CORTLAND — The Cortland football team hoped to secure their first win of the season on senior night, but the Marcellus Mustangs played spoiler, shutting out the Purple Tigers with a 35-0 victory Friday evening at Moisechik Field.
Seniors Jack Waldbauer, Brycen Palmer, Kris van der Veur and F.J. Ott were all honored prior to the game for their time with Purple Tigers program. The group has faced many challenges, according to head coach Pete Reif.
“I love my seniors, I just wish I had more than four,” Reif said. “One of our captains has been hurt all year, one of our seniors, a real good football player and I feel bad for him (Ott). It is really hard because this is the group that came up the year that we had to cancel our JV team, so, they got forced to play varsity as ninth-graders, which is a real learning experience for most of them.”
A highlight for the Purple Tigers despite the loss, was in the second quarter, when Palmer set a Cortland record for most career tackles.
In the first half, the Purple Tigers put the pressure on as they found themselves in the red zone on numerous occasions. The opportunities were there, but they could not find the end zone.
“I liked the first quarter, we were moving the ball and we had plenty of opportunities,” Reif said. “We really did not have a whole lot of trouble moving the ball and getting yardage in the first quarter there. We just kept on making a mistake. We had three false start penalties in the first half and one holding penalty that killed those drives. We had our chances; we dropped the ball in the end zone. We could have had a touchdown. It was there, we just have to make the play.”
The Mustangs would open the scoring in the second quarter as quarterback Patrick Louer found Ryder Donahue for a big gain to put the Mustangs in the red zone. Just a few plays later, Louer connected with Donahue again for the touchdown to put them up a score.
After a punt from the Purple Tigers the following possession, Marcellus found the end zone again on a rushing touchdown from Jonas Kaczor.
Early in the second half, Louer and Donahue connected for a pass that resulted in Donahue breaking free from the defense to score and put the Mustangs up three scores.
On Cortland’s next possession, quarterback Ryan Kline was intercepted on a diving catch from Doryn LeClair to give the Mustangs wonderful field position. Marcellus capitalized on that error.
Louer found Donahue in the air for their third touchdown connection of the game, the extra point was good and Marcellus broke the game open with a 28-0 lead.
The Mustangs would add one more touchdown on a pass from Louer to John Walsh to go up 35-0.
The Purple Tigers fought all game, but with a thin roster, players can only do so much. The fight is there, something Reif is not blind to.
“They’re working, that’s all you can ask is to show up and work as hard as you can all the time,” Reif said. “Good things will eventually happen, you just have to believe that showing up and working hard every day is worth it.”
Next up for Cortland is a road game against their rival, the Homer Trojans, at 7 p.m. Friday at Butts Field. The Purple Tigers are winless and the Trojans are undefeated, but the Purple Tigers are prepared to leave everything out there against their cross-town rivals.
“Homer is very good and everyone knows that they are good,” Reif said. “They are the team to beat not only in our league but in the section for the B schools. We’ll give Homer everything that we got. That’s all we can do is try as hard as we can.”
Marathon 6, Moravia 0
Marathon won their 16th division title in the last 17 seasons and Coach Chip Stewart won the 450th game of his 34 year career as the Olympians defeated Moravia on the road.
Dryden 5, Whitney Point 0
The Lions outshot the Eagles 21- 3. Corey Matesanz scored three goals and had two assists. Nolan Weik had two goals and one assist. With his assist tonight, Weik achieved the single season assist record at 21, beating Casey Phillips, who set it last year.
Cicero-North Syracuse 3, Homer 0
The Northstars remained unbeaten with their win over the Trojans. The Northstars were only up 1-0 heading into the second half, but two more goals after halftime helped ensure the victory. Catherine Apker did register 12 saves for the Trojans in the loss.
Moravia 4, Marathon 2
The Olympians trailed the Blue Devils 3-0 heading into the third period. Catherine Newkirk and Jazlynn Howe each scored in the third period to shrink the lead to one, but the Blue Devils Allison Kehoe scored in the fourth to help secure the Blue Devils win.