2004 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 11 vs Westhill

CF defeats Westhill 48-7!
Advances to State Semi-Finals!

Articles courtesy of
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, the Syracuse Post-Standard and the Utica Observer-Dispatch

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Forks dominates trenches vs. Westhill

By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Diogenes Agcaoili Jr photo
place mouse over photo for caption

-- From the first play from scrimmage Saturday morning in the Carrier Dome, it was Chenango Forks football at its finest.

There would be no tense moments, no uncertainty. Rather, it was a matter of Blue Devil dominance on the way to a 48-7 rout of Syracuse Westhill that advanced Forks to the semifinal round of Class B state playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.

By halftime, it was a 27-0 blowout in the making -- and the previous week's slip past Norwich for Section 4 supremacy title seemed a distant memory.

Tim Batty rushed for two touchdowns and intercepted two second-quarter passes, Jason Chier scored three touchdowns and had 70 of Chenango Forks' 368 yards rushing in Saturday's 48-7 Class B quarterfinal playoff victory over Westhill.and Jason Chier ran in three TDs to go with a 56-yard reception to set up another on a day the Blue Devils exceeded their 10-game scoring average by four points and extended their win streak to 24 games.

Meanwhile, the defense was at its relentless best, having its way with a team coming off a 36-point sectional final and a running back who'd rushed for 245 yards in that one-point Westhill squeak.

The next step in 11-0 Chenango Forks' state title defense comes at 5 p.m. Friday back at the Dome, where the semifinal foe will be Hornell (11-0), a 12-7 winner over Jamestown Southwestern Saturday.

"This is the team that, hopefully, we'll bring to every game," said Batty, senior quarterback and secondary man who played superb football throughout.

"We showed what we had, came out and put it to them all game -- which is what we had to do," said Chier, another two-way Forks standout.

Kevin Purce made a statement for Forks just a shade after 9:30 a.m. kickoff, picking off a lofted pass by Warriors quarterback Sean Eaton near midfield and returning to the 26-yard line. A four-play drive resulted in a 1-yard keeper for a score by Batty followed by his first of six successful PAT kicks.

Westhill failed to penetrate into Forks territory in the first quarter, and in fact, didn't cross midfield until the final minute of the first half.

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils turned up the heat.

A 68-yard march that started with 2:38 to play in the first quarter ended with Chier rushing in from 4 yards on the opening play of the second. Batty's first interception halted Westhill's ensuing possession on the second play, and the Devils went 50 yards on eight plays -- with Batty's 16-yard rush to the 1-yard line putting Chier in position for the TD and a 20-0 advantage with 7:33 remaining in the first half.

Forks' final touchdown of the half required a drive of 72 yards, 56 of them gobbled up when Batty -- retreating from pressure and throwing off his back foot -- hit Chier on the run for a play that went to Westhill's 3-yard line.

Three plays later, Batty kept over the heart of the line for a score and tacked on the PAT with 1:36 remaining.

The Devils proceeded to score on their first two third-period possessions, and once again -- with its second offensive unit -- after recovering a fumble by Westhill on a punt three plays into the final quarter.

Westhill (7-4), which fell by 12-7 to the Blue Devils in last year's quarterfinal round, snapped the football on Forks' half of the field six times after halftime -- all in the last quarter and against the Blue Devils' second-teamers.

"(Forks') defensive line beat us on the line of scrimmage, backed up by their linebackers coming at us. We couldn't contain them," Westhill coach Pat Burns said. "Our offensive line was backing up the whole time.

"Chenango Forks made no mistakes out there today. That's a very good football team."

On the other side of the ball, it was much the same. Said Forks senior Alex Williams, a two-way line starter:"Our prep team did a great job getting us ready during the week. They did everything Westhill's defense did so we were ready for it."

Fourteen ballcarriers had a hand in the Blue Devils' 368-yard rushing total, with Batty's 81 yards and Chier's 70 leading the way. Too, tough guys Tyler Spencer and Jim Nicholson teamed for another 89 yards, the majority inside, where the bruises mount but the defense takes a licking.

The 56-yarder to Chier was Batty's lone completion in three attempts.

