2012 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 6 vs Sidney

Blue Devils outlast the Warriors 31-30!
17th in a row vs Sidney dating back to 1975

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

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Late TD lifts Chenango Forks in thriller

Sweeney's pass to DeOrdio the winner

Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
SIDNEY ­ Chenango Forks drove 48 yards in 25 seconds for the tying touchdown, and sophomore Jack Sherwood delivered the go-ahead PAT kick with 60 seconds remaining Friday night, lifting Chenango Forks to a 31-30 Division V football win at Sidney.
A John Colm Sweeney-to-Cody DeOrdio pass play went for 31 yards and the tying touchdown, less than half-a-minute after the Warriors went ahead on Billy Kozak's 26-yard catch-and-run for a score on a fourth-and-10 play.
Quarterback Patrick Vibbard then connected with Mike Ward for a two-point pass and a 30-24 Sidney lead with 1:26 remaining.
The Blue Devils took possession after the ensuing squib kick at Sidney's 48-yard line, and faced third-and-10 before Sweeney passed to Nick Cannon near the visitors' sideline and Cannon in turn pitched to Jake Green for additional yardage. The 17-yard gain left first down at Sidney's 31-yard line.
On the next play, Sweeney passed to the right side of the field to DeOrdio, who made the reception at about the 12-yard line. He powered through one tackle attempt, then juked his way clear of a second to complete a stunning comeback.
Sidney's final possession brought four incomplete passes, and the Blue Devils (6-0) had a 2-0 record in Division V. Sidney dropped to 4-2, 2-1 in division play.
"I saw myself open again, I broke a tackle and looked over and there was one guy to beat, cut back to the inside and there was no one else in front of me so I scored," said DeOrdio, who cashed in on Sweeney's ninth completion of the night.
Correct, nine completions in 17 attempts for the ground-oriented Blue Devils. Sidney was that stout against the rush.
"Well, Cody came off the field and said, 'Hey, coach, I'm open down the sideline,' " Forks coach David Hogan said of the decisive play. "So ­ it's not rocket science ­ I said, 'OK, tell him to throw it to you.' Run the same play and throw it to him ­ and it worked.
"It's amazing, sometimes it just works out that way."
And on the other sideline: "I'm sick to my stomach from the highs of scoring that go-ahead score to having the right personnel on the field and them just making big plays," Warriors coach Jeff Matthews said. "It had to have been a heck of a game to watch, a lot of fun if you are for Forks and our fans must be as sick as I am right now."
Indeed, this one had a lot packed into 48 minutes worth of clock time.

There was a pass play of 70 yards from Vibbard to Kozak for the opening points, and a 54-yard third-and-4 rush by Forks' Ethan Cook as a response two plays into the second quarter.
There was a blocked punt by the Blue Devils setting up a 26-yard scoring drive finished by Isaiah Zimmer carrying in from the 1. And there was Sidney answering 2:03 later with Kozak rushing 2 yards for a TD that left Forks ahead by 16-14 at halftime.
Sidney took a 22-16 lead when Jerrid Cubby sprinted 45 yards after recovering a fumble created by teammate Mike Chase. A two-point pass put Sidney out front by 22-16 and made for the lone score a the third quarter.
Then came the final quarter, in which Forks struck first in the form of a safety when, from punt formation, Sidney snapped the football high and out of the end zone with 8:31 remaining.
The Blue Devils took over after Sidney's kickoff at the hosts' 46-yard line, and drove the distance in 12 plays. Included was a fourth-down conversion rush of 1 yard by Sweeney and a pass-interference penalty against Sidney that gave Forks first down at the 5.
Zimmer carried in over the left side on the next play to put Forks ahead by 24-22 with 2:52 to play.
Sidney started the next possession at its 36-yard line and, with aid of roughing-the-passer and pass-interference penalties, quickly advanced to Forks' 26. However, it was a fourth-and-10 play on which Vibbard found Kozak out of the backfield at about the 15-yard line, and Kozak proceeded in through a defense caught off-guard.
The two-point pass left Forks a six-point hole from which to climb with 86 seconds remaining.
"We never quit," DeOrdio said. "That's what we've learned the past few weeks in these nail-biters, we never quit and we never will."

