ADAMS — After overcoming a sluggish start, the Homer football team put up the result that was expected — a 61-6 shellacking of the South Jefferson Spartans Friday night at South Jefferson High.
David Morse carried the Trojans in the first half with 10 rushes for 144 yards and four touchdowns, plus a sack and an onside kick recovery. In the second half, Jeffrey Stauber rushed 13 times for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
In the interim, Jake Calabro completed seven of 11 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown; Will Dady had 62 receiving yards, a touchdown, a sack and a fumble recovery; Sam Sorenson rushed five times for 42 yards and a touchdown; and Hunter Riehlman had 50 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
The Trojans defense forced turnovers on the first two South Jefferson drives and finished with five on the night, but the offense turned the ball over on downs on their own first drive. Trojans head coach Gary Podsiedlik admitted his team’s psyche was a little off during warmups and in the opening minutes of the game.
“We were sloppy in every phase of the game,” Podsiedlik said. “I said to my coaches, ‘I’m worried about us.’ I see some athletes over there that are better than people think. Their offensive line averages 257 (pounds). They could have worn us down. The good news is, the mental adjustments and corrections our players listened to before we ever got to halftime turned it around.”
The Trojans got their wits about them on their second drive and only needed 1:21 to go 58 yards in three plays, with a 47yard pass from Calabro to Dady setting up Morse’s first touchdown rush, a 2-yarder.
The Trojans only led 8-0 after one quarter, but after their defense forced another South Jefferson turnover on downs and Morse scored from 10 yards out just 38 seconds into the second quarter to extend the lead to 140.
On the next South Jefferson drive, Morse recorded a stripsack that gave the Trojans 1st and goal on the Spartans’ 9-yard line. One play later, Morse was in the end zone again.
Morse continued to leave his mark on the game by recovering the ensuing onside kick, and, even though the Trojans turned the ball over on that drive, their defense got the ball back for a 40-yard touchdown rush by Morse and a two-yard score by Calabro.
“Morse was our team captain this week,” Podsiedlik said. “David earned that captaincy not only by stepping up last week and playing both sides of the ball in a critical starting role the whole game, but during practice David was constantly asking questions, sincere ones about ‘I keep messing this up, how can I make it better?’”
In the second half, even with the game well in hand, Stauber continued to step on the necks of the South Jefferson defense, churning up yardage and scoring touchdown rushes of 12 and 8 yards, keeping his teammates energized and focused on the game.
“He’s got some quickness,” Podsiedlik said. “There’s a reason little guys play with tenacity, because otherwise they’re on the bench. He really rose to the occasion today.”
The lone South Jefferson score came on a fumble recovery in the end zone with less than a minute left in the third quarter.
The Trojans were without Logan Peck for the second straight game as a precautionary measure.
“Logan’s sore, but totally stable,” Podsiedlik said. “He, the trainers, myself, we made a decision… I want him to be able to go 100% and not be nervous about it. That’s what it’s going to take. We need him for the whole season, but we didn’t need him tonight.”
The Trojans improved to 4-0 with the win and South Jefferson fell to 0-4. Homer is favored in each of their remaining three regular season games at Westhill at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8, against Cortland Oct. 15 and at Marcellus on Oct. 22 — but even though the Trojans know what’s expected of them, they can’t look past any of their opponents.
“You better respect everybody,” Podsiedlik said. “It doesn’t mean you’ve got to be afraid of them, but you have to respect everybody you play. We will be expected to win our next two games … because we’re playing so many seniors and juniors and they’re playing a bunch of underclassmen.”
BOYS SOCCER Cincinnatus 2, Marathon 1 All the scoring was done in the first half as Cincy’s Cason Stafford netted a brace to answer Kaiden Cornell’s early tally and give the Lions the win.
Stafford’s winner came on a header off a Scott Schuyler free kick into the box.
Marathon is off until next Thursday when it travels to Whitney Point.
Marathon 4, Trumansburg 2
The Olympians came back from a 2-0 second half deficit with a natural hat trick by Brooke Tillotson and a fourth goal by Delta Barber to pull off the win.
Amara Landon had both goals from Trumansburg.
“I felt like we possessed the ball really well,” Olympians coach Beth Duncan said. “I knew that if we kept the pressure on we would finally capitalize. After our loss at home on Wednesday, I was curious to see how we would respond. Our kids stepped up and played a solid game, especially defensively. We held Trumansburg to no corner kicks, and the ball remained in our offensive end majority of the time.”
Homer 2, Mexico 2
Gracie Patriarco’s brace allowed the Trojans to salvage the draw with Mexico.
Cortland 195, Auburn 229
Andrew Partigianoni (32) and Kooper Knabe (35) posted their best scores of the season in the Purple Tigers’ penultimate match of the regular season.
The Trojans will visit Auburn Monday and play Sectionals Wednesday at Green Lakes.
Newark Valley at Dryden, 7:30 p.m.
Tully at Dryden, 4 p.m.
Homer at Cazenovia, 4:30 p.m.
Cincinnatus at Tully, 9 a.m.