"You know me, if we don't throw a ball it's a great game," said Forks coach Kelsey Green, who had to test the memory banks to recall a more thoroughly impressive effort by Forks' offense, defense and special teams.

"Wow, I don't know," Green said, asked to recall a similarly sound outing. "Maybe the sectional final game against Norwich a year ago at Binghamton, we played very well that first half. On the state level, that Bath game a couple years ago. And our first game, against Cazenovia.

"But like this? Maybe never."

Thirty-eight Chenango Forks players dressed for the quarterfinal and 38 played.

Devilish deeds doom Westhill

By M.F. Piraino
Staff writer - Syracuse Post-Standard

Westhill's postseason luck ran out Saturday as undefeated Chenango Forks of Section 4 powered past the Warriors 48-7 in the Class B state football regionals at the Carrier Dome. The 15th-ranked Warriors (7-4), who upset three straight opponents in the Section 3 playoffs to get to states, were no match for the defending state champions, who relied on their efficient rushing attack to build a 27-0 halftime lead. This is the second straight year the Warriors lost the Blue Devils, but Westhill coach Pat Burns said Saturday's outcome was a lot different than last year's 12-7 loss.

"They just lined it up and went nose-to-nose, toe-to-toe on us," Burns said. "Like I said earlier in the week, their bigger, faster, stronger. That's a very good football team. Now you see why they are 24-0 in two years."

The Blue Devils (11-0), going for their fourth consecutive trip to the state final, played like the top-ranked team in the state behind their multi-faceted ground game. Chenango Forks has outscored opponents 488-56 this fall.

In the first half, senior halfback Jason Chier led the Blue Devils lightning-quick backfield with 64 first-half yards on seven carries and two short-yardage touchdowns. Chier, who finished with three TDs, was among six players who carried the ball for Chenango Forks in the first half as the Blue Devils piled up 176 yards on 29 carries.

"We got a lot of talent at the running back position," Chenango Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "We rotate our halfbacks, we rotate our fullbacks. They all have one thing in common, they have good foot speed."

Chenango Forks punted only twice in the game and scored on four of its first five possession. All of the Blue Devils' touchdowns were on the ground. Quarterback Tim Batty scored two first-half TDs on runs of 7 and 1 yards.

Green said the game was won at the line of scrimmage.

"They brought a lot of people at us," Green said. "They brought a lot of pressure, eight-man fronts, stunts. Nobody plays mistake-free but our kids played close to mistake-free. Our backs, when they get a crease, they do some damage."

The Blue Devils defense wasn't too shabby either as it dominated the Warriors with their speed and strength. Westhill's first six possessions resulted in three punts and three interceptions. The Warriors didn't cross midfield until 10 seconds before halftime but that series ended on an interception. Chenango Forks hasn't allowed a first half touchdown all season.

Westhill's prospects of pulling off another upset took a serious hit after the first play of the game. In an effort to catch Chenango Forks off-guard, the Warriors departed from their traditional ground game and opened with a pass at their own 21. QB Sean Eaton dropped back and lofted a high pass to Tony Stray. Stray reached up for it but was covered well by defensive back Kevin Purce, who came down with the jump ball for the interception.

"We knew they'd line up, with our running game, they'd line up right in the box early," Burns said. "So we thought we'd go long on them. The defensive back made a great play for the football. It kind of set the tone after that."

Westhill avoided the shutout with seven minutes left in the game as Micah Coger finished off an 8-play, 73-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. Coger, who came into the game averaging 122 rushing yards, was held to less than 70 yards on 12 carries. Eaton completed just one pass on seven attempts for minus-1 yard and had three interceptions. Batty had two of those picks.

Utica Observer-Dispatch
Staff reports

IN CLASS B, defending state champion Chenango Forks rolled on, the state-ranked No. 1 powerhouse from Section IV routing Section III champ Westhill 48-7. It was the 24th consecutive win for the Blue Devils (11-0).

Jason Chier ran for 70 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback Tim Batty rushed for 81 yards and two scores for Chenango Forks. The Blue Devils, who led 27-0 at halftime, have now outscored the opposition 312-0 in the first half.

