2009 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 6 vs Chenango Valley
Blue Devils defeat Chenango Valley 21-14!


Articles courtesy of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

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Forks posts 16th straight football victory over Chenango Valley

Lusht brothers keep win streak going vs. Warriors

By Mike Mangan
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

TOWN OF CHENANGO -- The math proved rather simple Saturday afternoon at Chenango Forks.

One Lusht plus another Lusht added up to a 16th straight victory for the Blue Devils over rival Chenango Valley High.

Junior twin brothers Ryan Lusht and Tyler Lusht combined for 181 yards rushing and two touchdowns, energizing what had been a stagnant running game in leading Forks to a 21-14 victory in a renewal of one of Section 4's more spirited rivalries.

Ryan Lusht's 7-yard touchdown run with 8 minutes, 1 second remaining in the game broke a 14-all tie and enabled Forks (6-0) to deny CV (3-3) its first victory in the series since a 14-13 win in 1994.

"We were very much aware of the streak," said Tyler Lusht, who ran for 87 yards a score in the Section 4 Conference game. "We didn't want to be the team to lose the streak."

The Blue Devils ensured the continuation of their winning ways against CV with a grind-it-out drive bridging the third and fourth quarters that led to the game's decisive points.

With the score tied at 14, Forks took possession at its 48-yard line with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter.

What followed was a 12-play drive -- with no play garnering more than 8 yards -- that chewed up 5 1/2 before Ryan Lusht scored the game-winning touchdown from 7 yards out.

CV threatened to tie late, driving from its 20-yard line to the Forks' 32 in the final minutes, but quarterback Ricky Ruffo's pass on third-and-7 was intercepted by Forks' Casey LaNave with 1:39 remaining.

It was yet another recent close call in the series for CV, which had chances to win late in regular-season losses to Forks in 2006 (14-9) and 2007 (20-14).

CV coach Jay Hope, however, was not in the mood for a moral victory.

"You want to beat good teams," Hope said. "We're close, awfully close, it's just not good enough."

CV grabbed a 7-0 lead on Ruffo's 11-yard touchdown pass to Devin Carroll with 7:03 left in the first quarter.

Forks' defense tightened the remainder of the first half, limiting CV to one first down. Meantime, the Warriors' defense was equally tough, holding Forks' ground game to 36 yards rushing and 59 yards of total offense through the first 22 minutes of play.

Then the Lusht brothers took control.

On a second-and-7 play from the Forks' 16, Ryan Lusht found a hole and sped up the Forks' sideline for a 43-yard run to the CV 42.

Tyler Lusht followed with a 21-yard run before Jimmy Miller scored on a 21-yard run of his own with 1:21 remaining in the second quarter to knot the score at 7.

The Lusht's figured predominantly again when Forks scored on its opening drive of the third quarter to take a 14-7 lead.

The pair combined for 60 of Forks' 71 yards on the drive, the capper a 35-yard touchdown by Tyler Lusht with 9:23 remaining off a pitch from quarterback Rickey Bronson to put the Blue Devils ahead.

"It was tough for us, they were jamming us up the middle and around the edges," Ryan Lusht said. "We had to fix a couple of things to get the ball moving down the field. We're lucky to have our line push them off the ball."

Forks squandered a chance to add to its lead when, on CV's ensuing possession, Ruffo fumbled on a first-down play after getting hit near his team's 40-yard line.

Despite four Forks players surrounding the bouncing ball, CV's Spencer Wallach somehow recovered at the CV 28-yard line.

Still, with CV facing a second-and-33 from its 28, the situation looked bleak.

But Ruffo -- who was superb in the losing effort for CV, completing 12 of 19 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns -- completed a third-and-32 pass to Cameron Fedish for 39 yards and a first down to the Forks' 32.

Later, on a third-and-14 play from the Forks' 36, Ruffo escaped a near-sack before scrambling for 22 yards to the 14 for another first down, an additional 7 yards tacked on the play following a Forks personal foul to give CV first-and-goal at the Forks' 7.

Two plays later, Ruffo found Tom Hull for a 5-yard touchdown pass. The 6-foot-3 Hull won a jump ball over 5-8 defender Miller to tie the score at 14 with 5:48 left in the third quarter.

Forks, however, found a way yet again to get it done in the fourth quarter. By game's end, the Blue Devils had rushed for 280 yards.

"There were so many swings in this game," Forks coach Dave Hogan said. "What's nice is we did hang together, and we were able to put a drive together fortunately.

"CV's a good team, they're getting better. We knew we were going to have our hands full."

01 02 03 04   Tot
Chenango Forks 0 7 7 7 - 21
Chenango Valley 7 0 7 0 - 14
  • CV - Devin Carroll 11y pass from Ricky Ruffo (C. Mahoney kick)
  • CF - Jimmy Miller 21y run (Dan Grady kick)
  • CF - Tyler Lusht 35y run (Grady kick)
  • CV - Tom Hull 5y pass from Ruffo (Mahoney kick)
  • CF - Ryan Lusht 8y run (Grady kick)


First Downs 8 17
Rushes-Yards 23-61 52-280
Passing Yards 145 23
Comp-Att-Int 12-19-1 1-4-0
Total Offense 42-206 56-303
Punts-Ave yards 5-32.8 3-43.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-1
Penalties-Yards 3-15 4-30


Chenango Valley rushing

  • Ruffo 11-29
  • Carroll 7-23
  • Moochler 5-9

Chenango Forks rushing

  • R. Lusht 12-94, 1 TD
  • T. Lusht 13-87, 1 TD
  • Miller 10-51, 1 TD
  • Jordan Barnett 10-24
  • Rickey Bronson 6-23
  • DJ Smith 1-1

