2013 Chenango Forks Varsity Football

Game 5 vs Newark Valley

Articles courtesy of the
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

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Chenango Forks shuts down Newark Valley with strong running, solid defense

Kevin Stevens
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

NEWARK VALLEY — Chenango Forks coupled a methodically effective running game with mostly-sound team defense Saturday to knock off previously unbeaten Newark Valley, 35-14, in Division III football.

Isaiah Zimmer rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns for the Blue Devils, who’ve strung three comfortable victories since being blanked in Week 2 at Tioga Central.

Odd as it may be to suggest Forks was tested given the three-TD difference, the Devils left with a good bit of respect for the Cardinals — who rang up 321 yards of offense and, get this, forced three second-half punts.

“We knew they had players, four or five especially that really stuck out. So, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” said coach David Hogan, whose Forks squad has limited all five foes to 14 points or fewer.

“We got down at the beginning and our kids came back,” Newark Valley coach Brian Sherwood said. “I thought we had a great second half, kids made the adjustments, listened and played hard.

“We’re getting there.”

Just maybe, it took the Cardinals a bit to settle in and simply play football against the likes of Chenango Forks, which has posted two-digit win totals 10 of the last 12 seasons and has 11 state-playoff appearances to none for Newark Valley.

The Blue Devils’ first four possessions brought 199 rushing yards and four touchdowns, two of them by Zimmer, a powerful-yet-nimble 190-pounder for whom Cardinals defenders had little answer before halftime.

The football was handed or tossed by quarterback John Colm Sweeney to Zimmer on 14 of Forks’ first 19 offensive plays, and the result was an average 5.7-yard gain.

Yes, predictable as a snowy February — but highly effective nevertheless.

“We were hoping to keep him under 120, so that tells you what kind of running back he is right there,” Sherwood said.. “You know he’s going to carry the ball anywhere from 26 to 40 times a game, and often you know where he’s going and we were there — but he would bounce it.

“It’s more of a problem that he has that ability to bounce to the next hole. He can run into his own blockers and change direction, too. He’s a heck of an athlete. And he never gets tired.”

Zimmer’s nifty footwork and refusal to go down on an initial hit in concert with quality work turned in up front — a couple-season staple of Forks’ offense — was the theme of Saturday’s first half.

The first two touchdowns were his doing, on rushes of 3 yards early on and 6 yards four plays into the second quarter.

The third TD came on freshman L.J. Watson’s second carry, a 49-yard beauty on which he took a toss left, found space along the guests’ sideline and outraced defenders across the goal line.

It became a four-touchdown difference — 28-0, with sure-footed Tony Silvanic converting extra points — when Sweeney turned what appeared pass intentions into a 6-yard rushing TD that began on an inside path 1:41 before halftime.

Newark Valley (4-1) struck on the next play from scrimmage when quarterback Vinnie Darpino accelerated quickly through an inside gap and sprinted 71 yards for a score that most certainly grabbed the attention of Forks coaches.

“I think we did something we shouldn’t have done,” Hogan said. “That’s not to take credit away from their play but, nobody should be able to score on a (71-yard) quarterback sneak — nobody.”

A scoreless third quarter brought punts of 38 and 55 yards by Zimmer, and a 50-yard Newark Valley drive that went south on the 12th play when a fourth-and-8 pass fell incomplete.

Zimmer’s third touchdown came on a 21-yard rush on which he started inside and negotiated craftily right into space. The Cardinals’ Trevor Hoffmier took a toss play 10 yards for the final TD with 3:03 remaining.

Darpino closed with 100 rushing yards on nine carries and Larry Kasmarcik another 73 on 10 carries for Newark Valley, which visits Whitney Point on Friday night.

Watson’s five rushed gained 81 yards for Forks, which hosts Greene on Saturday.

01 02 03 04   Tot
Chenango Forks 7 21 0 7 - 35
Newark Valley 0 7 0 7 - 14
  • CF - Isaiah Zimmer 3y run (Tony Silvanic kick)
  • CF - Zimmer 6y run (Silvanic kick)
  • CF - LJ Watson 49y run (Silvanic kick)
  • CF - JC Sweeney 6y run (Silvanic kick)
  • NV - Vinnie Darpino 71y run (C. Coleman kick)
  • CF - Zimmer 21y run (Silvanic kick)
  • NV - Trevor Hoffmier 10y run (Coleman kick)


First Downs 15 18
Rushes-Yards 40-248 44-308
Passing Yards 73 24
Comp-Att-Int 4-13-0 4-8-0
Total Offense 44-53-321 52-332
Punts-Ave yards 4-9.3 4-10.7
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 2-10 3-20


Newark Valley rushing

  • Vinnie Darpino    9-100  1 TD
  • Larry Kasmarcik  10-73
  • Nathan Holt       9-40
  • Trevor Hoffmier   8-29   1 TD
  • Chris Alexander   1-4
  • Trenton French    1-1
  • Brett Kunze       2-1

Chenango Forks rushing

  • Isaiah Zimmer    23-148  3 TD
  • LJ Watson         5-81   1 TD
  • JC Sweeney        8-39   1 TD
  • Dylan Studer      1-22
  • Ryan Bronson      3-16
  • Sean Miller       1-2
  • Cody Lamond       1-1
  • Tony Silvanic     1-1
  • Alex Freije       1-(-2)

Newark Valley  passing

  • Vinnie Darpino 4-for-13, 73y
  • Trevor Hoffmier 0-for-1

Chenango Forks passing

  • JC Sweeney, 4-for-8, 24y

Newark Valley  receiving

  • Larry Kasmarcik  2-42
  • Aaron Baylor     2-31

Chenango Forks receiving:  

  • Cody Lamond      1-11
  • Ryan Bronson     2-8
  • LJ Watson        1-5

JV Score:   

Preview Article(s) 


Post-game Midweek Article(s):    

Fifth Quarter:

Published Tuesdays in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin


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