Nicholson's three TDs sink
By Kevin Stevens
Press & Sun-Bulletin
ENDICOTT -- As the rest
of Section 4's Class B football lot
transitions into winter sports season,
Chenango Forks once again shifts into
state playoff mode.
The Blue Devils extended
to six their string of sectional
championships with Friday night's 29-12
victory over Windsor at Union-Endicott's
Ty Cobb Stadium, their eighth
consecutive victory since a Week 2
setback against Corning East.
Forks senior Dylan Warner
accounted for the lone first-half points
on a 20-yard field goal, and contributed
what may have been the most significant
play of the contest on the defensive
side to set up his team's first
In the end, Forks rushers
had outdone their Windsor counterparts
by nearly a 4-to-1 ratio in the Blue
Devils' second defeat of Windsor in a
three-weekend stretch -- each time
limiting the Black Knights to a dozen
Ahead for Forks (9-1) --
leader by 22-0 midway through the final
quarter -- is a state quarterfinal game
against Cazenovia or Westhill of Section
3, that at 6 p.m. next Saturday at
Fullback Joe Nicholson
rushed for three touchdowns and Nick
Stephens another for Forks, which
surrendered 244 passing yards and two
TDs to Windsor's Adam Good. His night
featured a pair of 77-yard scoring
strikes to Cody Whitman in the final
5:16 of play.
"Everyone thought that
2005 was the last Chenango Forks team,
that was the end of it," said Nicholson,
a 197-pound senior. "But we just used
that, came out and played Forks
football, came out and got it done. I
thought we'd be standing here because
we're Forks football, we know what we've
got to get done and we just came out and
"We knew we were a great
team coming in, and we got better and
better every week," said Forks
quarterback Bryan Lance, whose continued
excellence orchestrating the offense led
to 101 rushing yards to top all ball
carriers. "It just feels so good. Every
year, they're saying somebody else is
going to beat us. This year, it was
supposed to be Windsor taking it to
"We're just glad we're
not handing in our pads this week."
Forks' first-half offense
was, in large part, The Bryan Lance
Beginning with a 26-yard
gain on the second play from scrimmage,
he was the individual Windsor defenders
couldn't seem to contain. In fact, five
of Lance's 11 first-half rushes went for
double-digit yardage, and he had 101
yards in the books by halftime.
However, Forks' lead at
intermission was a scant 3-0. Warner's
20-yard field goal was the relative
consolation prize when Windsor's defense
denied a Forks squad that had
first-and-goal from the 5-yard line. The
three-pointer came midway through the
second quarter, on the 17th play of a
drive that began at Forks' 4-yard line
following a superb 44-yard punt by Steve
A short while later, the
Black Knights (8-2) rode Good's passing
for a seven-play, 57-yard drive that
ended when Lance felled receiver Tim
Costello at Forks' 11-yard line as time
expired in the first half.
The teams traded
third-quarter punts before Warner turned
in the defensive play of the night.
Windsor started its
second possession of the third quarter
with 6:22 to play at its 37-yard line.
On first down, Good passed to his right
and Warner intercepted at about Forks'
42-yard line. He raced back down the
field with authority to set up the Blue
Devils at Windsor's 18.
It took Forks eight plays
to cash in, the points coming on a
2-yard blast -- shoulders-low,
legs-a-churning -- by Nicholson. The
score came four plays and a Forks
penalty after Lance completed a 14-yard
pass to Garret Cade on fourth-and-11
from the 19.
what a play," Blue Devils coach Kelsey
Green said. "I don't think there's any
question, that's the key play of the
football game. Getting that ball and
taking it down there, that was huge. And
then getting it in, because they're
The Blue Devils then
forced a three-and-out Windsor series,
and after a punt, went 49 yards in eight
rushing plays. Nicholson dashed in from
the 8-yard line to make it 16-0 with
9:36 to play in the game, perhaps a
defender's glove or two impeding his
progress along the way.
Windsor muffed the
ensuing kickoff, Forks recovered, and
ran five plays before Nicholson bulled
in from the 1-yard line for a 22-0
advantage with 6:19 remaining.
What remained were the
two Good-to-Whitman 77-yard scoring
passes, with a 3-yard TD rush by Forks'
Nick Stephens sandwiched between. Good,
despite playing with an ankle sprain,
closed 10-for-26 for 244 yards.
"Defensively, we played
wonderfully," Green said. "That kid can
throw it. It did hurt that he was
hobbled, there's no question, because it
takes his mobility out, the pressure he
puts on our corner. But, boy, they ran
hard, they blocked hard, he threw well
-- they've got nothing to be ashamed of.
They've got a good football team."
Chenango Forks now braces
for an 11th weekend of football for the
sixth consecutive autumn.
"Six times means we own
Section 4 Class B," said Nicholson, who
rushed for 84 yards. "Forks is Section 4
Class B, that's what six times means to