2010 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 6 vs Sidney
Blue Devils win 44-36!

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

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Miller's 4 TDs help Forks win shootout at Sidney

Class C powers combine for 952 yards

Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

SIDNEY -- And so, the clash of state-ranked unbeatens is concluded, with 952 yards of offense in the books and widespread hopes that the two football teams shall collide again come Class C playoffs.
Chenango Forks 44, Sidney 36 was the final tally, and a group of Blue Devils so accustomed to front-running was thrice forced to come from behind.
Fullback Jimmy Miller rushed 34 times for 242 yards and four touchdowns, the third of which opened fourth-quarter play and wiped away his team's final deficit.
Quarterback Casey LaNave came up with 150 rushing yards and a 4-for-6, 83-yard passing night that was perfectly wide-open wacky by Forks standards.
That pair led a charge that offset a superb -- albeit customary -- 294 passing yards and four TDs from Sidney ace Dylan Umbra, who in six games has thrown for a Section 4-best 1,666 yards.
Second-ranked Forks emerged with a 6-0 record, 2-0 atop Division V. Ninth-ranked Sidney dropped to 5-1 and 1-1.
"An offensive explosion," is how Warriors coach Jeff Matthews summed up 48 minutes worth of thriller.
"I don't ever remember being in a game like that in the last 15 years or so," Forks coach David Hogan said. "It was up and down, up and down."
Chenango Forks held a 28-22 halftime lead that would have grown had the hosts' Corbin Curley not stood up LaNave after a single-yard gain on second-and-goal from the 4 to close the half.
As the teams jogged off for a well-deserved respite, the state sheet showed Forks with 365 yards and Sidney with 241.
The Blue Devils held the football for five minutes to open the third quarter, only to punt for the only time and give Sidney possession at its 25.
A 14-play drive ensued, with Umbra completing passes for double-digit gains to three receivers. Forks was tagged with a pass-interference penalty on a fourth-down play from the 8, and two plays later Umbra delivered a 2-yard TD pass to Alex Heil.
Andy Kozak caught a two-pointer from Umbra and the Warriors led by 30-28 with 1:21 left in the third quarter.
Forks, which had also trailed by 8-6 and 22-20, as much as said "Enough of this chasing nonsense."
The Devils took the ball at their 35, and three plays into the possession were at Sidney's 9-yard line -- primarily courtesy of a 42-yard rush by Tyler Lusht, who accepted a late, high pitch from LaNave and took off down the left sideline.
The touchdown was a 9-yard burst through the middle by Miller, a scene that played out repeatedly throughout the second half. And when LaNave flipped to Lusht in the right-center of the end zone for two points, Forks led 36-30 six seconds into the final quarter.
"I don't know, it was just there," Miller said of ample running room through the heart of the defense. "My hat's off to our line; they blocked great tonight."
The Blue Devils proceeded to send Sidney three-and-out, and took the ball after a punt at their 38-yard line.
A key 6-yard pick-up by Lusht on a third-and-2 play kept the drive afloat, twin brother Ryan Lusht added 21-yard gain to the 15, and Miller once again maximized space through the middle to cross the goal line on his feet.
Miller ran inside for two, and Forks led by 44-30 with 8:07 left.
Sidney responded with a 65-yard scoring drive -- all but 7 yards through the air -- and put the night's final points on the board when Umbra jitterbugged side-to-side to elude a couple defenders in the backfield, then passed to an open Kozak in the back-left of the end zone.
The two tried to hook up for a two-point pass, but that failed, and 5:45 remained.
Forks squashed the remainder of the clock, aided greatly by a third-and-11 pass of 21 yards from LaNave to a leaping Tyler Lusht, and a 2-yard fourth-down surge by Miller on his final carry.
LaNave, who played what one might argue to be his finest varsity football game, had 144 rushing yards in the first half. His two largest gains went for 45 yards and the first TD of the night, and 64 yards to set up a second-quarter score.
"We thought we had a scheme to take away each segment of their option," Matthews said. "But Casey is great at orchestrating what he does. Dave called a great game, we just couldn't stop them. Luckily we have some weapons and they had trouble stopping us as well."
Hogan said of LaNave, "He made some good decisions on the option, made some key, clutch throws, too. You've got to account for him. And what was nice was, we don't throw a lot of passes but when we do, we're spreading that out, too."
A seven-TD first half featured a 68-yard scoring pass from Umbra to Kozak which, with Umbra's two-point rush put Sidney on top by 22-20 with 8:08 to play in the half. Umbra, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior, passed for 182 first-half yards.
"He can hurt you in so many different ways, and he's got at least four guys that he can throw to," Hogan said of Umbra. "They can catch the ball. And hats off to their line, I'm not sure how well we got in there on the pass rush."
Three Sidney receivers eclipsed the 50-yard mark, with Kozak's 128-yard, two TD night topping the list.

