill for a touchdown and cut the Frankfort-Schuyler lead to 14-12 after a missed conversion.
Frankfort-Schuyler’s Mitchell Shortt received the kickoff and took the ball down to the 40 yard line for a nice return, however the Maroon Knight offense was unable to put anything together after they went three and out and were forced to punt.
The Knights got a break when they were able to recover the punt, after the ball was touched by Mount Markham’s Kyle Yager and a quick thinking Rich Morocco jumped on the ball for the home team and they retained possession.
Again, the Maroon Knights were unable to take advantage and were faced with a fourth down and three and were unable to convert and turned the ball over on downs. The Mustangs too were unable to put together a solid drive and gave the ball back to Frankfort-Schuyler after four plays.
The Maroon Knights found themselves with the ball again and this time were looking to ring up a few more points prior to half time. The Maroon Knights kept the ball in the hands of its quarterback Joe DeSarro for two quarterback keeps, which resulted in a first down.
Two pass plays, a seven yard pickup by Mitchell Shortt and one by Mike Irons resulted in another first down.
Frankfort-Schuyler again looked down field on first down, but a pass play was broken up by Mount Markham’s Kyle Yager.
A combination of a few more quarterback keeps and some incomplete passes put the Maroon Knights on the 9 yard line.
DeSarro then dropped back and found junior Justin Kiesow in the end zone and added another two points, after DeSarro ran in the conversion and the Maroon Knights jumped out to a 22-12 lead.
The Mount Markham Mustangs had a few more shots to put up points before the half, but were unable to put together a scoring drive and went to the half down by ten.
Frankfort-Schuyler came out of the half looking to continue what it started in the first half and after a return by Mitchell Shortt they got right back to work. Joe DeSarro called his own number on first down and picked up 11 yards on the first play from scrimmage to start the half.
DeSarro then handed off to Shortt who was stopped by MacKenzie Dorie and junior Gabe Dorie, but then found Rich Morocco for a 16 yard pass to move the ball down field.
Following two incomplete passes, DeSarro found Mitchell Shortt on third down for a completion and another first down. DeSarro then handed off to Longo who ran 15 yards to the 8 yard line and another first down for the Maroon Knights.
Frankfort-Schuyler handed the ball off on its next three plays to Morocco and twice to Longo, who was able to smash through the defense and put up another six points after the missed field goal and Frankfort-Schuyler took a commanding 28-12 lead.
Mount Markham was back on offense, after a short return by Larry Hammill and they looked to their running backs to get them back into the game. Handoffs to Tanzillo, Holtham and Yager resulted in a first down.
After a quarterback keep picked up two yards, the Mustangs went to the air and found Yager for a first down.
The momentum came to an abrupt halt for the Mustangs when they picked up a 15 yard penalty and later gave up a sack when Justin Kiesow found his way into the back field on third down and the Mustangs were forced to kick it away on fourth down.
With the clock beginning to tick deep into the third quarter, the Maroon Knights were looking to put the Mustangs away for good. The Maroon Knights gladly handed the ball to Brandon Longo, who continued to pick up positive yards and first downs.
Following a loss of two yards, after a running play by Mitchell Shortt,the Maroon Knights looked to DeSarro to air it out, and found Morocco for a first down.
The Maroon Knights picked up more positive yardage, after a run by Longo and a big gain by Mitchell Shortt, who broke free and was stopped at the 18 yard line by Josh Fargo.
Quarterback Joe DeSarro then stepped back and hit Justin Kiesow, on an 18 yard pass at the end of the 3rd quarter, and the Maroon Knights lead was now 34-12, after a blocked extra point attempt.
The Mustangs and Maroon Knights traded a few more possessions in the fourth quarter, but the game had pretty much been decided in three quarters.
Both teams continued to battle and the Mount Markham Mustangs were able to punch in one more rushing touchdown when Josh Holtham finished an 11 play drive and closed the gap to 34-18, but that would be it.
The Frankfort-Schuyler Maroon Knights came out and played playoff football and secured the 34-18 victory at home and improved to 5-2 on the season.
Frankfort-Schuyler head coach Jeff LaGase told MHTS that he felt the “kids played well” and that they faced a “good team in Mount Markham.” LaGase felt that his team “responded well and gives them a lot of credit when facing adversity…they kept focused and played good football tonight.”
Frankfort-Schuyler 34 Mount Markham 18
FS 14 8 12 0 34
MM 6 6 0 6 18