2008 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 4 vs Oneonta
Yellowjackets defeat Blue Devils 18-15
Ends two long CF win streaks

Articles courtesy of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin & Oneonta Daily Star

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Oneonta thwarts Forks' comeback

Blue Devils suffer just second regular-season loss since 2001 

By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

TOWN OF CHENANGO -- Brendan Pidgeon rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as Oneonta dealt Chenango Forks its second regular-season loss since the start of the 2001 season, 18-15.
Pidgeon's second TD came from 2 yards out with 1:51 to play in the third quarter and put the Yellowjackets on top by 18-7.
Forks answered with 8:01 remaining in the ballgame on D.J. Smith's 16-yard scoring rush and Shane Baron's two-point conversion run. But one first down apiece on the Blue Devils' final two possessions -- both starting in their own territory -- wasn't enough to pull this one out.
The outcome in this, the Division III opener for both, left Forks a 3-1 record to Oneonta's 2-2.
"You see Forks every year, pounding on everybody. And you think, wow, what if some year we could come out and shock Section 4 and get the win," said Pidgeon, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior. " ... I don't know what to say."
'Jackets coach Adam Hoover said, "It's huge, you can't even express how big of a win it is. Any time you beat Forks, it's a great win. ... If we keep improving, this can be the turning point not only for our season, but maybe for the whole program."
Forks held the lead for a mere 3:05 all day, beginning after quarterback Rickey Bronson utilized Kevin Hamilton's downfield block to complete a 27-yard touchdown rush on the opening play of the second quarter. Dan Grady's PAT kick made it 7-6.
That completed a 10-play, 69-yard march that was much-needed by a Forks squad averaging nine points per contest coming in.
The Devils' defense held after the score, forcing Oneonta three-and-out and taking over after a punt at the home 47-yard line. But three plays into the series, Oneonta's Matt Marcewicz intercepted a pass by Bronson near midfield and returned up the Devils' sideline for a touchdown and 12-7 lead with 8:46 left in the half.
Forks' Ryan Freije picked off an Oneonta pass and returned to the Yellowjackets' 33-yard line with 3:45 to play in the half. Five plays -- including a 12-yard completion from D.J. Smith to Hamilton -- advanced the ball to the 19-yard line.
However, on a third-and-9 play, Oneonta's Pat Jeffries sacked Smith for a 12-yard loss, and Smith was unable to connect with Mike Jeske on a fourth-and-21 throw down the sideline.
Oneonta's second third-quarter possession began -- following a 7-yard punt -- at Forks' 37-yard line. Pidgeon's 15-yard gain on first down was the first of his six carries on a seven-play drive, and the last went for a 2-yard TD over the right side that made for an 18-7 ballgame with 1:51 to play in the third quarter.
"We knew he was a stud," Forks coach David Hogan said of Pidgeon. "He played very well. Strong, fast, I'd say he's the total package. He's a very good player, both sides of the ball."
The Blue Devils began to show some offensive vigor on their opening possession of the fourth quarter. On second down from the hosts' 33-yard line, Tim Zdimal made the first of his two huge fourth-quarter receptions, rising to snatch a ball over a defender and complete a 27-yard gain to Oneonta's 40.
Smith proceeded to pick up 14 yards on two rushes, hit Jeske for a 10-yard gain, and then sprint in from 16 yards out after nicely selling a fake to his fullback. Baron plowed through the middle for the two-pointer and it was 18-15 with 8:01 remaining.
"After they scored, I brought the players over and said, 'We didn't play this hard, we didn't practice this hard all week to give in right now. Dig deep, take care of your responsibilities, play football and we can win this game,' " Hoover said.
With a re-energized cheering section lending support, Forks got the stop it needed.
Jordan Barnett and Nolan Haycook made the first-down tackle, Freije did the honors on second down, and Smith and Barnett felled Pidgeon after a 2-yard gain to force a punt that rolled dead at the Devils' 38-yard line with 6:01 to play.
The drive reached Oneonta's 44-yard line before ending with back-to-back incompletions.
Forks forced one final three-and-out and took possession, with aid of a facemask penalty on the punt return, at its 43-yard line with 91 seconds to play.
Zdimal made a 31-yard first-down reception of Smith's pass to advance to Oneonta's 26, but on second down Smith was sacked by Ian Kelley for a 7-yard loss. Smith erred by grounding the football on second-and-17, and two subsequent incomplete passes left Oneonta QB Dan Broe to twice drop to one knee.
"I never felt that we couldn't win the game until the last series," Hogan said. "Maybe it's because we've been through it so many times. But we couldn't get it done this time.
He added, "We knew they were a solid team and they are, they're a quality team. We made some mistakes, but you could argue that some of the times, they forced them."
Ahead for Chenango Forks -- which limited Oneonta to seven first downs, three after halftime -- is a Friday night trip to Norwich to take on the unbeaten Purple Tornado.