Warriors fall, 31-30, in thriller

By Rob Centorani
The Daily Star

SIDNEY _ A see-saw fourth quarter that belied the physical and defensive nature of this Section Four Football Conference Division V game on the mud pit that was Sidney's field ultimately was decided by an extra point.

Jack Sherwood sneaked the PAT inside the right upright with about 3 yards to spare to give unbeaten Chenango Forks a wild, 31-30 victory over the Warriors on Friday night.

Sidney (4-2, 2-1) took a 30-24 lead with 1:26 remaining on an impromptu call on a fourth-and-10 from the Blue Devils' 26. Two 15-yard penalties _ a roughing the passer call and a pass interference infraction _ helped Sidney move to the Forks' 26.

But three straight incompletions followed.

Warriors coach called timeout. Sidney had run its drive exclusive out of a spread formation, but on fourth down, it went to its customary double-wing formation. With Billy Kozak lined to quarterback Patrick Vibbard's right, Vibbard took the shotgun snap and rolled his right. Kozak slipped into the left flat and was wide open. Vibbard then whirled and threw perfect pass to back Kozak, who caught it on the run and cruised into the left side of the end zone.

Kozak said he suggested the call to coach Jeff Matthews during the timeout.

Vibbard then hit Mike Ward on a quick slant on the two-point play to make it a six-point game.

But Sidney's ensuing squib kick traveled 7 yards, giving the Blue Devils (6-0, 2-0) possession at the Warriors' 47.

After hitting a hook and lateral on third-and-10, with JC Sweeney hitting Andrew Ziegenfus near the left sideline and Ziegenfus pitching back to Jake Green for a 17-yard gain, Forks scored on the next play.

Sweeney found an uncovered Cody DeOrdio about 20 yards downfield on the right side. DeOrdio made one defender miss with a cut to the middle en route to the end zone with 1:00 left.

Forks hadn't attempted an extra point kick all night, but after taking back-to-back timeouts, Sherwood came on for the winning PAT.

Sidney got the ball back with 52.2 seconds at its 37, but three incompletions followed by a middle screen to Kozak that went nowhere on fourth down ended the Warriors' chances.

"That was by far the most physical game I've played in," said Kozak, who made an impressive adjustment on an underthrown ball by Vibbard and scored on a 70-yard play in the first quarter.

The Blue Devils went ahead, 24-22, with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter after a late pass interference call.

On third-and-goal from the 10, Sweeney threw to the end zone. Sidney's Nate McDonald got his hand on the ball, but about two seconds after the play, the official in the back of the end zone dropped his flag and called interference.

It gave Forks a first down at the 5 and Isaiah Zimmer scored off the left side for his second touchdown of the night.

"It was a great high school football game," said Matthews, whose team will still qualify for the Section Four Class C playoffs with a win at Newark Valley in two weeks. "We don't like to be on the losing side, but that was a great game."

The Warriors saw two key players injured.

Brandon Walters injured his left ankle on the first play from scrimmage. He continued to play at linebacker on the hobbled leg but played sparingly on offense the rest of the way.

The other injury appeared far more damaging. Two-way starter Damian Zimmer made a leaping interception in the middle of the field with 2:36 left in the second quarter. He headed left on the return and didn't appear to see DeOrdio until the last second. DeOrdio went low on the tackle and his helmet hit Zimmer's left knee. Zimmer left the field on a stretcher and was taken to the hospital.

01 02 03 04   Tot
Chenango Forks 0 16 0 15 - 31
Sidney 8 6 8 8 - 30
  • Si - William Kozak 70y pass from Patrick Vibbard (Nathan McDonald pass from Vibbard)
  • CF - Ethan Cook 54y run (Andrew Ziegenfus pass from John Colm Sweeney)
  • CF - Isaiah Zimmer 1y run (Cody DeOrdio pass from Sweeney)
  • Si - Kozak 2y run (pass failed)
  • Si - Jerrid Cubby 45y fumble return (Mike Ward pass from Vibbard)
  • CF - Safety, ball snap fumbled out of end zone
  • CF - Zimmer 5y run (pass failed)
  • Si - Kozak 26y pass from Vibbard (Ward pass from Vibbard)
  • CF - Cody DeOrdio 31y pass from Sweeney (Jack Sherwood kick)


  Sidney CF
First Downs 8 10
Rushes-Yards 31-105 46-175
Passing Yards 107 96
Comp-Att-Int 4-19-1 9-17-1
Total Offense 50-212 63-271
Punts-Ave yards ? 4-37
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 8-51 6-55