Westhill (7-4), a 36-35 winner over Oneida on a last-minute two-point conversion in the Section III final last week, also lost to Chenango Forks 12-7 in last year's regionals. Senior tailback Micah Coger led Westhill with 13 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown, but Chenango Forks finished with a whopping 424-109 advantage in total yards.

1 2 3 4   Tot
Chenango Forks 07 20 14 07 - 48
Westhill 0 0 0 7 - 7
  • CF - Batty 7 run (Batty kick)
  • CF - Chier 4 run (Batty kick)
  • CF - Chier 1 run (kick failed)
  • CF - Batty 1 run (Batty kick)
  • CF - Farnham 2 run (Batty kick)
  • CF - Chier 2 run (Batty kick)
  • CF - Joe Nicholson 26 run (Batty kick)
  • W - Coger 4 run (Fischer kick)


Westhill CF
First Downs 10 21
Rushes-Yards 31-111 61-368
Passing Yards -2 56
Comp-Att-Int 1-7-3 1-3-0
Total Offense 38-109 64-424
Punts-Ave yards 4-39.4 2-31.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-0
Penalties-Yards 2-16.5 4-25


Westhill rushing:  

  • Coger 13-61, 1 TD
  • Salisbury 6-31
  • Lighton 2-18
  • Coholan 3-7
  • Eaton 7-(-6)

Chenango Forks rushing:  

  • Batty 9-81, 2 TDs
  • Chier 9-70, 3 TDs
  • Jim Nicholson 9-47
  • O'Branski 6-47
  • Joe Nicholson 5-45, 1 TD
  • Spencer 6-42
  • Hessney 2-9
  • Sabo 2-9
  • Falcon 1-9
  • Wells 1-5
  • Farnham 7-2, 1 TD
  • Rittenburg 1-2
  • Purce 2-0
  • Kwartler 1-0

Westhill passing

  • Eaton 1-for-7, minus-2 yards, 3 int.

Chenango Forks passing: 

  • Batty 1-for-3, 56 yards

Westhill receiving: 

  • Brusa 1-(-2)

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Chier 1-56

Preview Articles:

Forks, Westhill meet again in Class B football playoffs

By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Coming soon: Chenango Forks -- Syracuse Westhill, The Playoff Sequel.

A season ago, the programs came together and a mid-November football classic ensued, with the Blue Devils cashing in a last-minute touchdown for a five-point win that propelled them to the Class B state championship.

Once again, the quarterfinal round brings a Forks-Westhill matchup in the Carrier Dome, this one scheduled for a 9:30 kickoff Saturday morning and this time with Forks riding a 23-game win streak.

Each squad is coming off a tense sectional final -- Westhill getting past Oneida by 36-35 on a two-point conversion with 42 seconds remaining; Forks defeating Norwich by 15-6 in its lone truly competitive contest of the year.

Similar to last year, Forks defenders must concern themselves with an outstanding Westhill running back. Micah Coger, a 5-foot-7, 215-pound senior who doubles as nose tackle, last week carried 37 times for 245 yards to bring his season total to 1,223 yards.

"He's very strong, very powerful and very quick. You can appreciate how quick he really is when you see him play defense," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "He turns that 3- or 4-yard gain into a 6- or 7-yard gain, and he can take it all the way, too.

"But if you concentrate too much on him, their quarterback can hurt you, and their major receivers from last year seem to be back."

Last year against Westhill, it was a 196-yard rushing game from Joe Casey that Forks had to overcome en route to the 12-7 win over the Warriors.

The Blue Devils, unscored upon in the first half of any game this season, would very much like to avoid having to duplicate last year's late heroics in order to get by Westhill. In 2003, a 72-yard drive starting with 1:10 to play in the game was capped by a Tim Batty-to-Zach Vredenburgh pass play of 42 yards brought the decisive points with in the final half-minute.

"Their record is kind of deceiving, 7-3 but they've gotten a lot better," Vredenburgh said of the Warriors. "Our line will have to do a great job. They have some quickness up front as well as some big guys. We'll have to run the ball well because most everything we do comes off the run."

The 36-point total last week by Westhill, which trailed by 14 in the final quarter, is a total 13 shy of the points allowed by Forks this season.

Another upset for Westhill?

By Neil Kerr
Staff writer - Syracuse Post-Standard

Since enduring an early season three-game losing streak, Westhill has served as the underdog week after week.

