REDSKINS LEAVE MARAUDERS FEELING BLUE AFTER 43-20 LOSS IN HOME OPENER
Teammates celebrate with # 34 Noah Sims as Redskins roll in New York Mills
Photos: Kevin Montano
The Cooperstown Redskins made the trip to Ben Ross Field in New York Mills on Saturday afternoon, on a hot humid day, to kickoff its 2012 football season against the Marauders.
New York Mills had the first shot at offense, after senior Paul West fielded the kickoff and returned it to the 45 yard line. On the first play of scrimmage the Marauders handed the ball off to senior running back Shawn Kula, who ran it for a short loss.
On second down, the Marauders made their first mistake of the game when junior quarterback Zachary Griffith hit Paul West on a throw. West lost control and fumbled the ball which was recovered by Cooperstown’s Lucas Lyons.
The Redskins looked to the air on first down and senior quarterback Noah Sims found junior Max Bonderoff for a quick two yard gain. The visitors then got sloppy and mishandled a handoff on second down, but a third down run by junior Lucas Lyons netted the Redskins another set of downs.
One play later, the sloppy play continued as a hand off to Lyons was mishandled, but the ball was recovered by the Redskins, putting them in a second and twelve situation. The drive ended for Cooperstown when quarterback Noah Sims was picked off by New York Mills Paul West.
The Mills offense took to the field, but quarterback Zachary Griffith was met by freshman Kole Rhude in the backfield and was sacked. Griffith bounced back on second down with a pass to senior Cody Mariotti for a ten yard gain.
On the ensuing play, Griffith was once again met in the backfield by a Cooperstown defender, this time senior Jacob Miller, who picked up the sack. This forced the Marauders to punt on fourth down.
Cooperstown quickly went back to work handing the ball off to Lyons, who picked up a first down moving the ball to the 42 yard line. Following an off sides penalty, Noah Sims found Lyons for another first down, moving the ball down to the Marauders 20 yard line.
The Redskins continued to run the ball on the next two plays, picking up a few yards and then a first down. Sims then started in the shotgun, pulled the ball down and took off for the end zone, scoring the first touchdown of the game, giving the Redskins a 7-0 lead after the PAT.
Following the kickoff return by Shawn Kula the Marauders continued to pound the ball, on the ground, giving it to Kula on first down. Kula picked up eight yards. The next play was a handoff to junior Ronnie Humpf, who barreled up the middle for a first down.
Another hand off to Kula followed on first down and then a pass to Cody Mariotti got the offense moving for the Orange and Blue. Kula was then given the ball again, running it for a short loss after being stopped by junior Cullen Rathbone.
Two incomplete passes followed for New York Mills and the Marauders found themselves facing a fourth down and eleven at the 40 yard line. Coach Anthony Ricco and his staff decided to go for it and put the ball in the air to Paul West, who dropped it ,and Cooperstown took over on downs.
The next drive for Cooperstown was a quick three and out, as they threw a pass and ran for short gains and then threw an incomplete pass and had to kick the ball away.
The Marauders then took over and the running attack continued, as Kula was able to get to the outside and pick up a first down. Up next was a short run by Ronnie Humpf and then it was back to Kula, who picked up a first down.
Following another run, in which Kula picked up a short gain, quarterback Zachary Griffith was sacked by junior Ben Carentz and was injured on the play. He was replaced by freshman QB Terrance Nichols. Nichols threw an incomplete pass intended for Kula on his first play as new quarterback and was forced to punt. Griffith did return for New York Mills.
Cooperstown then looked to freshman EJ Perez, as they handed the ball off and he picked up a first down. Facing a second down and fifteen yards to go, the Redskins threw to sophomore Vaughn Powers, who was hit hard by Terrance Nichols for no gain. A fumbled hand off followed resulting in no gain and brought up fourth down.
New York Mills continued to have trouble moving the ball against the aggressive Redskins defense and was forced to punt again.
Cooperstown then took the ball and pounded away on the ground on four straight plays, giving it to Lucas Lyons on three carries and once to EJ Perez who was bouncing off defenders and picking up good yardage.
