Contributed column from GYFL. Here are highlights from the games on October 23, 2022.
Generals 24 Bulldogs 7
The Generals Bantam team had a first round playoff win Sunday over the North Mianus Bulldogs 24-7. The offense was led by Liam Corsano and Owen Hadley at quarterback, with core running backs Kyle Fusezi and Elliot Marks both having great games. Fuzesi had an 80 yard day running the ball with great blocking up front by Grayson Updike, Luka Kostovic, Holden Lynes, Cole Keith and Lawson Caffray. In the second quarter Corsano hit Leo Sethi for a 22 yard pass for a touchdown.
The Generals Defense put up a good fight both on the line and downfield by solid play making from the defensive line and backfield. Holding the Bulldogs offense to only 7 points.
The Bantam Bulldogs came into the playoffs as the low seed but with high hopes of pulling off an upset for the ages. Unfortunately, the Generals were not going to roll over easily. The Bulldogs offense was stymied early by the swarming D of the Generals which once again put the pressure on the Bulldogs defense to keep them in the game. Facing the potent air and ground attack of the Generals, the linebackers and defensive backfield had their work cut out for them. LB’s Mason Lawrence, Ashton Swire and Brody Kitselman battled to keep the running game in check. DB’s Ryan Elrod, Emerson Matsko and Ford Gearhart found themselves making second level tackles and defending against the pass. On the line of scrimmage, Adrian Nassa, Ryan Stefffens, Blake Harriss and Levin Steinbeck made life difficult at the point of attack. Despite multiple tackles for losses and passes defended, the Bulldogs were ultimately snake bitten by a few big plays, allowing the Generals to get out to a big early lead.
After finding very little room early on, the Bulldog O gained momentum as the game went on and found success both running and passing the ball. The O-line was key in getting things going, giving the offense the time they needed to show off their creativity. Centers Gardner WIlliams and Adam Beilenson led the charge with Andrew Baxendale, Niels Oellrich, and Dylan Coffey pushing hard against an aggressive D line on each and every play. Outside, WR’s Adrian Dedvukaj and Spencer Summerton did their part to open up the outside lanes. It paid off as QB’s James Stahl and Griffin Trager were able to complete multiple passes, including a strike from Stahl to WR Jack Zapata for an amazing acrobatic catch. RB’s Dylan Marra and Crosby Cuneo worked hard resulting in some of the longest runs of the season. And finally, the Bulldog O put together a scoring drive to cap off the season. Trager set things up with power runs up the middle while Cuneo really sparked things with multiple long runs to the outside. Ultimately Stahl punched it into the endzone and Marra capped things off with a successful extra point.
A great way to end the season for a group that never stopped working.
Generals Blue 14 BANC Raiders 0
The Junior Generals Blue team won their opening round playoff game against a strong BANC Raiders team 14-0. Generals Blue jumped out to an early lead with a beautiful 75-yard touchdown pass from John Henry Squires to Aiden Kiger on the game’s first play. Will Tortorella scored the extra point with a tough run up the middle. Later in the first half Myles McClary scored on a 40-yard run featuring a bunch of broken tackles, and Tortorella followed with another extra point.
The offense ran and passed the ball well throughout the game. Max Pacifico had tough yards from the QB position, and Jackson Bogardus, Ben Korin, Nash Goodman, and Julian Reisman all ran the ball well. The defense stepped up for another shutout, paced on the day by Tyler Gildersleeve, Ryan Kelly, Andrew Steinberg, Luke Johnson, Ward Evans, Tommy Day, Owen Marks, Nicholas DeLuca, Patrick Cheney and James Mulhearne.
Crushers 12 Mavericks Black 0
Grinding out tight wins has been the Junior Crushers signature this year, and Sunday was no different. The formidable Mavericks defensive line kept the Crushers offense quiet until Max Parker found Mike Dussinger for a 21 yard strike, to give the offense some momentum. Later in the quarter, Parker found William Sachs for a 22 yard reception, but was pulled down at the one inch line. On the next play Parker rammed home the QB keeper to take a 6-0 lead. Jack Babyak was an iron man while facing a one on one matchup against a Mavericks defensive end and holding him to no tackles.
