FOOTBALL: SUMMERS RUSHES FOR 159 YARDS, BUT PATS FALL IN CLASS AA SEMIFINAL
(2023-11-04)By BRIAN FEES
Broome County East Sports Report
ELMIRA — It had been seven quarters since Evan Garvin had been on the field for the Express.
Once he took the field on Saturday morning, he wasted little time making an impact as he accounted for six touchdowns, including four passing in the first half, as Elmira beat Binghamton 61-12 in the Section 4, Class AA semifinals.
“I thought we had great effort today and we came out and got the job done and that was the goal today,” Garvin said. “I’m comfortable in the offense. I feel like I put in a lot of time to know the offense and I put in a lot of time to know my coach and we are always on the same page, which is good. It’s a good thing we have that relationship and it just makes our offense roll even better.”
Garvin had gone out with a concussion against Corning and missed last week’s game against Union-Endicott. On Saturday he was back and right from the start the Express offense came out firing on all cylinders.
“He brings a calmness to you,” Elmira coach Jimmy McCauley said. “Especially calling the plays. You want your quarterback there. I’ll be honest with you, I thought Zach Conklin did a very nice job for us when we played UE, I thought he handled himself very well.
“But, as a play caller you feel sometimes with the second quarterback in there you maybe don’t call certain things or put certain things on his plate. But, with Evan there you feel a little more calm. You feel a little more like you can do some things you wouldn’t do with the second guy in there.”
Elmira marched down the field on the opening drive, moving 65 yards on nine plays, with Kayon Flint capping off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run. Garvin hit Chris Woodard on the two-point try and at 7:56 of the opening quarter it was 8-0.
On the second play of Binghamton’s first drive the Express forced a turnover as Chris Woodard forced a fumble and Arius Bradbury recovered it.
It took one play for Elmira to add to their lead as Garvin hit Terrell Swan on a 15-yard touchdown at 6:44 and Garvin hit Johnnie Garcia on the two-point try to make it 16-0.
Elmira’s defense forced a three-and-out and one play, one 42-yard touchdown from Garvin to Garcia at 4:49 put Elmira up 24-0 after Amir Williams ran in the two-point try.
Binghamton quarterback KJ Summers used his legs to make things happen for Binghamton on the next drive as he avoided a sack and raced 26 yards. Then Summers hit Musiah Young on a nine-yard pass.
However, a sack by Woodard halted the Patriots drive and forced a punt.
Elmira then went six plays and 66 yards, with Garvin capping the drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Swan at 11:53 of the second quarter. Flint ran in the two-point try and it was 32-0.
Another three-and-out by Binghamton gave the ball back to Elmira and after a 27-yard run by Amir Williams to start the drive, Garvin hit Garcia on a pass down to the four. Garvin then ran in from two yards out at 8:41 and he hit Jack VanDine with the two-point try to make it 40-0.
An interception by Julian Colon gave Elmira the lead back and on the fourth play of the drive Garvin hit VanDine on a. 32-yard touchdown at 2:05. Maize Miller made the kick to make it 47-0 at the half.
The Express scored touchdowns on every drive they ran in the first half.
“We thought coming in that they were going to come in some certain defenses and we tried taking advantage of it,” McCauley said of an Elmira offense that aired the ball out to the tune of four first-half touchdowns through the air. “Evan looked good during the week and some of those skill guys do a pretty good job in the week of practice being in the right spot at the right time.”
For Garvin it’s fun getting a chance to air the ball out.
“It’s fun, I think it makes it a lot harder for the opposing team to prepare for us as well when we get the passing game going,” Garvin said. “And, it makes it especially hard for opposing teams to stop the run.”
With Garcia playing a wide receiver role more now it gives Garvin a huge weapon on the outside.
“It makes it a lot easier when you know you have a guy who can high point the ball and go get it and with him being out there to it gives us more options with him being a threat as a receiver and we can still get him in the game in the run game as well,” Garvin said.
Elmira got the ball to start the third and went 72 yards with Garvin capping the drive at 6:07 on a three-yard run. Miller made the extra point as Elmira led 54-0.
Summers used his legs all game to avoid the Express pass rush and he started the next drive by rolling out and taking off down the sidelines for an 80-yard touchdown at 3:15 of the third quarter. The kick failed and it was 54-6.
Elmira scored on one play on their next drive with Flint racing 48 yards at 11:52 and Miller made the kick to put Elmira up 61-6.
Binghamton then scored as Summers had a 28-yard run, then hit Logan Lynch on a 32-yard touchdown at 6:15 of the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
“I thought we did some good things,” McCauley said. “It’s hard when there is a situation like that, when you are up there, I didn’t like the two scores. Not that they scored, but it’s how they scored. We had a certain defense out there and if you count the guys I think we had 12 to their 11 and they scored on our 12. I just think sometimes when it gets like that there is a little complacency, no edge. And on the second one we had a guy tackled in the backfield and couldn’t bring him down.
“Those are things that stick out to me. I think we did some good things, but if you are going to play for a championship, we tell the kids all the time our job is to put you in places and prepare and your job is to get it done. Your job is to execute. For the most part I think we did that, but those two plays stick out to me.”
Garvin threw for 162 yards and four scores and ran for 67 yards and two scores in the game.
Flint ran for 95 yards and Breyan Brooks ran for 42, while Williams ran for 28.
Garcia had three grabs for 87 yards, Swan had two grabs for 38 yards, while VanDine had a 32 yard catch.
Summers ran for 159 yards on 12 carries for Binghamton and threw for 46 yards and a score.
Now it’s on to a sectional final against Corning on Friday night as both the Express and Hawks are getting healthier for the game.
“It’s football, you deal with some injuries. Just trying to get our guys right, trying to get our guys healthy, obviously this is going to be the biggest game of our season Friday night,” McCauley said.
“Corning is as advertised. You know what they are gong to do. I think their skill guys are very skilled. I think their fullback and wings can score any play, inside and outside. Quarterback can throw it a little bit, when yo u pin your ears back and put the guys in the box to stoop the run the quarterback is able to throw it behind you. I really really think it’s going to come down to can you tackle four quarters, can you limit those big plays. We have a great week of practice and moving forward we are able to put ourselves in a position to make that happen.”
A year ago Elmira watched Corning celebrate a sectional title win over the Express and that’s stuck with the Elmira players.
“I’m juiced, I’m exited, I”m ready,” Garvin said. “It’s a game I’ve been papering for since the last time I played there. On the field when we were watching them get the medals in their hands. We are going to try and overcome that one and have it in our favor this time.”
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