2008 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 8 vs Windsor
Blue Devils beat Windsor 8-0
Opening drive stands as CF claims share of 8th straight division title

Articles courtesy of the
Binghamton Press 

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Forks' defense stands tough
Early TD enough to beat Windsor

By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

TOWN OF CHENANGO -- In need of a victory to secure space in the postseason for an eighth consecutive football season, neither rain nor wind nor Knights of Black were to deny Chenango Forks.
The Blue Devils put up a touchdown and a two-point chaser 3 minutes and 15 seconds into the game Saturday and then turned matters over to their defense, which excelled to ensure an 8-0 win over Windsor that earned Forks the top seed from Division III for next weekend's Section 4 Class B semifinals.
Quarterback D.J. Smith produced the touchdown, rushing 17 yards on the seventh play from scrimmage, and holder-turned-runner Rickey Bronson accounted for what would be the final points on a rain-drenched, wind-blown afternoon.
The outcome, in concert with the goings-on in Division IV, sets up what appears to be the following semifinal scenario: Chenango Forks (7-1, 3-1) will play at home Saturday against Waverly; No. 2 seed Windsor (5-3, 3-1) will visit Dryden.
That the Blue Devils accomplished their mission despite being limited to 167 yards of offense -- 93 of them on 20 Shane Baron rushes -- and six first downs was a tribute to a defensive effort that was ... well ... "Awesome," said defensive back Mike Jeske, who made the first of Forks' three pass interceptions.
"Amazing," said end Jesse Villella, whose numerous contributions included a critical sack for a 10-yard loss on Windsor's second-to-last possession.
"They played unbelievably well together," said Blue Devils coach David Hogan, to whom family bragging rights belong, for the time being. Across the field heading Windsor's charges was Tim Hogan, David's younger brother.
"We talk about it all the time -- bend but don't break -- and that's exactly what happened," Hogan added. "They gave them yardage, big chunks of yardage, but they came through in the end."
For instance, there was Windsor's opening possession of the second half, which began at its 27-yard line and reached Forks' 7, before Andy Lewis felled running back Dylan Kay for a 1-yard third-down loss, and a play later an incomplete pass ended the drive.
And there was the Black Knights' next possession, on which they drove 22 yards on four plays before Bronson intercepted a second-down pass with 52.5 seconds to play in the third quarter.
And there was sophomore lineman Jake DuBois, with assistance from Villella, stopping quarterback Mark Murray for no gain on a fourth-and-6 play from the Blue Devils' 48-yard line with 5:47 remaining in the game.
And, finally, there was linebacker Ryan Freije rushing in from the defensive right side to sack Murray for a 6-yard loss at the Black Knights' 20-yard line with one minute remaining.
All that remained was for Forks' Bronson to drop twice to one knee, and the Blue Devils had wrapped up a home-field semifinal.
"We knew we could move the ball," Tim Hogan said. "But, you look at that defense and you try to find a hole. It's hard to find a hole."
Chenango Forks -- which did not attempt a pass for the second consecutive game -- took the football to begin the game after Windsor won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half.
Fullback Baron got the call on the first play of the contest, started inside, bounced right toward Windsor's sideline and picked up 33 yards to the Black Knights' 34. It was Baron again on third-and-1, gaining 3 yards to the 22.
Two well-defended running plays set up third-and-5 from the 17.
Quarterback Smith accepted the snap, faked a handoff to Baron, found running room around the right side and polished off a touchdown that probably few in attendance believed would be the day's last.
Then again ...
Asked if he had a notion that an 8-0 advantage could hold, David Hogan said, "Yeah, but not until halftime.
"I felt there was a possibility, but I did know from anywhere on the field, they can score, there's no doubt about that. But I thought there was a possibility with all the heavy rain and the wind."
For the two-point conversion, Bronson, in position to hold for Dan Grady's PAT kick, instead took off with an imperfect snap and rushed in over the right side.
On its second possession of the game, Windsor ventured 24 yards to Forks' 32-yard line. But on third-and-9, Villella sacked Murray for an 11-yard loss on the final play of the opening quarter.
Another Windsor drive reached Forks' 43-yard line with aid of a pass interference penalty. But on first down and with time-a-wastin' before halftime, the Blue Devils' Mike Szymkowicz applied heavy pressure on Murray to help force a pass that was intercepted by linebacker Baron.
"We knew coming in this would be our toughest challenge of the year, and our preppies just did their job this week," Jeske said. "They showed us (Windsor's) offense great, and our defense just executed."

