WARRIORS PLAY HOME RUN DERBY IN 41-29 WIN OVER INDIAN RIVER
Fred Miller for MHTS
ADAM EBERLY-MONSTER ENERGY DRINK PLAYER OF THE GAME
Fans of both sets of Warriors expected fireworks to light up the, late summer, sky over Chiz Frye on Friday night and believe you me, they more than got their monies worth, as Whitesboro opened the season with a 41-29 win over Indian River.
No small ball played here. Pardon the baseball pun, please. Two high powered offenses delighted fans with scoring plays of 60,74,35,98,38,60,40 yards and please excuse the one 15 yarder. Just kidding, it was that kind of night.
A night in which defensive coaches might want to hide when the films were broken down the day after. Can’t really blame the coaches though.
You can, however, credit the skilled players that graced the grid iron on Friday night, for the season opener, for these two Class A powers.
Players like our Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game, Adam Eberly, who torched the other Warriors for 176 yards on the ground, on just 14 carries, ran one in from 48 yards out, threw for one TD and had a pick on defense. Not a bad night at all!
Eberly’s TD pass was a beauty to a wide open Connor Passalacqua from 20 yards
The Warriors trailed 7-0, 14-7 and 20-14, before turning up the heat on muggy night at Chiz Frye.
Steve Almond also had a big night on offense for the Boro, rushing for 112 yards on 18 carries and scoring twice.
Mike Bunal hit paydirt twice and picked up 87 yards of his own on just five tries.
On the other side of the field, Indian River fans were treated to a couple of dynamic performances, as well.
Fans and prognosticators alike expected Indian River’s offense to be sparked by their sensational, junior, running back Darrius Bryant, who gave Whitesboro fits last season, in one of the Warriors two 2010 losses, 14-13 at Indian River.
Not wanting to see Bryant control the game, Whitesboro shadowed the running back all night long. A spy was assigned to number 22 on every play and even with the extra eyes focused in on him, Bryant’s star shined bright.
On the night, Bryant churned out 207 yards on the ground on 13 carries. One of those was a 75 yard, dash for the cash, in the second quarter.
The long TD scamper came with 11:13 left to go in the second quarter and gave the visitors a 14-7 lead to stun the big, home opening, crowd.
Connor Passalacqua ran a great route and found himself all alone in the corner of the end zone as he stood and waited for Adam Eberly’s pass to settle into his waiting arms. The TD reception got Whitesboro even.
Just about everyone knew about Darrius Bryant, but not too many expected senior, Rayshan-Shakur Clark to make so much noise.
Clark caught a 60 yard touchdown pass from QB Kody Smith to give Indian River an early 7-0 lead.
Clark’s 98 yard kickoff return was a thing of beauty, as he sped and shifted his way to the end zone to help, his Warriors, regain the lead at 20-14.
(Indian River Quarterback Kody Smith (7) is dragged down from behind by Whitesboro’s Steve Almond (21). Photo-Jeff Pexton Perfect Game Imaging.)
It was that type of game, as both teams chewed up huge chunks of yardage and tried to tire out the scoreboard operator.
Whitesboro finally started to take control, thanks to the efforts of another stellar offensive line, as they reeled off four consecutive, second half, six pointers to grab the lead and permanent momentum.
The road to glory started this way for Whitesboro. Seeming to be steaming, that they allowed Clark to navigate all but two yards of the well groomed field, the Warriors got mad and got back to basics with the old, ground and pound offense.
Senior sensation Steve Almond made a great cut past a diving defender and got his boys even when he dashed 15 yards into the end zone, as we were not knotted at 20-20. Almond’s end zone dance came at the 8:32 mark of the third and helped wrap up a six play drive by Whitesboro.
On this Friday night a six play drive was a rare feat.
(Whitesboro’s Adam Eberley (12) heads up field en route to a 4th quarter touchdown
run. Photo-Jeff Pexton Perfect Game Imaging.)
Just about three minutes later, Whitesboro took a lead it would not relinquish, on the strength of a 60 yard run, to make it 26-20, Whitesboro with 5:42 left in the third. Bunal added the extra point and just like that it was 27-20, home team.
A short time later, our Monster Energy Drink Player of the game went yard on a 48 yard run as he burst through a pack of blue and teal clad Warriors and then streaked in for six. The rafters were rocking with the home team up 34-20.
We’re not done yet fans. Next up was a 30 yard Steve Almond TD run to make it 40-20. Another Mike Bunal PAT made the Warriors, the other ones, say uncle as the went from being up 20-14 to down 21 points. Ouch!
Mike Hance tired to keep hope alive as he dove in from two yards out, as the time ticked away. Indian River added two points on a safety to make the final score 41-29.
The two Class A big boys go back at it on Friday. Whitesboro travels to Cortland and Indian River plays host to Fulton.
1 2 3 4 Total
Indian River 7 7 6 9 29
Whitesboro 0 14 20 7 41
MHTS Scoring Summary:
IR– Rayshan-Shakur Clark 64 pass from Kody Smith (Smith kick).
W – Mike Bunal 32 yard run (Bunal kick).
IR – Darrius Bryant 74 run (Smith kick).
W – Connor Passalacqua 19 yard pass from Adam Eberley (Bunal kick).
IR – Clark 98 kickoff return (kick blocked).
W – Steve Almond 15 yard run (kick failed).
W – Bunal 60 yard run (Bunal kick).
W – Eberley 48 yard run(Bunal kick).
W – Almond 30 yard run(Bunal kick).
IR – Michael Hance 2 yard run (Smith kick).
IR – Safety, punt snap through end zone.