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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, October 6, 2011
Blackbirds able to hang on for 7-6 victory over Indians
By Jordan J. Michael
VOORHEESVILLE With both offenses dormant on Saturday, one touchdown by Voorheesville seemed to be enough for the win. However, Coxsackie-Athens made a late surge and almost stole the game.
The Indians, led by passionate senior quarterback Kyle Humphrey, started a drive at its own 31-yard line with just under three minutes left in regulation play and no timeouts. With the ball at the 49-yard line, Humphrey dropped back and aired a pass to Eric Adams, who pulled in the catch at the 18-yard line.
The homecoming game for Voorheesville had been relatively tedious to this point. Senior Mike Chiseri, who threw for only 37 yards, scored on a quarterback sneak in the third quarter.
After Adams’s catch, the crowd was fully alert. Humphrey completed another pass and James Lawitz was flagged for pass interference to give Coxsackie a first down at the six-yard line.
The crowd was rumbling as a touchdown for the Indians seemed imminent.
“It was a knock-down, drag-out game,” Blackbirds’ Head Coach Joe Sapienza said after the 7-to-6 win. “I know that’s not the most entertaining type of game, but I like it.”
Following a near interception by Voorheesville’s Aumir Roberson, Humphrey hit Adams with a pass down to the one-yard line. After being stopped on third down, Humphrey busted into the end zone on fourth down to get his team within one point with 25 seconds remaining.
With a 0-4 record on the season, the Indians decided to try to win the game with a two-point conversion. The Voorheesville defenders egged on the crowd as Coxsackie came to the line.
“You got to go for the win,” Coxsackie Head Coach Martin Hudson said afterwards.
Humphrey, who threw for 92 yards and ran for 57, went for the quarterback draw and got into the end zone, but a flag had been thrown for illegal procedure on the offense. Coxsackie’s win had been called off and the team’s next attempt fell incomplete.
Hudson thought he had seven players on the line on the first attempt. “I don’t know,” he said after the game. “I’m going to look at the tape.”
Actually, Coxsackie wasn’t even finished. The Indians recovered an onside kick, but Humphrey was sacked on the next play, wasting the rest of the clock. The Birds held on, keeping its slim playoff hopes alive at 2-3.
Chiseri almost couldn’t believe what he was seeing on Coxsackie’s last drive. “We pulled this out,” he said. “We’ve been getting better. We’re starting to come together.”
Sapienza told The Enterprise that Voorheesville didn’t have an answer for Coxsackie’s pass rush. “They kept putting five on the line, so we had to pass from a run formation,” he said. “We tried to make an adjustment at halftime, but it’s hard.”
“They had more guys than we could block,” Chiseri added.
With the passing game suffering, Voorheesville found some room on the ground. Anthony Scaccia ran for 60 yards, Roberson had 37, and Eric Conde went for 33.
“The running game was OK,” Sapienza said. “But, it’s hard to run with no pass.”
Taconic Hills (3-2), which beat Voorheesville in the season opener, put a damper on the Birds’ playoff hopes by beating Canajoharie last Friday. Voorheesville will play at undefeated Fonda on Saturday, while Taconic Hills travels to Watervliet.
Winning at Fonda will be a true challenge for the Blackbirds. “We’ll try our best and do what we can,” Chiseri said.
Voorheesville will play Ichabod Crane in Week 7.
“We had higher hopes than this,” said Sapienza of the 2011 season. “We can’t seem to put four quarters together. I don’t really have an explanation, but I’m trying to find one.”