Baron's TD run helps Forks
Strong offense lifts Blue Devils past Indians
By Mike Mangan - Binghamton Press
OWEGO -- For much of the season, Chenango Forks'
defense has carried the load while its offense
The roles were reversed Saturday,
but the outcome was still a familiar one for the
Shane Baron rushed for 169 yards,
including a 66-yard touchdown run midway through
the third quarter that gave Forks the lead for
good en route to a 34-20 victory over Owego in a
non-league football game Saturday.
On a day when Forks (5-1) gave up
season-highs in points, yardage (306), and first
downs (18), its offense had easily its best
performance of the season, piling up 443 yards
-- including 424 on the ground -- against the
None of those yards were bigger
than the 66 by Baron on his touchdown.
Owego had tied the score at 20 on
Parker Evans' 3-yard touchdown run with 6:06
remaining in the third quarter, the play capping
an impressive 12-play, 93-yard drive.
But on Forks' second play from
scrimmage on its ensuing possession, Baron took
a handoff from D.J. Smith and rumbled through a
huge hole up the middle before out-running
several members of the secondary for the
touchdown that put Forks up 27-20 with 5:27 left
in the third quarter.
"You could almost feel the wind
taken out of us," Owego coach Steve Virkler
said. "It wasn't easy for us to take it down the
field and tie it, and two plays later they pop
the big one."
Baron and Forks coach Dave Hogan
concurred that the touchdown was a game-changing
"The guys did their job up front,
the hole was huge and the backs carried out
their fakes," Baron said. "Things worked out on
the play and I just ran.
"I felt like it motivated our
team. Everybody picked it up after that."
Added Hogan: "That's the play
that sticks out in my mind. That was huge, and
from there on, it was evident that it was the
play of the game."
Owego went three-and-out on its
next possession, and Forks added its final score
when Ryan Freije scored on a 5-yard run with
10:58 left in the fourth quarter.
It was the second straight strong
offensive performance for the Blue Devils, who
beat Norwich, 21-6, last week after averaging
just 10.5 points over their first four games.
"The line has really stepped it
up the past couple of weeks," said left guard
Tylor Gardiner, who with his linemates deserve
their share of attaboys for Forks' offensive
display. "We get our blocks, we know what we're
supposed to do and make the right calls."
Forks took a 14-0 lead in the
first quarter on touchdown runs of 73 yards by
Smith and 4 yards by Tim Zdimal.
But Owego stayed close, thanks to
an offense that enjoyed success not usually seen
against a Forks defense.
Ethan Farabaugh's 1-yard
touchdown run with 7:19 left cut Forks' lead to
After Smith's 1-yard touchdown
run increased Forks' lead to 20-7 with just 1:17
remaining in the second quarter, Owego managed a
quick 70-yard scoring drive before halftime as
quarterback Nick Koroluck found the end zone on
a 9-yard scramble as time expired to bring Owego
Owego tied the score, 20-20, in
the third quarter, but the Indians' defense had
no answer for Forks.
"We were able to move the ball a
little bit, which surprised me because I thought
we might struggle," Virkler said. "But
(offensively), they controlled the line of
scrimmage and we just weren't able to get any
stops. They beat us up front."