TOWN OF CHENANGO -- Chenango Forks
football coach Kelsey Green described his team's
performance against Maine-Endwell as 'workmanlike.'
It was a fitting word, as there was
nothing flashy about the Blue Devils on Saturday, just a
good, solid effort in a 21-0 victory over the Spartans
in the season-opener for both teams.
Reynolds both ran and passed for a touchdown for Forks,
who served notice that ending its six-year reign as
Section 4 Class B champion won't be easy.
"The first week, we're really happy with
the outcome of the offense and the defense," Green said.
"We didn't turn it over ... and we played intelligent
defense, which has been our trademark for years.
"We stayed with that and made the plays
when we had to."
For Reynolds, it was an impressive debut
as starting quarterback for the Blue Devils, as he
figured predominantly in all three scoring drives.
On Forks' opening drive, an 11-play,
81-yard drive that chewed up just over six minutes,
Reynolds hit Garret Cade for a 29-yard completion on a
third-and-9 play from the Forks 34-yard line. He later
added a 20-yard run before scoring on a 1-yard run to
put Forks up 6-0 with 2:47 remaining in the first
In the opening drive of the second half,
Reynolds' 22-yard run highlighted a nine-play, 65-yard
drive culminated by a 3-yard touchdown run by Nick
Stephens and two-point conversion pass from Reynolds to
Cade (photo right) that
made it 14-0 with 6:36 left in the third quarter.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, Reynolds
ended any comeback hopes M-E had when, on fourth-and-7
at the Spartans' 36-yard line, he lofted perfect pass
near the left sideline to Cade near the goal line that
Cade hauled in for a 36-yard touchdown that made it 21-0
with 8:35 left.
"There are always nerves involved, but I
knew we had a solid team," said Reynolds, who completed
2 of 3 passes and led the Blue Devils in rushing with 78
yards. "I was nervous, but I knew these guys were behind
me all the way."
Forks' defense, meanwhile, also did its
part, limiting M-E to 200 yards of offense.
And when M-E did move the ball, Forks
bent but didn't break, in particular late in the second
quarter when the Spartans appeared primed to tie or take
the lead just before halftime.
Starting on its 27 with 8:20 left in the
second quarter, M-E drove to the Forks' 7-yard line,
where it faced a fourth-and-4 play with two minutes
quarterback Joe Battaglini -- who had completed his
first four passes on the drive for 41 yards -- couldn't
make it 5-for-5, as his pass to John Connolly near the
front left side of the end zone was batted down by Cade.
"That was a key play for us," Green said.
"We're expecting big things from (Cade) on both sides of
the ball this season. He played very well."
M-E drove once more into Forks territory
in the second half, reaching the 34-yard line early in
the fourth quarter down 14-0, but Battaglini was tripped
up for a 5-yard loss on a fourth-and-1 play.
Minutes later, Reynolds tossed his
touchdown pass to Cade to ice it for the Blue Devils.
"We talked about it at halftime, how
(Forks) adjusts, and the process for them to win," M-E
coach Kevin Wagstaff said. "They come out in the second
half with the expectation that they're going to put you
on your back early, and they did.
"Defensively, we had two or three
breakdowns, but defensively I thought we played pretty
well. We'll make adjustments offensively and move on."