2005 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 6 vs Windsor

CF wins classic battle at Windsor 21-14!


Articles courtesy of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Place mouse over photos to read caption & photo credit

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Nicholson sparks Forks' comeback

TDs on kickoff return, run lift Blue Devils past Windsor

By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin 

WINDSOR -- Call it a forgettable first half of football for Jim Nicholson, with 14 rushing yards and a frustrating drop of a might-have-been touchdown reception in the final minute of play.
Thereafter, Nicholson atoned -- in game-changing fashion.
He put Chenango Forks' first and last touchdowns on the board, made a huge reception to set up the other, and the Blue Devils came from behind for a rain-soaked 21-14 victory Saturday at Windsor.
Nicholson sprinted 95 yards for a score on the second half's opening kickoff to put a spark under a squad in need of just that. Then, with 3:59 remaining in the contest, he carried 9 yards for a tie-breaking touchdown to help Forks (6-0) extend the state's longest active win streak to a 32nd game.
The outcome put a damper on an exceptional team-wide effort by Windsor (4-2), which held a 7-0 halftime lead and pulled even at 14-14 early in the fourth quarter.
"We went into the week saying this was the best team we'd played so far -- and I'm not saying any different at the end of the week," Forks coach Kelsey Green said. "That's the best team we've played this year."
The momentum-changer for the Blue Devils was Nicholson's kick return, which he took up the middle of the field with ample path-paving from his mates. The first of Dylan Warner's 3-for-3 showing on PAT kicks tied the game 7-7.
"I called it in the locker room. I said, "Guys, I'm returning this. Do whatever you've got to do,' " said Nicholson, a 178-pound senior.
"And we want him to have the ball," Green added.
Forks' defense, hit up for a good bit of rushing damage in the first half, permitted Windsor a 35-yard total on its next two possessions, and the Blue Devils took the football following a punt at their 39-yard line.
Nicholson, who'd dropped a long pass from Rick Mirabito that appeared would be good for a 58-yard second-quarter TD, made up for his miscue on the next play. He ran under and caught another bull's-eye delivery from Mirabito for a 35-yard gain to Windsor's 26.
Six plays later, Mirabito -- after patiently surveying the picture while rolling right toward Forks' sideline -- fired a 15-yard scoring pass to Jarred Wells from perhaps an arm's length from the sideline. Warner's PAT made it 14-7 with 14 seconds to play in the third quarter.
But Windsor answered by moving 66 yards in six plays, with Bryant Parker running through a couple of tackle attempts to complete an impressive 37-yard TD rush. Blincoe's second sky-high PAT kick tied the game at 14-14 with 9:29 to play.
"That kick return got everything started. But then, our line play stepped up in the second half," Mirabito said. "They kind of took over. In the first half, we were getting knocked off the ball. Second half, we kind of put it to them."
The Black Knights' 89 first-half rushing yards included 59 on their openingWindsor's Cody Whitman, right, evades a tackle from Chenango Forks' Alex Sabo, left, and Rick Mirabito before running out of bounds in the first quarter of Saturday's game. Forks beat Windsor, 21-14. REBECCA TOWNS / Press & Sun-Bulletin possession, which closed with Cody Whitman carrying in from the 5-yard line 4:41 into the game. The Knights recovered a Forks fumble three plays later, but on first down, Mirabito made an exquisite interception of a pass from Adam Good at the Blue Devils' 2-yard line. Mirabito snatched the ball while leaning out of bounds, yet somehow kept both feet in the field of play.
Green said of Windsor's running game, "They're good up front, they executed their trap and their counters. They've got some size and they're well-coached. We'd been watching them all year and they're getting better and better and better with each week."
Windsor coach Dan Hodack said, "We have a nice balance there between our line and our running backs, and the two backs blocking for one another. We have run the ball pretty effectively all year and we expected to come in and give it a shot and mix in the pass."