01 02 03 04   Tot
Chenango Forks 8 0 0 0 - 8
Windsor 0 0 0 0 - 0
  • CF - D.J. Smith 17 run (Bronson run)


Windsor CF
First Downs 10 6
Rushes-Yards 44-114 41-167
Passing Yards 22 0
Comp-Att-Int 5-12-3 0-0-0
Total Offense 56-136 41-167
Punts-Ave yards 4-36 8-33.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-0
Penalties-Yards 2-10 3-35


Windsor rushing

  • Noah Sibley 21-102
  • Dylan Kay 15-38
  • David Goetz 1-(-2)
  • Mark Murray 7-(-24)

Chenango Forks rushing

  • Shane Baron 20-93
  • Smith 6-33, 1 TD
  • Ryan Freije 5-29
  • Tim Zdimal 4-10
  • Bronson 5-(-4)
  • Tyler Lusht 1-(-4)

Windsor  passing

  • Goetz 2-for-5, 14 yards, 2 int.
  • Murray 3-for-7, 8 yards, 1 int.

Chenango Forks passing

  • none

Windsor receiving

  • Tim Costello 2-12
  • Mike Gnall 1-11
  • Josh Quinn 1-6
  • Kay 1-(-7)

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • none

JV Score: ?

Preview Article: 

Playoff-bound Windsor could keep Forks out of postseason

By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Chenango Forks stares down the very real possibility of a must-win proposition with regard to football playoff hopes when it closes the regular season at home, 1:30 Saturday against Windsor.
The Black Knights (5-2, 3-0 Division III) have clinched a postseason berth.
Forks (6-1, 2-1) would be the division's top seed with a victory, but would be denied a playoff berth with a combination of a loss to Windsor and an Oneonta victory tonight over Norwich.
The Blue Devils could sneak in with a loss, providing Norwich defeats Oneonta.
"It eases the pressure a little bit, but these kids, all I hear is 'win, win, win,' " Windsor coach Tim Hogan said of his team's postseason certainty. "I don't think that they're even thinking about it."
"This definitely is the biggest game of the year for us," said Forks lineman Tylor Gardiner. "They're probably one of the better teams we'll play this year. We just have to come out and play football."
Forks, which has an eight-game win streak over Windsor, surrendered one offensive touchdown in last week's 23-13 win at Chenango Valley. The defensive mission this week will be to contain the two-pronged ambitions of Windsor.
Matt Murray has passed for 124 1/2 yards per game, with Tim Costello his primary target. Dylan Kay produced triple-figures rushing totals in two of the Knights' last three games.
"One could argue that it's the best offense we're going to see, and I think that's a pretty strong argument," said Forks coach David Hogan, older brother of the head coach who'll be across the field.
Forks' customary spread-the-wealth run game features alternating quarterbacks Rickey Bronson and D.J. Smith, fullback Shane Baron, and running backs Tim Zdimal and Ryan Freije -- with sophomore Tyler Lusht providing yet another option.
"This is what we've been training for all year long," Costello said. "Forks is the team to beat in our section, they've proved it, they've been great year-in and year-out. So, it's an opportunity to beat them and come in first in the division solely, which we haven't done in a long time."
As for the unique matchup of coaching brothers, Windsor's boss said of David: "He called me and said when we get up by 30 points to call off the dogs, things like that, so he's joking about it as much as I am about the whole thing."
David said, "That's fun, we talk about it in the offseason a lot. But now, to be honest, it's definitely not a big deal right now because there's a lot on the line."

Post-game Article:    

Fifth Quarter:
Published Tuesday mornings

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin staff reports -

De-fense! De-fense!
An 8-0 win over Windsor on Saturday was Chenango Forks' second shutout of the season and marked the fifth game of 2008 that a Blue Devils opponent was held to a single-digit point total.
Forks, which has won a combined seven games by shutout over the last three seasons, extended to nine game its win streak over the Black Knights.

I thought we'd need to put more points on the board because their offense is so good," Forks senior Mike Jeske said of a game in which his team scored with just 3:15 elapsed.

Instead, the defense held despite Windsor driving three times inside the Blue Devils' 35-yard line.
"During the week we were practicing the major plays we'd seen them run in tapes that we have," Forks' Jesse Villella said. "They have big No. 40, Noah Sibley (5-foot-10, 215 pounds), and we were putting bigger guys (in that position) every day just so we'd know how he was going to hit."
Windsor coach Tim Hogan said, "We exploited some things we found, moved Noah to fullback, he had some nice hits up in there. But all of a sudden, you get down there and first down, they give you nothing."
The contest marked the first between the brothers Hogan -- Windsor's Tim against Forks' David -- as head varsity coaches.
Asked if there was a little wager between the two, just for fun?
"Really, there wasn't," David said. "I think if we were both already in the playoffs, then it might have been different.
"We had to win this game, that's the way we approached it. We were assuming Oneonta was going to win. So, it was different. It was tough to even consider that stuff."


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