The Redskins then finished off the drive when Sims found Perez in the end zone and the Redskins took a 13-0 lead following a missed extra point.
Facing a 13-0 deficit, the Marauders abandoned the running game for a few plays and looked to an aerial assault. An incomplete pass intended for Cody Mariotti came on first down and was followed by a completion on the next play to Mariotti, as the quarterback was scrambling from defenders with fifteen ticks left on the clock.
A facemask penalty was also assessed on the play giving the Marauders a quick shot at the end zone before the half closed and they did just that, hitting Mariotti in the corner of the end zone and cut the lead to 13-6 going into the half.
The Redskins came out of half time looking to get right back to business and squash any momentum that the Marauders may have gained at the end of the half.
The kickoff to start the half went to Lucas Lyons, who fielded the ball around the 15 yard line and took it to the outside and ran down the sidelines for a 85 yard touchdown return giving Cooperstown a 20-6 lead.
New York Mills then got the ball back, but was unable to muster up much offense on their next drive with a few incomplete passes, coupled with a penalty, gave the ball right back to Cooperstown after five plays.
Cooperstown saw an opportunity opening and jumped on it, as they continued to run the ball and did so on five straight plays, then picked up a penalty and ran the ball once more before passing it to a wide open Lucas Lyons for another touchdown and a commanding 27-6 lead.
New York Mills bounced right back, however, after a return by senior Mike Lee and looked to Kula on a run play. Kula was able to break loose and ran 64 yards for a touchdown and the lead was cut to 27-12.
Both teams were unable to make much out of its next two possessions, as Cooperstown was forced to punt and New York Mills went for it on a fourth and long and came up short.
Cooperstown then took over on downs and ran the ball and then picked up a first down on a New York Mills penalty. Another short run followed by Lyons and then on second and nine Terrance Nichols stepped up for the Marauders and picked off Sims on the 2 yard line.
However, the momentum was short lived as Mills quarterback Zachary Griffith threw it right in the hands of senior Jacob Miller, who walked in for a touchdown and gave Cooperstown a commanding 34-12 lead.
After the kickoff, a series of mistakes hurt the Marauders, as they took an offside penalty and attempted to run the ball on the next play unsuccessfully. On second down, quarterback Terrance Newman rolled out on a pass play and fumbled the ball which was recovered by Cooperstown’s Jacob Miller.
Cooperstown again took advantage of New York Mill’s mishaps and continued to pound the ball by way of EJ Perez and Lucas Lyons. Lyons capped off the run with a touchdown on a second down run extending their lead to 40-12.
The Marauders woes continued on their next possession, as they threw two incomplete passes and then an interception, giving the ball back to Cooperstown again. The Redskins again capitalized and capped off their drive with a field goal and a 43-12 lead.
However, the young Marauders would not go down without a fight. Rather, after Cody Mariotti fielded the kickoff, the Marauders ran the ball on three straight plays, picking up a first down.
An incomplete pass followed and then Kula took the ball to the outside to the Cooperstown 27 yard line and then kicked it out to the outside again on first down and punched it in for a touchdown, cutting Cooperstown’s lead to 43-20
Cooperstown was able to run out the clock and secure the 43-20 victory.
Cooperstown head coach Mark Segina was very pleased with his kids performance saying, “They did well…they did a lot of good things.” Segina also said that, “We respect New York Mills but our kids remained focused and our (offense) did good things.” The coach told his kids to enjoy this win today and tomorrow but it’s back to work on Monday, as West Canada is next.
When asked about the tough loss, New York Mills head coach Anthony Ricco said, “We will learn from this…it’s early in the year and we are trying to get kids in the right positions…we are young and inexperienced and will get better.” Ricco also said that his quarterback did get banged up a bit, but should be ready for next week, but it did change the game plan a little as they were looking to spread it out and throw. Ricco also acknowledged that there were some mistakes that Cooperstown made that “We did not capitalize on.”
Cooperstown 43 New York Mills 20
1 2 3 4 Total
Cooperstown 7 6 20 10 43
New York Mills 0 6 6 8 20