Place mouse over photos to read caption & photo credit

1 2 3 4   Tot
Chenango Forks 00 00 14 07 - 21
Windsor 7 0 0 7 - 14
  • W - Cody Whitman 5 run (Travis Blincoe kick)
  • CF - Jim Nicholson 94 kickoff return (Dylan Warner kick)
  • CF - Jarred Wells 15 pass from Rick Mirabito (Warner kick)
  • W - Bryant Parker 37 run (Blincoe kick)
  • CF - Jim Nicholson 9 run (Warner kick)


First Downs 14 11
Rushes-Yards 36-161 40-152
Passing Yards 51 50
Comp-Att-Int 4-12-2 2-5-0
Total Offense 48-212 45-202
Punts-Ave yards 5-33 2-39.5
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-1
Penalties-Yards 3-25 8-60


Windsor rushing:  

  • Whitman 13-61, 1 TD
  • Parker 8-57, 1 TD
  • Garrett Axtell 10-48
  • Mike DePersis 1-3
  • Adam Good 4-(-8)

Chenango Forks rushing:  

  • Joe Nicholson 11-49
  • Jim Nicholson 9-35, 1 TD
  • Jarred Wells 7-30
  • Tyler Spencer 6-29
  • Mirabito 7-13
  • Warner 1-(-4)

Windsor passing

  • Good 4-for-12, 51 yards, 0 TD, 2 int.

Chenango Forks passing: 

  • Mirabito 2-for-5, 50 yards, 1 TD, 0 int.

Windsor receiving: 

  • Steve DeMarco 3-38
  • Derrick Tyler 1-13

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Jim Nicholson 1-35
  • Wells 1-15, 1 TD

JV Score: Chenango Forks 20-6

Preview Articles: 

Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Windsor, Forks an offensive showdown

Knights have lost last four to Devils

Chenango Forks and Windsor, part of a three-way logjam atop Division IV of the Section 4 Football Conference, will look to make it 3-0 in divisional play when they meet at 2:30 Saturday at Windsor
Chenango Forks enters the game having won:
  • A Broome County-record 31 consecutive games -- longest active streak in New York football.
  • 49 in succession against Section 4 competition.
  • 18 in a row away from home.
The Blue Devils have won their last four against Windsor, in the process limiting the Black Knights to a 15-point total.
The Black Knights are coming off a 44-0 rout of Unadilla Valley in which UV was limited to 63 yards of offense. Their lone setback came by 14-0 at Norwich in Week 2.
One Class B team has scored more than Windsor's 157-point total. That is Chenango Forks, with 175 to go with a 44-point 2005 defensive yield that is second in all of Section 4.
"They're very big and fast, and their quarterback (Rick Mirabito) seems to have broken half-a-dozen big plays in the few games we've seen them," Black Knights coach Dan Hodack said. "Even when teams stay close with them for a half, they seem to be able to take over with their size and speed and experience."
Windsor's resurgent running game has averaged 225.8 yards per game, with leader Garrett Axtell's 72 carries going for 458 yards and six touchdowns. Adam Good has passed for 511 yards.
"Our running game has improved this year" Hodack said. "That will definitely be tested this week. Saturday, we'll see how far we've come with that."

Post-game Article:    

Fifth Quarter:     Published on Tuesdays

From staff reports
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Forks pushed to the limit

Having grown somewhat accustomed to facing a deficit here or there, there is no sign of panic on Chenango Forks' part when the other side strikes first.

Such was the case in the Blue Devils' locker room at halftime Saturday, at which point Windsor held a 7-0 advantage.

Forks would proceed to a 21-14 victory, its 32nd straight and its 50th in a row against Section 4 opposition.

"We knew we had a challenge and we had to answer back. The second half is our half," said Jim Nicholson, who scored on a 95-yard kickoff return to open the second half and added a 9-yard, fourth-quarter rushing TD to break a 14-14 tie.

"It was very upbeat (at halftime), surprisingly," quarterback Rick Mirabito said. "Because, we'd faced that kind of adversity in the Johnson City game. Everyone was keeping their heads up."

Nothing has come as easily to the Blue Devils (6-0) as it did a season ago, when they allowed 13 points through the first three quarters all season -- a feat that may never be duplicated in Section 4 football.

Asked if a tight squeeze the likes of Saturday's can be good for his team, Devils coach Kelsey Green said:

"I think it's inevitable. I don't know if it's good or bad, I just see us having a bunch of these. If we continue to do anything, it's not going to be by just walking over anybody. We're not exactly that way, and I think the competition in Section 4 is really that good."

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