OHS stuns Forks
Oneonta daily Star - Staff Report
In its biggest victory in recent memory, Oneonta High knocked off seven-time defending Section Four Class B champion Chenango Forks, 18-15, Saturday in a Section Four Football Conference Division III game.
Senior running back Brendan Pidgeon rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns, and classmate Matt Marcewicz returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown for the Yellowjackets (2-2, 1-0), who snapped a two-game skid.
"It's a huge win not only for this year but for the program in general," said third-year coach Adam Hoover, whose defense held the Blue Devils to 100 rushing yards on 38 attempts. "When we play football, we can play with any team out there, but until you have a win like this, not everyone will believe that. Now when we say we can play with this team, they'll say, We know we can, coach.'"
The Yellowjackets have dealt Chenango Forks two of its last three losses against Section Four opponents.
On Sept. 30, 2000, the Jackets won a mistake-filled, 21-14 game against the Blue Devils _ Class B state champions in 2003 and 2004.
Until Saturday, Forks' other loss to a Section Four opponent in that span came Sept. 9, 2006 _ a 14-0 setback to Corning East.
The Blue Devils (3-1, 0-1) lost, 19-12, to Rye in last season's Class B state championship game.
Pidgeon, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder who earned a trip to the state meet in the 100 meters this past spring, opened the scoring with a 70-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
"Forks has a great defense and it was one of the few times all game when everyone on the offensive line got to who they needed to and finished blocks," said Hoover, who singled out blocks by Marcewicz and guard David Schulte for springing Pidgeon. "When Brendan gets out there, there aren't many who can catch him.
"We needed that," he continued. "To score and get up on them made it more believable for our guys (that we could win)."
Forks answered on a 27-yard run by Rickey Bronson in the second quarter. Dan Grady's PAT gave the Blue Devils a 7-6 lead.
But OHS got the lead back when Marcewicz stepped in front of a pass by D.J. Smith on the right side and took it back 50 yards for a touchdown to make it 12-7 8 minutes, 46 seconds before halftime.
"He's another guy that once he gets out there, not many guys can catch him," Hoover said. "It was big. Their defense is so tough, so you never know how many chances you're going to get. To get the lead before halftime, that was a nice thing to have."
Late in the third quarter, OHS increased its lead to 18-7.
Following a 7-yard Forks punt, the Yellowjackets used seven plays to drive 37 yards. Pidgeon carried six times, including a 2-yarder over the right side for a touchdown.
"That was the drive we needed," Hoover said. "When you're up, 12-7, you feel good about it, but all it takes is one busted play and you're down. By going up by two scores, we were able to play a little looser."
Smith's 16-yard scoring run and Shane Baron's two-point run brought Forks to 18-15 with 8:01 left.
The Blue Devils got the ball back two more times. They reached OHS' 44 on the first drive, but the Yellowjackets forced back-to-back incompletions to take over on downs.
After Forks forced a three-and-out, the Blue Devils took over at its 43 with 1:31 left. After reaching OHS' 26, Ian Kelley sacked Smith to set up a third-and-17. Two Smith incompletions followed and OHS ran out the clock.
"We were really excited," Hoover said of his team. "We're happy for the kids for the way they've worked throughout the season. It's probably the best week of practice we've had from the scout team offense to the starting running back. To have it pay off, it means if we work hard, we can beat every team we play. The morale in general will be better."
OHS plays host to Vernon-Verona-Sherrill at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