Against all odds, Westhill (7-3) has won five straight games, including its come-from-behind win over Oneida last Sunday. That win earned the Warriors a second straight Section 3 Class B crown.

For a second straight fall, Westhill has earned the right to tackle No. 1 state-ranked Chenango Forks (10-0), the reigning state Class B champion.

Coach Kelsey Green's Blue Devils own the state's longest active winning streak at 23 games. Green's monsters are also 35-1 over the last four years, the lone loss a one-point defeat in the 2002 title game.

Last Friday, Westhill coach Pat Burns was among the spectators as Chenango Forks survived its first close game of the season to win its sectional final 15-6 over Norwich.

"They're bigger, faster and stronger than they were last year," Burns said of Chenango Forks.

For one thing, Chenango Forks returns most if its lineup, having graduated only 11 players from the state championship team. That corps starts with senior all-state quarterback Tim Batty, who has passed for 541 yards and nine touchdowns. Batty, also the team rushing leader with 722 yards and 10 more touchdowns, was named MVP of last fall's state Class B title game.

Batty's top receiver is all-state split end Zach Vredenburgh (15 catches, 255 yards, 8 TDs). Westhill fans will vividly remember the 6-2 Vredenburgh - he's the player who leaped high to make a 40-yard scoring reception of the game-winning pass from Batty with 25 seconds left to play as the Forks beat Westhill 12-7 in the Dome last year.

Defensively, the Blue Devils have allowed only 49 points all season and are unscored upon during the first half in all nine of their on-field wins. (One victory was by forfeit).

"I believe we have a chance," Burns said. "We darn near beat this team last year, and my kids just don't think they can lose. They remember how well we played against Chenango Forks last year, and they want another crack at 'em."

Offensively, Westhill will need another strong game from 215-pound tailback Micah Coger who has rushed for 1,223 yards this season.

Senior quarterback Sean Eaton has thrown for 494 yards this fall, including his best effort vs. Oneida last week (9-for-19, 105 yards). Tight end Nick Brusa is his favorite target.

Westhill's swarming defense has also been a big factor in helping the Warriors repeat as sectional champions. That unit is led by the work of 275-pound tackle Alex Lee, 215-pound tackle Brian Fischer, 195-pound linebacker Pat Cassidy, and deep back Tony Stray.

Tuesday Review Article:

Playing Norwich good preparation for Forks

From staff reports
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Chenango Forks' experience against Norwich in Section 4's Class B title game paid great dividends on Saturday, when the Blue Devils put on a fabulous offensive display -- to go with top-notch defensive and special teams play -- in a 48-7 state quarterfinal romp past Syracuse Westhill.

"Thank goodness for Norwich," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "They (Westhill) ran almost the same type of defense that we were going to see, the 5-3 and the stunting all over. If we don't play Norwich last week that way, what we did last week we might have seen here.

"But the kids had seen it and we tweaked a lot of things. We did a lot of things differently, though it might not have looked that way."

The adjustments led to 229 yards of first-half offense and a 27-0 halftime lead, which was hardly in jeopardy given the brand of defense being played by the Blue Devils. Westhill running back Micah Coger, who'd rushed for 1,223 yards in 10 games before Saturday, closed with 61 against Forks-- 27 coming after Forks built a 48-0 lead.

"We knew that he gets outside, we had to keep our corners up," said Alex Williams, a two-way Forks lineman. "And he likes to cut back, so we had to make sure there were no cut-backs."

Too, Blue Devil scouts noted a Westhill tendency, and prepared accordingly. On the first play from scrimmage, a pass play from Westhill's 21-yard line, Forks' Kevin Purce intercepted near midfield and returned to the 26.

"What we'd seen is that they like to test you early, so the throw was not unexpected," Green said.

Forks' offense didn't miss a beat despite the first-quarter loss of 227-

pound senior tackle Brad Watson to a knee injury. Sophomore Josh Cary (6-4, 268) moved to left guard, with senior Luke Parga (6-1, 218) taking over at left tackle.

"Chenango Forks ran down the hill," Westhill coach Pat Burns said. "They came down the hill at us and we were trying to run up the hill at them."


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