Warriors enjoy a little payback in Indian Bowl

Liam Kane ran hard, his teammates opened holes and Stillwater finally regained possession of the Ind

Liam Kane ran hard, his teammates opened holes and Stillwater finally regained possession of the Indian Bowl trophy.

Kane scored a pair of first-half touchdowns, and the Warriors played shutout football deep into the fourth quarter in a 14-7 Class C North Division triumph Friday night on rival Mechaniville’s wet and muddy field.

“We’re a power team, but for tonight’s game, we had planned to do a bunch of different things. We were going to run this play and that play,” said Stillwater coach Vince Barber. “So what did we end up doing? We ran off tackle. Basic plays.”

“They just manhandled us,” said Mechanicville coach Kevin Collins. “They did what they wanted to do, and we couldn’t stop it.”

Running behind a line led by 6-foot-5, 330-pound tackle Matt Campion, Kane gained 179 yards on 32 carries to help keep the chains moving and the clock ticking on Mechanicville’s homecoming night. The junior tailback scored on a four-yard run to cap Stillwater’s opening drive, and bolted 65 yards for a second-quarter touchdown.

“I’m so proud of our guys,” said Campion. “We worked so hard all week, and it paid off.”

“The big guys were willing to block. I didn’t move the ball. They did,” said Kane. “We ran a lot of off tackle. They made the push and the holes were opening. It was a good game for the line.

“It was a a good game for everyone.”

Stillwater had lost five straight games to its neighboring rival, including a 34-0 setback last year and a 40-7 defeat the year before. The Warriors’ last win in the series came in 2004, 13-12.

“This game resonates throughout the whole year. It’s very difficult to lose it,” said Collins. “When you’ve had the trophy on your desk for six years, it’s tough to hand it over.”

Mechanicville’s bid to keep the trophy ended after several laterals on its last desperation play. Red Raiders’ linemen Nate Hatalsky ended up with the ball and was tackled by Shawn McNeil 30 yards shy of the end zone.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win here on their homecoming,” said Kane. “It’s all about pride. We came up here to play. We did it for now, and we did it for all of the past Warriors.”

“We wanted game film of the 2004 game before we came over,” said Campion. “We used it as mot­ivation.”

Both teams are 3-3 in the North Division and tied for fourth place. Stillwater holds the all-important head-to-head tie-breaker for the div­ision’s final Section II playoff seed. Stillwater plays against Corinth (2-4) next week, and Mechanicville gets Tamarac (5-1).

“This feels great. This is the best way to close in on the playoffs, with a win against Mechanicville,” said Campion, whose was joined on the Stillwater line by Mike Danforth, Zach Ryan, Tyler Kondas and Bobby Morris, among others. “If we beat Corinth, we’re in.”

Kane was in the end zone on the 12th play of Stillwater’s game-starting 80-yard march. The drive included a 14-yard pass from Nick Dunn to Rick McBride, and runs of 14 and 11 yards by Kane.

Kane took the ball 65 yards for his second touchdown on the first play after a Mechanicville punt, and Dean Gazzelli’s extra point made it 14-0 for all the points Stillwater would need.

Mechanicville quarterback Sal Cimino found Jordan McBride beyond the Stillwater secondary and the duo hooked up on a 65-yard touchdown with 1:49 left in the game. Kane had fumbled moments before, and Adam Erno recovered.

“We dominated right up until the fourth quarter,” said Barber. “We fumbled and had a blown coverage, but other than that, we played well.”

Mechanicville tailback David Funaro rushed for 88 yards 18 carries, and Cimino hit six of 14 passes, including a 15-yarder to Adam Dunn before his touchdown bomb.

Stillwater 7 7 0 0 — 14

Mechanicville 0 0 0 7 —  7

S — Kane 4 run (Gazzelli kick).

S — Kane 65 run (Gazzelli kick).

M — McBride 65 pass from Cimino (DeCelle kick).

Categories: High School Sports

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