Chenango Forks Varsity Football
7 vs Greene
shutout Greene 21-0!
Articles courtesy of the
Binghamton Press &
Sun-Bulletin & the Chenango Evening Sun
Chenango Forks football team shuts down Greene
Blue Devils post 4th shutout
By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
-- Chenango Forks defenders limited Greene to 81 rushing yards and
intercepted four passes Saturday on the way to a 21-0 victory in
Division V of the Section 4 Football Conference.
A 22-yard interception return for a touchdown by Mike Szymkowicz in the
opening minute of the second quarter was part of an overwhelming
defensive effort that denied Greene passage beyond Forks' 30-yard line.
The Blue Devils (7-0, 5-0), ranked No. 2 among New York's Class C teams,
have shut out four of seven opponents and permitted 23 points in 336
minutes of football this season.
"Chenango Forks has been known for defense over the years and those
shutouts mean a lot to us," said Rickey Bronson, a standout Saturday at
both quarterback and in the defensive backfield. "It means a lot to our
defensive coordinator and to our entire team. Defense is what wins
Shutout No. 4 came against a Greene squad that brought a 5-1 record and
38-per-game scoring average into the contest.
Against Forks, however, the Trojans trailed by 14-0 at halftime and had
snapped the football a scant four times in Blue Devil territory.
"As explosive as they are and with as many weapons as they have? That
was just an outstanding effort," Forks coach David Hogan said of the
Penalties for holding and an illegal shift were assessed Forks in the
opening quarter, impeding a drive that eventually reached the Trojans'
9-yard line. From there, on fourth-and-6, Dan Grady's 25-yard field goal
was blocked and returned to the 19 by Scott Gorton.
But on second down from the 21, Szymkowicz stepped in front of a short
toss by Gorton for the interception and 22-yard score. Grady added the
PAT kick 42 seconds into the second quarter.
"Just like the Groton game, and this one was even prettier, I think,"
Hogan said of a similar play turned in by Szymkowicz in a season-opening
21-0 win. "What a jump-start for us."
Greene's next possession went nowhere and a punt left Forks the football
at its 49-yard line. Four running plays advanced the ball to the Greene
39, from which point Bronson kept the football on a mid-line option, cut
back toward the visitors' sideline and raced across the goal line with
6:49 to play in the half.
"I made the correct read, pulled it and went for a touchdown. It was
great blocking overall on that play," said Bronson, who accounted for a
team-leading 112 of Forks' 291 rushing yards.
Greene took its next possession 38 yards to Forks' 33, only to turn the
ball over on downs with 1:15 remaining in the half.
Each team intercepted a pass in a scoreless third quarter, and the Blue
Devils' Derek Foster made his second pick of the half midway through the
fourth to give Forks possession at its 34-yard line.
Having expended their allotment of forward passes for the day _ one _
the Blue Devils went back to the ground for a systematic 10-play scoring
drive. The biggest gain was a 28-yarder by Ryan Lusht to the 9-yard
line, and the touchdown was Jordan Barnett's doing on
In the waning moments, Forks' second-unit defense held up its end when
David Hendrickson intercepted a third-down pass with about a minute to
Ahead for the Blue Devils is a visit to Unadilla Valley/Edmeston to
close the regular season. Greene will play host to Susquehanna Valley.
Chenango Evening Sun
Patrick Newel - Sun sports editor
CHENANGO FORKS – Even the most optimistic of Chenango Forks
supporters would not have predicted the type of defensive
performance on display Saturday afternoon against Greene.
Count Blue Devils head coach, Dave Hogan, among the most
surprised by a 21-0 shutout victory over the Trojans.
“In no way did I expect to shut them out,” Hogan said. “They
have a lot of weapons on offense and it was quite a
performance by our defense. We couldn’t play them any
The saying good defense beats good offense was never more
true in this case. The Trojans, averaging a Section IV-high
38 points a game, advanced no closer than 32 yards of the
Blue Devils’ goal line. Five Greene turnovers in nine
possessions didn’t help matters either.
“They took away some inside running stuff, and we felt we
could throw on them,” said Greene seventh-year head coach,
Tim Paske. “We had some opportunities…we just many too many
mistakes, and when you do that against good teams, they
The Trojans survived Forks’ six-minute, 12-play drive late
in the first quarter and into the early minute of the second
stanza. On fourth down from the eight, Dan Grady’s 25-yard
field goal was blocked, and Greene senior Scott Gorton
grabbed the end-over-end loose ball returning it to the 19.
On the second play after the field goal, defensive end Mike
Szymkowski stepped in front of a Gorton pass, and raced
untouched for a 22-yard score. “Scott’s pre-snap read was to
throw to the back side, which is what he did,” Paske said.
“The end just dropped back into the passing lane, and he
made a good play.”