Sidney football falls to Forks

P.J. Harmer
Oneonta Daily Star

SIDNEY _ Sidney's pass fell victim to Chenango Forks' run Friday night.

The Blue Devils finished with 494 yards on the ground and slipped out of Sidney with a key 44-36 Section Four Football Conference Division V victory in front of a capacity crowd at Sidney on a cool fall evening.

"I keep saying 'wow,'" Chenango Forks coach Dave Hogan said. "That about sums it up, doesn't it? For both sides. Wow. I don't think either team wanted it to be a shootout, but I think everyone deep down knew it had the makings of being a shootout."

Jimmy Miller finished with 242 yards and four touchdowns on 35 carries and quarterback Casey LaNave had 148 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries for the Blue Devils (6-0. 2-0), who ran out the final 5 minutes, 45 seconds with a 12-play drive that went 62 yards and didn't allow Sidney one last chance at tying the score. LaNave also completed 4 of 6 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

"They are a solid team," said Sidney receiver Alex Heil, who finished with 69 yards on six receptions. "They are disciplined. We came in here expecting to run with them and we did for the most part. They have many athletes. Jimmy Miller is a hell of a player. ... This is our motivation right here. We're going to work hard. We want to see them again."

Sidney (5-1, 1-1) fell to second in the division behind Forks. The top two teams reach the Class C playoffs.

Sidney quarterback Dylan Umbra, who battled through a banged up rib in the second half, completed 18 of 30 passes for 294 yards. He also rushed 13 times for 48 yards and a touchdown.

It seemed like Umbra's injury might have been what the Warriors needed.

After hitting Miller for a 3-yard loss midway through the third quarter, Umbra waved to coach Jeff Matthews for a replacement. Umbra came out of the game in tears saying to the coaching staff it was his ribs as he grabbed his right side.

After Sidney forced Forks' lone punt, Umbra trotted back onto the field.

"I had to fight through it and get through it," he said. "I used the pain to my advantage to push me harder. ... I was gasping for air and couldn't breathe."

On the first play, Umbra attempted to keep the ball and got stacked up at the line of scrimmage.

Then he went to work.

With the Warriors on their own 25, Umbra completed 4 of 6 passes for 52 yards. The Warriors also got helped with a 10-yard holding penalty on the Blue Devils. His final completion of that spurt _ a 22-yard strike to Jon Wingate _ put Sidney at the Chenango Forks' 13.

Corbin Curley got hit for a 2-yard loss before Umbra rushed for 7 yards down to the 8. Two incomplete passes followed, but on the second Chenango Forks was flagged for pass interference, giving Sidney a first-and-goal from the 4.

Umbra went for 2 yards on the next play and connected with Heil for a 2-yard score with 1 minute, 21 seconds to play in the third to tie it at 28.

Umbra then found Andy Kozak for the two-point conversion and a 30-28 lead.

Forks then took over.

The Blue Devils needed four plays on the ensuing drive to take the lead for good. Miller gained 2 and 12 yards on back-to-back carries, before LaNave took a hard hit from Nate McDonald as he flipped to Tyler Lusht on an option pitch. Lusht went down the left side for a 42-yard gain to Sidney's 9.

As the fourth quarter started, Miller scored on a 9-yard run and LaNave hit Lusht on the conversion for a 36-30 lead.

Sidney went three-and-out on the next series and Forks went on a seven-play drive that covered 62 yards. Miller ended the drive with a 15-yard run up the middle. He added the conversion run for a 44-30 lead with 8:07 remaining.

Sidney answered as fast as it could _ using a seven-play drive to cover 75 yards in a little over two minutes. Umbra connected with Kozak for a 3-yard score, but his conversion pass to Kozak was high as the score was 44-36 with 5:45 to play.

The Warriors never got the ball back.

