VERONA — Homer Trojans head coach Gary Podsiedlik preached patience to his offense after falling behind 21-14 to the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Red Devils at halftime Friday evening.
The Trojans responded by scoring 16 unanswered points to improve to 2-0 with a 30-21 win at Sheveron Stadium.
Logan Peck rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown and amassed 167 return yards, including an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown towards the end of the first quarter.
“Logan put a lot on himself,” Podsiedlik said. “We expect a lot of him because he’s one of our kids with the most talent, and we need him to deliver, and he’s a senior, and he delivered.”
The Trojans took up nearly half of the third quarter for the eventual game-winning touchdown drive, going 61 yards in 12 plays and 5:56 and converting one-third down and one-fourth down along the way. The drive culminated in a Sam Sorenson touchdown rush as part of his night that included 32 rushing yards and a sack on defense.
Peck put the game out of reach on another five-plus minute drive that left just over a minute left on the clock. Though a false start penalty on third and goal from the V-V-S 1-yard-line threatened to unravel the drive, Peck gained the penalty yardage back on third down and plunged into the end zone from a yard out on fourth and goal to send the V-V-S fans to their cars.
The Trojans defense also stepped up in the second half, allowing no points, forcing two three-and-outs and netting one interception by Damani Durham and forcing a turnover on downs on the Red Devils’ final offensive gasp.
The Red Devils threatened to score quickly on the first drive of the game, but Durham intercepted a deep ball down the left sideline which led to an eventual 6-yard touchdown pass from Jake Calabro to Will Dady.
The Red Devils — or, more accurately, Red Devils running back James Wheeler responded immediately. Wheeler amassed more than 150 rushing yards in the first half alone, starting with back-to-back carries of 49 and 11 yards that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown on the second V-V-S drive.
Peck wasted no time giving the Trojans the lead back with his return touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, and after one quarter, it was 14-7 Trojans.
The momentum swung back to the Red Devils in the second quarter. After the Trojans muffed a punt near midfield, a pass interference call set up Wheeler for a 36-yard touchdown rush that tied the game at 14.
The Red Devils took the lead again on their last drive of the first half as quarterback Ben Wittman found Jackson Horodnick for a 44-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-14.
But the Red Devils played the entire second half without Wheeler, who was suffering from cramps. Podsiedlik praised the V-V-S staff for making offensive adjustments to stay competitive in the second half.
“The job did not get easier in the second half,” Podsiedlik said. “This offense is brutally tough … (Wheeler) killed us on the cutback … We were hurting them inside a little, so they ended up jumping to the outside and using a formation to toss the ball outside.”
The Trojans host ITC at 7 p.m. Friday.
Dryden at Owego Appalachin, 1 p.m.
McGraw at Norwich, 2 p.m.
Cincinnatus at Norwich, 4 p.m.
Moravia at Groton, 9 a.m.
Groton 26, Lansing 0
The Indians extended a 6-0 halftime lead with 20 in the second half to upset fourth-ranked Lansing.
Jeter Neff had a 14-yard rushing touchdown and a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Austin Hunt hooked up with Ben DeMatteo for a 40-yard touchdown pass, and Darian Mitchell plunged in for a 2-yard score to complete the Groton attack.
The Indians defense held the Bobcats to 123 rushing yards and 14 passing yards, while Groton netted 292 rushing yards and 40 passing yards.
New Hartford 48, Cortland 6 New Hartford’s Alex Collver had touchdown rushes of 18, 62, 58 and two yards as the visiting Purple Tigers gave up all 48 points in the first half.
Cincinnatus 10, DeRuyter 1
Kyla Sustad had four goals and three assists, Ava Larrabee had two goals and an assist, Cassia Schuyler had two goals and Jarisa Temple and Peyton Stith each had a goal as the Lions cruised to another victory.
Keely Worlock had the lone Rockets tally.
Dryden 1, Trumansburg 0 (2OT)
Dryden (5-1) outshot Trumansburg 16-6, but Trumansburg goalie Anna Parker kept the Lions out of the net until the second overtime when Nicole Morrow found McKenna Crocker for the game-winner.
Chloe Rocker made three saves in the Dryden net for the clean sheet.
Marathon 8, Moravia 0
The Olympians improved to 4-1 with seven first-half goals.
Delta Barber recorded a hat trick, then took over for starting goalie Kendre Euson and made two saves. Addison Oram, Paige Hurlburt, Brooke Tillotson, Anna Hoyt and Breya VanDee each scored one for the Olympians.
Cortland 3, Auburn 2 The Purple Tigers came back from a 2-1 deficit to win their first match of the season by scores of 25-21, 17-25, 1525, 25-20 and 25-20.
Kristin Rowland scored 20 digs, Molly Steve had 10 assists and four digs, Richelle Montalvo had four aces and nine digs and Aliza McCormick had seven kills, three aces and two digs.
Marathon 4, Cortland 0
The Olympians shut out the Purple Tigers in a makeup of Wednesday’s rained-out game.
Catherine Newkirk, Abby Edsall, Joslyn Homer and Ellery Ensign each scored one goal for the Olympians (2-0), and Anastasia Cupps had two assists.