The workmanlike Forks offense, one that eschewed the forward
pass all but one time in this contest, drove 54 yards for
the game’s first offensive touchdown. Quarterback Ricky
Bronson, seemingly stopped at the line of scrimmage, found a
seam in the Greene defense on an option keeper, and scored
from 39 yards out.
Bronson finished with a team-high 103 yards on 11 carries,
and Forks finished with 292 yards rushing on 52 carries.
Ryan Lusht added 84 yards on just seven carries.
The lone pass attempt by the Blue Devils was intercepted by
the Trojans’ Brian Day. “Defensively, we thought we had a
good plan,” Paske said. “We wanted to make them work for
everything, and we definitely made them work. (Poor) field
position was definitely a factor. It’s hard to drive 80
yards against a defense as tough as theirs. There is a
reason why they are ranked number two in the state.”
Derek Foster had two interceptions for the Blue Devils, and
David Hendrickson intercepted a pass for Forks on the
Trojans’ last possession of the game.
With two minutes left in the contest, Chenango Forks cashed
in on a 66-yard drive as Jordan Barnett took the ball over
the goal from one yard out.
Greene finished with a season-low 127 yards of total
offense. Tyler Beckwith’s 58 yards rushing on 18 carries
topped the Trojans’ statistics.
- CF - Mike Szymkowicz 22y interception return (Dan
- CF - Rickey Bronson 39y run (Grady kick)
- CF - Jordan Barnett 1y run (Grady kick)
- Tyler Beckwith 18-55
- Nick Wilcox 6-15
- Kevin Beers 1-9
- Brian Day 1-2
- Dan Jenks 3-0
- Bronson 11-112, 1 TD
- Tyler Lusht 11-68
- Ryan Lusht 9-66
- J. Barnett 14-41, 1 TD
- Travis Barnett 1-7
- Lukas Aston 1-4
- David Hendrickson 1-4
- Jimmy Miller 5-(-11)
- Scott Gorton 6-for-18, 45y, 4 int
- Brendan Kinne 0-for-1
- Kinne 3-23
- Kevin Gilroy 2-9
- Jenks 1-13
Chenango Evening Sun
Patrick Newel - Sun sports reporter
Greene (4-1, 5-1) at Chenango Forks (4-0, 6-0), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday’s matchup has the makings of a tremendous battle, and the first matchup between the two schools since Forks defeated the Trojans in 1986.
The Trojans, through six weeks of play, are the highest scoring team in Section IV averaging 38.2 points per game. The Blue Devils, by contrast, have the top scoring defense allowing a paltry 3.8 points per game. Until last week’s 21-14 win over Chenango Valley last week, Forks had allowed just nine points and had three shutouts under its belt. “They’re a tough team that can hurt you in a lot of ways,” said Greene coach Tim Paske in summing up Chenango Forks. “They don’t do a lot of stuff, but what they do, they do it very well. If you give any of their guys space, they have the opportunity to go the distance on any play.”
Tie-breaking scenarios for a playoff spot are on the unfavorable side for Greene, although a win over Chenango Forks would clinch at least a tie for the Division V championship. It would be Greene’s third division title in four years, and the school’s first back-to-back championship. “One of our goals at the start of the season was to be a division champion and go back-to-back,” Paske said. “We can do that on Saturday. Of course, we’re facing a formidable foe.”
Chenango Forks has a little bit of history on its side as well. The Blue Devils have toiled predominately in the Class B ranks since the Section IV Football Conference was formed. Still, the fact remains, no Class C team has beaten them since a Walton turned the trick in 1993. And Greene’s last victory over Chenango Forks? Try 1983.
“Our guys are ready for the challenge,” Paske said. “We know they play great defense, and we have a pretty good defense, too. Chenango Valley had some success moving the ball. If we can get guys in the right position to make plays, we could put some points up.”
Staff reports - Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Chenango Forks (7-0) turned in its fourth shutout of the season and second in three weeks in Saturday's 21-0 home-field victory over Greene-- which had scored 35 or more points in four of its first six games this season.
Those stingy Devils
"Our game plan is key, and executing it is the biggest part," said Forks senior Rickey Bronson. Of that plan for the Trojans, he said, "We wanted to stop their passing and we wanted to make them do different things that they don't usually do."
Forks limited Greene to six completions on 19 passes. Derek Foster intercepted two passes, and Mike Szymkowicz and David Hendrickson picked off one apiece. Szymkowicz returned his 22 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.
Forks opponents have generated 23 points this season, or, seven fewer than its upcoming opponent, Unadilla Valley/Edmeston, gave up in the opening quarter Saturday against Walton. The Blue Devils have allowed zero points in the second quarters of games, and three in the fourth quarters.
On the other side, Forks has produced 2,181 yards of offense though attempting just 11 passes in seven games.