"We came into this expecting it to be a fourth-quarter game," Heil said. "That's what we got. We knew they were a good team and we knew we were a good team. We were expecting a shootout. We didn't come in here expecting to blow them out. They are Chenango Forks. They always come out with a solid team. We knew this was going to be a game."

01 02 03 04   Tot
Chenango Forks 14 14 0 16 - 44
Sidney 8 14 8 6 - 36
  • CF   6-0   Casey LaNave 45y run (pass failed)
  • Sid  6-8   Dylan Umbra 1y run (Andy Kozak pass from Umbra)
  • CF  14-8   Jimmy Miller 1y run (Miller Run)
  • Sid 14-14  Nate McDonald 9y pass from Umbra (pass failed)
  • CF  20-14  Miller 2y run (run failed)
  • Sid 20-22  Kozak 68y pass from Umbra (Umbra run)
  • CF  28-22  Rusty Bronson 22y pass from LaNave (Miller run)
  • Sid 28-30  Alex Heil 2y pass from Umbra (Kozak pass from Umbra)
  • CF  36-30  Miller 9y run (Tyler Lusht pass from LaNave)
  • CF  44-30  Miller 15y run (Miller Run)
  • Sid 44-36  Kozak 2y pass from Umbra (pass failed)


Sidney CF
First Downs 14 25
Rushes-Yards 16-80 62-495
Passing Yards 294 83
Comp-Att-Int 18-30-0 4-6-0
Total Offense 46-374 68-578
Punts-Ave yards 4-30.5 1-20.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-22 2-14


Sidney rushing

  • Dylan Umbra 12-50
  • Corbin Curley 3-29
  • Josh Wilce 1-1

Chenango Forks rushing

  • Jimmy Miller 34-242
  • Casey LaNave 11-150
  • Tyler Lusht 10-70
  • Ryan Lusht 7-33

Sidney passing

  • Dylan Umbra 18-for-30, 294 yards, 4 TDs

Chenango Forks passing

  • LaNave 4-for-6, 83 yards, 1 TD

Sidney receiving

  • Andy Kozak 5-128
  • Alex Heil 7-75
  • Josh Wilce 1-51
  • Jon Wingate 1-22
  • Nate McDonald 3-11
  • Mike Ward 1-7

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Rusty Bronson 1-22
  • Tyler Lusht 1-21
  • Eric Singh 1-21
  • Derek Foster 1-19

JV Score: CF 30, Sidney 8 (CF 4-0-1)

Preview Article(s) 

Chenango Forks faces formidable foe
Sidney also 5-0 with powerful offense
By Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

It'll be a meeting of Section 4's highest-ranked football teams when 5-0 Chenango Forks visits 5-0 Sidney with first place in Division V for the taking. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night at Sidney.
The Blue Devils are ranked second in Class C by the New York State Sports Writers Association, seven slots ahead of Sidney.
Forks has allowed 29 points this season. Sidney is scoring at a 44.8-per-game clip, following the lead of quarterback Dylan Umbra. He has passed for 1,372 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushed for 435 yards and another nine TDs.
"He will burn you with the pass, but just when you drop one too many guys back in coverage, he'll burn you on the run," Forks coach David Hogan said. "He's got a cannon, but he's also accurate.
"We have to eliminate the big plays. They thrive on those, and they do it with multiple people. ... We have to be patient. We've told the kids: They complete passes, we just have to keep the big plays to a bare minimum."
From an offensive perspective, the Blue Devils will be especially mindful of trying to occupy Sidney middle linebacker and leading tackler Alex Heil -- "A tough kid, a very tough kid," Hogan said.
When the teams last met, Forks was a 41-0 home-field winner in Week 3 of the 2009 season