But just like the rest of the season the defense was the anchor. Right out of the gate, Evan Kane and Joseph Breheney were wreaking havoc in the Mavericks backfield, pairing up for multiple tackles for a loss with Kane notching two sacks. The defensive backs led by Safety Jack Anton, kept the Mavs passing game at bay. Cole Custar and Sachs notched one interception each. But the X-Factor on defense was Ryan Mora. Mora made several key stops on big hits forcing fourth downs. But with 2:06 left in the game, Phillip Simms broke through the Mavericks Offensive Line right into the Quarterbacks face forcing a fluttering pass that Mora grabbed and took 28 yards for a touchdown to ice the game with a 12-0 victory.
Bulldogs 13 Mavericks Gold 6
The Bulldogs and Maverick Gold came out ready to play after both teams achieved successful seasons. The Bulldogs defense started very physical with big tackles for a loss by Cooper Kitselman and Grayson Neak and numerous team shutdowns led by Yukon Monterisi, Cam Dianis, Andre Vigilante, Jack Schneider, Jesse Martines, Joey Dussich, and Evan Beilenson.
On the next offensive possession the team got the Beilenson and Voehl Train running with big upfront blocking by Tommy Healy, Adriano Amodeo, Nick Alfaro, Jack Stanley, Sean Harte, Alex Woerz, and Colin Marra. The drive was capped off by a bullet pass from Kitselman to Neak for a touchdown. The second quarter would start with a big tackle for a loss by Martines and a strong defensive play by Cal Hennigan and Duke Perrucci with a fumble recovery by Kitselman. The defense would then come up big again with two big sacks for a loss by Stanley and Perrucci, one of which caused a fumble that was recovered by Dussich for a touchdown. Dussich would then catch a slant from Kitselman to put the Bulldogs up 13 – 0. After the touchdown, the defense would come out with big hits by Beilenson and Alfaro and a fumble recovery by Dianis. The Bulldogs would finish the half as the offense would continue to knock on the door and drive close to the goal line with efforts by William Iles, Lorenzo Perito, Luca Ilardi, Finn Hildebrand, Felipe D’Arce, Nico Palermo, and Peter Phillipps.
The second half was all about the Bulldogs defense led by Vigilante. The game ended in a defensive stalemate with key plays by Vigilante, Voehl, Dussich, Stanley, and Martines. The game ended with a hard fought 13 – 6 victory for the Bulldogs.
In what was a very evenly matched game, Mavericks Gold put up a solid performance on both
sides of the ball but ultimately fell to a tough, gritty Bulldogs team. Offensively the Mavericks were led by Griffin Hart who had a 45 yard TD run for his 6th touchdown run of the season closing the gap to 13-6 Bulldogs but were unable to convert the extra point. Second year QB Tripp Reynolds had three nicely executed passes to second year WR/RB Brody Rabinowitz but in the end Mavericks Gold could not find the endzone for a second time for a chance to even the score.
Defensively Mavericks Gold were lead by second year players Griffin Hart, Brody Rabinowitz, Oliver Errico, Logan Young and Charlie Wheeler. Despite finishing with a 2-3 record, Mavericks Gold was a tough out all season long playing as a true team with contributions from the entire roster each game.
Raiders 19 Bulldogs 0
The BANC Raider Seniors secured their first playoff victory in more than five years. The Raiders dominated the line of scrimmage with the pounding running game of Dan Black and air assault of Cassidy Morales. Finn O’Connor , Anthony Cebanos, Donovan Cooke and Jacari Hughes provided the muscle for the ground game. Cassidy Morales opened the Raider scoring with a nifty run to the end zone. Cassidy also threw for 2 TD’s to Teo Della Pietra for a nice catch in the back of the end zone and catch and run to Henry Doba. Peyton Cabinallas had the longest reception of the year. Wyatt Melnikoff led the receiving core in yards.
The defense led by Jacari Hughes (key interception and run back) and Finn O’ Connor made a number of game defining tackles. The Raider victory was closed out by Donavan Cooke who had an impressive hit/sack to close out the game.