Chenango Valley passing

  • Ruffo 12-for-19, 145y, 2 TD, 1 int

Chenango Forks passing

  • Bronson 1-for-2, 23y, 0 int
  • Smith 0-for-2

Chenango Valley receiving

  • Cameron Fedish 3-58
  • Hull 3-37, 1 TD
  • Rocky Dinga 3-36
  • Carroll 3-14, 1 TD

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Grady 1-23

JV Score: CV 26-16

Preview Articles: 

CV-CF matchup remains as intense as ever
Blue Devils ride 15-game winning streak in rivalry
By Mike Mangan
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
While the chase for Section 4 playoff berths has been priority No. 1 for both the Chenango Forks and Chenango Valley football teams this season, this weekend the teams' postseason aspirations will be placed on the backburner.
The two teams meet Saturday in a renewal of one of Section 4's most spirited -- albeit recently one-sided -- rivalries when Forks hosts CV in a 2:30 contest.
The Blue Devils have won the last 15 meetings between the two teams, including last year's 23-13 victory at CV. The Warriors' last victory over their neighbor came in 1994, a 14-13 victory.
Though this year's game is a rare non-league showdown with Forks moving down from Class B to Class C this season, there should be no lack of enthusiasm.
"It's a fun game for the kids, and for the communities," Forks coach Dave Hogan said. "The biggest difference is we're not in the same division anymore, but I don't think that takes anything away from the game."
Both teams enter Saturday's game in good form.
Forks (5-0), ranked second in the state in Class C by the New York State Sports Writers Association, leads Division V with a 4-0 record and appears a lock for a Section 4 Class C playoff spot.
The Blue Devils have outscored their opposition 153-9 this season and have allowed just one touchdown.
CV (3-2), meanwhile, has won two straight games and shares first-place in Division III with Norwich.
The Warriors, coming off a 26-6 victory over Windsor on Saturday, have allowed just 53 points over their last four games following a season-opening 33-21 loss to unbeaten Corning East.
"Our defense has made a lot of strides throughout the course of the year," CV coach Jay Hope said. "It's had a chance to jell quite a bit, I just think it took awhile to get everyone on the same page."
Both Hogan and Hope emphasized the importance of avoiding turnovers, always the wild card in swinging a game's outcome in a particular team's direction.
If turnovers are at a minimum, Saturday's game could come down to which team's offense proves most effective moving the ball.
Forks has thrived behind a running attack that averages more than 300 yards a game and features four backs with over 250 yards rushing, Jimmy Walker, Ryan Lusht, Tyler Lusht and Jordan Barnett.
Hogan believes the play of his team's offensive line -- tight ends Dan Grady and Mike Szymkowicz, tackles Erik Rhinehart and Andy Lewis, guards Adam Jeavons and Justin Flanney and Eddie Fisher, and center Jake DuBois -- has been the catalyst for his team's offensive success.
"I think our line is very sound, and I don't think they get enough credit," Hogan said. "They do a great job up front, as well as the guys behind them."
CV is led offensively by quarterback Ricky Ruffo, who has completed 56 percent of his passes for 488 yards and whose 203 rushing yards is second on the team behind Devin Carroll's 298. Cam Moochler has also contributed on the ground with 190 yards and four touchdowns.
Hope says the atmosphere around the locker room has been a little more subdued entering this year's game against Forks, which he says isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"They're looking forward to the game, but they haven't gotten too worked up over it," Hope said. "They've had an even keel going into this game, which I kind of like. It doesn't distract from their focus."

Post-game Midweek Article:    

Fifth Quarter:
Lusht brothers help Chenango Forks football team pass 4th-quarter stress test

Staff reports - Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

The first five weeks of the season had been a relative breeze for Chenango Forks, as the unbeaten Blue Devils vanquished five opponents by an average margin of 29 points.

But in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game against rival Chenango Valley, Forks found itself in a rare difficult spot this season, locked in a tie game with the Warriors.

Ryan Lusht eventually scored the game-winning touchdown with about eight minutes to go to give Forks a 21-14 victory.

Forks' ability to come through in the clutch, a trait often displayed by previous Forks teams throughout its decade-long run of dominance in Section 4, could bode well for the Blue Devils with post-season play very likely looming.

"I think this game was good for us; we needed that tough game to get us going," Lusht said. "We hadn't been a fourth-quarter game. I think this can only help us the rest of the season."

The strong play of Lusht and his brother Tyler Lusht will certainly help Forks as well. The pair, part of a backfield committee that also includes Jimmy Walker and Jordan Barnett, proved to be the difference makers in the victory over CV.

The duo rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns, their speed creating havoc for CV defenders.

"A lot of what they did was instinct," Forks coach Dave Hogan said. "Ryan and Tyler, those two individuals are special players."

CV's Ruffo shines

Though unable to keep Forks from beating his team for the 16th straight time, CV quarterback Ricky Ruffo showed Saturday why he has emerged as a dynamic player in Section 4.

The 5-foot-7 senior completed 12 of 19 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He also escaped serious trouble for a 22-yard run on a third-and-14 play that sustained a CV scoring drive that tied the score at 14 in the third quarter.

Ruffo did all this despite being hobbled by a sore leg after a third-quarter hit.

"He's a gutty kid, and for him to keep hanging in there, he battled," CV coach Jay Hope said. "We're finding out how great a player he is."

Forks coach Dave Hogan acknowledged concern about Ruffo entering Saturday's game, and was not at all surprised with his performance

"He just seems to be getting better," Hogan said. "I thought Ricky was throwing real well."

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