Sidney to face stiff challenge

P.J. Harmer
Oneonta Daily Star

Sidney senior quarterback Dylan Umbra likely will face his toughest challenge at 7 tonight, when the Warriors host Chenango Forks in a big Division V game.
Umbra has completed 65 of 110 passes for 1,350 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. He's also rushed for 415 yards and nine touchdowns on 60 carries.
"They are very impressive on offense to say the least," said third-year Chenango Forks coach Dave Hogan, whose team is ranked second in the state in Class C. "I think everybody knows that. (Umbra) has the ability to throw it and spread it out as well. You can't just double-team somebody. In addition to that, his ability to run compounds the problem for the defense. We certainly have our hands full."
Sidney (5-0, 1-0) has averaged 44.8 points this season, scoring 50 or more points in each of the past three weeks.
"We need to have a good start," said Sidney coach Jeff Matthews, whose team is ranked ninth in Class C. "We can't fall behind early. You have a good Walton team last week fall behind and it was doomed. ... That's something we have to avoid. It would be nice to win the turnover battle. We have to be able to take care of the ball."
Though Umbra has been the main ground threat _ Josh Wilce's 122 yards are second on the team _ there's no zoning in on one or two receivers for the Warriors.
Wilce leads the Warriors with 508 receiving yards on 19 catches, followed by fellow seniors Andy Kozak (356 yards, 15 catches), Alex Heil (292 on 22) and Corbin Curley has (153 on six).
Hogan said the Blue Devils (5-0, 1-0), who have given up a Section Four-low 29 points this season, won't find it easy to cover Sidney's receivers.
"I don't know if you can (cover all of them) consistently," Hogan said. "It's tough to do. ... They just keep coming. (Umbra) throws it to everybody.
"We have a Plan A, then a Plan B and a Plan C," he continued. "We even have a Plan D right now. We'll see how it goes."
Chenango Forks is equally tough to defend.
Senior quarterback Casey LaNave can run and has shown the past few weeks that he's capable of throwing as well. Senior fullback Jimmy Miller and senior twins Tyler and Ryan Lusht are at halfback.
The Blue Devils rely on a defense anchored by nose guard/defensive tackle Jake DuBois and inside linebacker John Pattwell, who are both seniors. Classmate Derek Foster, who also plays wide receiver, is one of the Blue Devils' top corner backs.
"It's tough," Matthews said. "You look at them on film or see them in person and it seems like they are at a totally different level of speed and being physical. It's tough to start to prepare."
Hogan said Chenango Forks will focus on stopping Sidney's quick-strike plays.
"The thing that jumps out at me is trying to cut down on their big-play ability," he said. "They are going to complete passes, there's no two ways about it. We have to make sure they are not 70-80 yard passes. ... But it's easier said than done, that's for sure."

Post-game Midweek Article:    

Fifth Quarter:

Published Tuesdays in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Chenango Forks defense absorbs plenty of dents

The last time a Chenango Forks football team[] surrendered as many as 36 points in a ballgame before last weekend? The present seniors were toting lunch boxes to first-grade class.

By halftime Friday night at Sidney, the Warriors had scored one fewer point (22) than the 2009 Blue Devils allowed during the entire regular season.

Forks flirted with its program record for rushing yards in a 44-36 victory, good for a 6-0 record that includes a Division V-leading 2-0. Had one suggested pre-game to coach David Hogan that his team was about to give up 44 points?

"I certainly wouldn't have taken it, put it that way," he said. "Thirty-six, that's a lot of points to give up to a team, even to an explosive team. No doubt about it, that's too many."

The last time a Forks opponent scored that many was Oct. 1, 1999. A Norwich team on its way to Section 4's Class B championship thumped visiting Forks by 40-14 that night, the Purple Tornado's fourth consecutive game with 40 or more.

Beginning the following week, Forks teams would allow no more than 28 in a game over the next 129 contests-- the high-water mark reached by Johnson City in 2001, Rye in 2005 and Susquehanna Valley in 2007.

Most conspicuous of Sidney's talented cast was Dylan Umbra, a senior quarterback who passed for 294 yards and four touchdowns, and added 50 yards and a TD rushing.

"They're going to score points, they're going to complete passes; that's just the way it is," Hogan said. "He has a quick release, he finds the open receiver, he scrambles, he can run the ball and then he throws on the run. We're telling our cover guys to stay on their men, but at the same time if he breaks contain they've got to come up.

"He can hurt you in so many different ways."

Chenango Forks countered Sidney's passing game by rushing for 495 yards, a figure 8 yards short of the program record listed in the Blue Devils' game program. The 503-yard standard came in a 2004 win over Windsor.

Following Friday's game, which brought 28 points in the second quarter, 22 more in the fourth and 952 yards gained from scrimmage, Warriors coach Jeff Matthews said, "It must have been a lot of fun for all the offensive people here, but for me and Chick (Forks assistant Dave Chickanosky) it wasn't fun at all."


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