Sidney rushing

  • William Kozak 12-58
  • Nathan McDonald 12-40
  • Patrick Vibbard 2-5
  • Damian Zimmer 3-2
  • Austin McCarroll 2-0

Chenango Forks rushing

  • Isaiah Zimmer 21-69, 2 TDs
  • Ethan Cook 4-63, 1 TD
  • Jacob Green 7-24
  • John Colm Sweeney 11-16
  • Ryan Bronson 3-3

Sidney passing

  • Patrick Vibbard 4-for-19, 107y, 2 TDs, 1 int.

Chenango Forks passing

  • John Colm Sweeney, 9-for-17, 96y, 1 TD, 1 int.

Sidney receiving

  • William Kozak 2-96, 2 TDs
  • Austin McCarroll 1-8
  • Nathan McDonald 1-3

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Cody DeOrdio 2-48, 1 TD
  • Jacob Green 4-37
  • Andrew Ziegenfus 3-11

JV Score: CF 43, Sidney 6


Preview Article 

By Kevin Stevens
Press & Sun-Bulletin

Chenango Forks (5-0) at Sidney (4-1)

The Blue Devils, ranked fourth in Class C, have beaten Sidney four times over the past three seasons— three of those by 25 or more points. The Warriors outgained Greene last Friday, 335-43. Sidney is 2-0 in Division V, Forks is 1-0. 

Sidney to rely on D vs. Forks
--The Oneonta Daily Star
Sidney's Brandon Walters didn't mince words when talking about the importance of the Warriors' 7 p.m. Friday night home game against unbeaten Chenango Forks.
"That basically is for the division championship," Walters said following Sidney's 21-8 Section Four Football Conference Division V victory over visiting Greene last Friday. "It's two of the most physical teams in the division and the section, I think. I'd be surprised if you don't Sidney and Chenango Forks in the playoffs and possibly the Section Four (Class C) final."
The Blue Devils (5-0, 1-0 Division V) are coming off a 15-13 overtime against rival Chenago Valley on Saturday.

"They're so well prepared in every facet of football," Sidney coach Jeff Matthews said of a Forks squad that opened the season with a 35-6 win over 4-1 Unatego and beat winless Oneonta High, 41-6, in Week 2. "They're probably the best prepared team we're going to see this year. Their option is well executed and their defense, like you said, nothing fancy, but they can play football very well."
The Warriors' win last week against Greene came despite fumbling seven times and losing four.
Still, Sidney's physical defense limited the Trojans to 33 yards of offense and three first downs.
"That makes a statement about us," said Walters, a physical two-way starter. "People underestimate us going back to last year."
Defensively, the Warriors (4-1, 2-0) have allowed two touchdowns over the past four weeks. They had shutouts against Whitney Point and Walton, the only points allowed last week came on a kickoff return and they also allowed a kickoff return in their 20-14 loss to Norwich in Week 4.
"The defense is buying into what the coaches are saying," Matthews said. "They're reading their keys and when they do that, they're right at the point of attack. The Achilles' heel has been special teams. We've been giving up some big plays."
Though this week's game is huge, Sidney's non-conference game the following week against visiting Unatego figures to be very interesting.
The Spartans, which beat Oxford, 53-0, last Friday, have averaged 49 points since their season-opening loss to Forks.

Sidney is allowing seven points per game.

Post-game Midweek Article:    

Fifth Quarter:

Published Tuesdays in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

Element of surprise

Chenango Forks defenders appeared to be caught off-guard Friday night on a fourth-and-10 play that resulted in a 26-yard touchdown pass with 1:26 remaining that led to a 30-24 Sidney lead.

In hindsight, the Blue Devils had every reason to be surprised.

Billy Kozak sneaked out of the backfield to a clear-sailing position in the left flat, made the reception from Patrick Vibbard and ran the remaining 15 or so yards into the end zone. Vibbard then hit a slanting Mike Ward for the two-point conversion, and it was time for celebration — short-lived as it was — in the home bleachers.

“Coach (Matt) Ferraro, he’s our defensive backs coach and he works with the tight ends,” said Warriors coach Jeff Matthews. “He noticed early in the game that when we ran our boot play, they were leaving Billy alone. He was the play-action going away from the play. He noticed that no one was covering him.

