TOWN OF CHENANGO — How's this for an ideal start
to a football game for a squad coming off a prickly defeat:
Chenango Forks logged four touchdowns and created two turnovers
before Dryden gained its initial first down.
So it went Saturday afternoon when the Blue
Devils rolled to a 49-12 romp born of early superiority in every
phase of play. Forks' first six possessions went for touchdowns,
one week after failing to put up a point at Tioga Central.
"This week we were just itching to get out here
and prove what we are," said quarterback John Colm Sweeney, who
ran for one score and passed for another in a first-half span of
2:04. "Last week was a little bit of a setback and we're going
to use that as motivation for the rest of the season, make sure
that doesn't happen again."
Fullback Isaiah Zimmer turned his 18 rushes into
122 yards and three touchdowns, and four teammates joined in the
touchdown-fest as Forks — the state's fifth-ranked Class C team
— improved to 2-1.
Dryden (2-1) got 261 passing yards on 18-for-31
accuracy from Alan Davis. The Purple Lions' scores came on
fourth-quarter passes of 40 and 75 yards, respectively, to
Dryden turned over the football on its third and
fourth offensive plays.
The first was result of an errant pitch by Davis
— under substantial duress by Forks defenders — after which the
Devils went 17 yards on five plays. Zimmer rushed left for 3
yards and a touchdown, and Tony Silvanic added the first of his
seven PAT kicks 2:58 into the contest.
Jack Sherwood then picked off a first-down pass —
despite sporting a sizeable cast on one wrist — next time Dryden
touched the ball, giving the hosts possession at the Lions'
30-yard line. Zimmer carried up the middle for a 5-yard scoring
rush on the drive's seventh play.
The first of Dryden's two first-quarter punts
gave Forks possession 41 yards from another score. A
fourth-and-6 pass from Sweeney to freshman L.J. Watson went for
a 21-yard gain when Watson fumbled but summarily retrieved the
bounce and proceeded forward.
The third TD was all about Sweeney's vision and
feel for Forks' offense, as he kept on an option play headed
right for a 10-yard TD rush with 78 seconds remaining in the
Dryden opted for a quick-kick punt by Davis on
third down from its 8-yard line, and Forks got the ball back at
the Lions' 41 with 36 seconds left in the quarter.
A Sweeney-to-Zimmer pass went for 13 first-down
yards, and on the second play of the second quarter, Sweeney
passed effortlessly to a lonely Andrew Ziegenfus in the right
side of the end zone.
At that juncture, Forks had 28 points to Dryden's
minus-17 yards of offense.
"It was huge for us," Blue Devils coach David
Hogan said of the decisive getaway. "We talked about it all
week. It was a long week, as might be expected after a loss like
that, but it was huge to come out the way we did. We were ready
"We all did our jobs, all took care of our blocks
and we went right down the field," said Zimmer.
Dryden then mounted a drive good for 36 yards but
which ended with back-to-back incomplete passes. The Blue Devils
stuck exclusively to the ground game for their fifth score.
The largest chunks were picked up on rushes of 14
and 10 yards by Watson, and on an 18-yarder by Zimmer that
closed with him dragging several defenders for the final 5 or
so. Ryan Bronson rushed in from the 3-yard line and another
Silvanic kick made for a 35-0 difference with 2:18 left in the
Forks took the second-half kickoff and went 60
yards on six plays, the last two featuring a 24-yard rush by
Bronson and a 21-yard scoring run by Zimmer, who was provided
ample room left for starters before subtly drifting right to get
across the goal line.
Dryden's first touchdown came on a 40-yard
Davis-to-McHerron pass on the first play of the final quarter,
and on a 75-yard catch-and-dash by McHerron with 6:46 to play.
Silvanic, in at quarterback in the late going,
transformed a broken play into a 20-yard improvisational
touchdown rush to complete a personal 13-point outing with 3:48
Next for Forks is a Friday night game at Lansing.
Dryden's Week 4 assignment comes at home against Greene.