FOOTBALL: FORKS DOMINATES WG/O-M TO ADVANCE TO CLASS C FINAL
By ROB CENTORANI
Broome County East Sports Report
CHENANGO FORKS -- A Chenango Forks squad that was brutally efficient on offense, and disciplined and physical on defense will now get a second crack at Waverly.
The Blue Devils rolled up 282 rushing yards and held Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour to 121 total yards, a significant chunk of that coming after Forks' starters had called it a night.
Passage into the Section 4 Class C final came by way of a 34-6 victory against a Storm squad that simply could not match the Blue Devils' power on either side of the ball.
"We call it smash mouth," Forks coach Dave Hogan said of his 6-3 team. "We did grind it out and they were hard yards to come by. They were stubborn for sure, but that first drive did set the tone."
Forks and Waverly will play in the Class C final for the second straight year. Game time is noon Nov. 11 at Vestal and the Blue Devils will look for some payback on two fronts. The Wolverines ended their season a year ago with a 28-14 victory in the sectional final and they beat Forks, 19-15, earlier this season on a Joey Tomasso touchdown pass in the closing seconds.
"They're a great team," Forks two-way lineman Dustin Jump said of 9-1 Waverly, which beat Susquehanna Valley, 55-0, in Friday's other Class C semifinal. "I'm so excited to play them."
Any thoughts that the Blue Devils might look past WG/O-M were answered on their first offensive possession.
That first drive covered 79 yards and took 14 plays -- all runs. It was nickel-and-dime stuff, 5 yards here, 6 yards there, nothing fancy, no frills, but every two or three plays, the chain gang moved closer to the goal line.
Chris Boyle, who rushed for 118 yards and had a 23-yard reception, carried seven times on the drive, including a pair of conversions on third-and-short plays. When Boyle went off the right side for 10 yards, the Blue Devils had a first down at the Storm 14.
Three plays later, Tyler Rifenbury followed into Boyle's lead into the end zone from 4 yards and Jesse Stephens' PAT made it 7-0 with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.
"I think it was amazing," Jump said of the first drive. "It was very important to set the tone. Anytime we don't score first, it's hard to come back from that, but as soon as we score first I feel like come out and punch them in the mouth."
After Forks forced a three-and-out, it embarked on a 73-yard drive that was more of the same. That is, until Tate Bender took a toss left, got to the sideline and spedd into the end zone. Stephens' PAT made it a 14-point cushion.
Meanwhile, a WG/O-M offense that put up 38 points a week earlier in a victory at Susquehanna Valley could get nothing going against the Blue Devils. By the end of the first half, the Storm had 9 yards from scrimmage.
Vincent Lewis had a pair of sacks, Peter Ramil batted down a pair of passes at the line of scrimmage, Brady Murphy made some key stops and Boyle had an interception.
"No big plays to speak of, I thought we played well," Hogan said. "The thing is, it's assignments. Everybody's got a role. If one person breaks down, you could be in trouble, but I thought we did outstanding play after play after play."
Forks put it away early in the second half, scoring a pair of touchdowns on the first six plays from scrimmage. Boyle exploited a huge hole and ran 65 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the third quarter. It looked like he'd be forced out of bounds on the right sideline around the 20, but Boyle avoided the tackler and continued into the end zone.
Two plays later, Jayson Samson intercepted a Gavin Lohmeyer pass on the left side and drew a 15-yard facemask penalty that gave Forks possession at the Storm's 28.
Walker Paske went deep on the next play and no one went with him. He waited for Sam Paske's pass at the 3 and eased into the end zone. Stephens' PAT increased the lead to 27-0 with 9:44 left in the third quarter.
WG/O-M's third quarter possessions went interception, three plays and punt and four plays and punt.
Forks' Lucas Bartlow tacked on a 12-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Storm (6-4) avoided a shutout when Brad Gillis scored on a 36-yard run with 1:15 to play, capping an 84-yard drive.
Chenango Forks 34, Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour 6
Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour ... 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Chenango Forks ................ 7 7 13 7 -- 34
CF -- Tyler Rifenbury 4 run (Jesse Stephens kick), 39.1
CF -- Tate Bender 43 run (Jesse Stephens kick), 6:32
CF -- Chris Boyle 65 run (run failed), 11:36
CF -- Walker Paske 28 pass from Sam Paske (Jesse Stephens kick), 9:44
CF -- Lucas Bartlow 12 run (Jesse Stephens kick), 8:18
WGOM -- Brad Gillis 36 run (pass failed), 1:15
Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour rushing: Brad Gillis 9-55, No. 33 5-21, Ryan Bauchle-Willett 10-36, Gavin Lohmeyer 7-(-6).
Chenango Forks rushing: Chris Boyle 14-118, Lucas Bartlow 9-66, Tate Bender 8-75, Tyler Rifenbury 4-27, Ethan Austin 4-(-5), Jack Williams 1-1, Justin Samson 1-1, Jack Vavra 1-(-1).
Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour passing: Gavin Lohmeyer 2-for-11, 15 yards, 2 ints.
Chenango Forks passing: Sam Paske 4-for-7, 57 yards, 1 int.
Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour receiving: Brad Gillis 1-1, Alexander Holmes 1-14.
Chenango Forks receiving: Chris Boyle 1-23, Walker Paske 1-28, Lucas Bartlow 1-3, Tate Bender 1-3.
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