“It’s not a play we’ve ever run. He said, ‘Coach, we’ve got him on the back side if we want him.’ I said, ‘Coach, we can’t do that, we’ve never run it before.’ I don’t like running plays we haven’t run or things that we’re not successful with.

“But fourth-and-10 and we don’t have a lot left, we’re going to go with what we can. He made a great catch, but for (Vibbard) to be able to make that read and throw without ever having done it before was pretty impressive.”

Forks was assessed two critical penalties that helped put Sidney in line for the go-ahead score, one for roughing the passer and another for pass interference.

The Blue Devils regrouped, however, and in short order.

They took possession after the ensuing squib kick at Sidney’s 48-yard line, picked up 17 yards on a third-down hook-and-lateral, and faced first-and-10 from the 31. From there, John Colm Sweeney passed to Cody DeOrdio, who eluded a tackler and got into the end zone to make it 30-30.

The Devils aligned to go for a two-point conversion, but after a timeout trotted sophomore Jack Sherwood out to attempt a kick. Out of DeOrdio’s hold, Sherwood converted for the decisive point with 60 seconds remaining which left Forks with a 6-0 record, 2-0 atop Division V.

“What year was it with Casey LaNave’s group, just a few years ago? It was a lot like that one,” Forks coach David Hogan said, referencing a 44-36 win on the same Sidney field in 2010. “It’s weird because I really thought it’d be a low-scoring game, with our defenses and with the field conditions. Turned out a little bit different, and certainly exciting from a fan’s perspective.”

Oh, about that bog of a playing surface, which in sizeable portions was borderline unplayable.

“It was ankles-deep, you couldn’t even pick up your feet without it sticking to your cleats,” DeOrdio said. “It was unbelievable. I’ve never seen a field so bad.”

--The Oneonta Daily Star 10/10/2012

Big hit

In a Forks-Sidney game full of big hits, perhaps the biggest came in the third quarter and led to a Warriors touchdown.

Blue Devils quarterback JC Sweeney headed left on an option. Just as he looked to pitch, Sidney linebacker Mike Chase made a huge hit that dislodged the ball from Sweeney.

Sidney's Jerrid Cubby scooped the fumble and ran 45 yards for a touchdown as Sidney took a 22-16 lead with 4˝ minutes left in the third quarter.

Two-way street

Twice, Billy Kozak and Patrick Vibbard hooked up on scoring plays against Forks _ the first was all Kozak and the second was all Vibbard.

On a third-and-10 in the first quarter, Vibbard threw a high, wobbly pass about 35 yards down the right side of the field _ a ball that appeared to slip out of his hand.

Kozak, using baseball skills that have kept him on Sidney's varsity since his eighth-grade year, slipped inside a defender and caught it over his shoulder before eluding the safety on a 70-yard play that opened the scoring.

"I knew it was short so I tried to get in front of the corner and just went up to get it," Kozak said.

Though Kozak played a part in calling his 26-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, Vibbard did most of the work.

"Actually, that was the first time we ever ran the play," Kozak said. "At halftime, I actually told the coach we have the wing and the tight end leading. They have to choose the wing or me. It was play action and I kept going and (Vibbard) he me right on the numbers. All props to him."

It came on fourth-and-10 with about 1:30 left and Sidney trailing, 24-22. The Warriors opened things up on the drive with three- and four-wide receiver sets.

But on fourth down, they went back to a double-wing look. Vibbard rolled right as Kozak sneaked out into the left flat. Vibbard sold it well before throwing back to the left _ perfect pass that a wide-open Kozak turned into a touchdown.

"Billy being in open space is nothing new to him," Matthews said, "but Pat is not used to turning and throwing across his body like that. It was a beautifully thrown ball and Billy caught it right in stride."

Vibbard then hit Mike Ward on a quick slant on the two-point pass and Sidney had a 30-24 lead with 1:26 left.

Forks (6-0) answered 26 seconds later and Jack Sherwood's PAT provided the winning point for the Blue Devils.

"We're praying for it," Kozak said of a potential rematch with Forks in the Section Four Class C final. "We want it bad. We feel like we outplayed them."

Asked if he'd be surprised to see Sidney again this season, Chenango Forks coach Dave Hogan said: "Absolutely not. That's a very good team."



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