01 02 03 04   Tot
Chenango Forks 0 7 0 8 - 15
Oneonta 6 6 6 0 - 18
  • O - Brendan Pidgeon 70 run (kick failed)
  • CF - Rickey Bronson 27 run (Dan Grady kick)
  • O - Matt Marcewicz 50 interception return (run failed)
  • O - Pidgeon 2 run (run failed)
  • CF - D.J. Smith 16 run (Shane Baron run)


Oneonta CF
First Downs 7 12
Rushes-Yards 39-198 38-114
Passing Yards 0 100
Comp-Att-Int 0-5-2 6-18-1
Total Offense 44-198 56-214
Punts-Ave yards 4-35 5-21
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-30 4-20


Oneonta rushing

  • Pidgeon 17-146, 2 TD
  • Marcewicz 10-28
  • Dalton Smith 8-20
  • Doug DiMartin 1-5
  • Cory Hunter 1-1
  • Dan Broe 2-(-2)

Chenango Forks rushing

  • Bronson 18-74, 1 TD
  • Baron 7-25
  • Smith 9-15, 1 TD
  • Ryan Freije 2-2
  • Jim Miller 1-1
  • Tyler Lusht 1-(-3)

Oneonta passing

  • Broe 0-for-5, 2 int.

Chenango Forks passing

  • Smith 4-for-12, 80 yards, 1 int.
  • Bronson 2-for-6, 20 yards, 0 int.

Oneonta receiving

  • none

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Tim Zdimal 3-70
  • Mike Jeske 2-18
  • Kevin Hamilton 1-12

JV Score: ?

Preview Tidbit: 

CF/Oneonta snippet from the overall weekend football preview article.

From staff reports
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin 

Chenango Forks' nine-points-per-game Blue Devils will look to make it 4-0 when they host 1-2 Oneonta at 1:30 Saturday. It'll be the final road game of the season for the Yellowjackets, who stay home for the final four weekends. Oneonta has been good for better than 320 yards of offense per game.

Post-game Article:    

Fifth Quarter:

Published Tuesdays in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Forks in unfamiliar position after 40-game division win streak ends
With Saturday's 18-15 loss to Oneonta, Chenango Forks' streak of 40 consecutive football victories within its division of the Section 4 Football Conference came to a close.
It was following a 21-13 setback at Oneonta in Week 5 of the 2000 season that the Blue Devils revved up that 40-game streak, as well as one of 63 wins in succession against Section 4 opponents in their enrollment classification.
At present, Forks finds itself in the highly uncharacteristic spot of sharing last place in Division III.
"Maybe we've been a little spoiled, but now it's our turn to figure out what we're going to do," said Forks coach David Hogan.
"I think that's when you find a lot about your character, how you're going to respond to something like that. That's what we talked about after the game and I think it will tell a lot about what we're about."
Ahead for the Devils are three consecutive games away from home, beginning 7 p.m. Friday against an unbeaten Norwich squad that has outscored its four opponents by an aggregate 80-40.
The 15-point output against Oneonta is Forks' season high. One troubling statistic: In the first and third quarters of four ballgames -- 96 minutes of football -- the Devils have produced six total points.
Oneonta (2-2) did not, however, come to Forks counting on the Devils' offense continuing to sputter.
"We knew their offense could click any day and they could put up 50," said Oneonta senior Brendan Pidgeon. Of the defensive game plan, he added, "Just one play at a time, everybody take care of their assignments, pinch hard, everybody read their keys, and make the stops."
'Jackets coach Adam Hoover said, "Coming in, we really emphasized taking care of our responsibilities every play. The last two weeks, we got beat by some pretty good teams, we made some mental mistakes that you can't make and expect to win. We still had some of those this week, but we were able to minimize them enough to beat a real good football team.
" ... I don't know the history of the Oneonta program all that great being here only three years, but I'd have to say this is one of the, if not the best, wins in the history of the program."


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