C-NS football run ends in state semifinal loss to McQuaid

first_imgBoth sides had overcome plenty to get to this state semifinal. Of course, the Northstars had rallied from second-half deficits in each of its previous three playoff games, while the Knights had toppled rival Aquinas in the Section V final and powerhouse Lancaster in the regional final.Barely a minute into the game, C-NS led 7-0, taking the opening kickoff and needing just four plays to go 64 yards. Mike Washington’s 33-yard dash set up J.J. Razmovski’s six-yard scoring pass to Mason Ellis.McQuaid took less than three minutes to answer. As he would do all night, Andrew Passero, the Knights’ 5-foot-6, 160-pound tailback, would find gaps and dash through them, going 25 yards for the tying touchdown on fourth-down-and-one. Fourth-down plays would prove critical throughout the game. C-NS was stopped on one of them when an attempted double pass was broken up, though it didn’t keep the Northstars from going up 14-7 early in the second quarter when Washington tore down the right sideline 64 yards to the end zone.But when an attempted onside kick was negated, McQuaid, from midfield, moved to another tying score on quarterback Joe Cairns’ one-yard plunge. On the Knights’ next possession, it drove 79 yards, mixing runs and passes before Cairns scored again from three yards out.Trailing 21-14 at halftime, the Northstars saw the deficit grow thanks to a third straight McQuaid drive early in the third quarter. Cairns’ 29-yard pass to tight end Jordan Brongo was the key play as Cairns earned a third TD from one yard out.When C-NS countered by driving to McQuaid’s one, it got halted near the goal line and, on fourth down, saw a pass fall incomplete, which cost the Northstars time, but once again C-NS tried to find a way back.Adron Pafford’s long punt return inside the Knights’ 10 set up Razmovski’s five-yard TD pass to Matt Klamm just as the period ended, cutting McQuaid’s lead in half, to 28-21.Now it was the Knights’ passing game that emerged, with Cairns finding Brongo for 24 yards and Casey Howlett on a 37-yard swing pass, leading to a Cairns-to-Howlett two-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter.The Northstars still had time and drove 75 yards to the McQuaid seven, where on yet another key fourth-down play Razmovski found Pafford in the end zone, making it 35-28 with 5:44 to play.Trying to put the game away, McQuaid moved inside C-NS’s 10. With a fourth-down chance to get the ball back, the Northstars instead jumped offsides, leading to a Knights first down – and a Passero two-yard TD run two plays later.The game’s lone turnover came when Will Teresi intercepted Razmovski with less than two minutes to play, and the Knights advanced to face New Rochelle in next Sunday’s state AA final at the Dome.Even amid the post-game sadness, the C-NS players and coaches shared plenty of joy, too. From the second-half rallies against Liverpool and Utica Proctor to capture the sectional title to the last-second Andrew Osier field goal that beat Corning in the regional final, this unlikely group of Northstars created plenty of memories while showing a remarkable resilience.“These kids did something that no one dreamed they would do,” said Kline. Tags: C-NSfootball Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Though one more memorable post-season comeback could not get pulled off, what the Cicero-North Syracuse football team accomplished just to reach its third consecutive state Class AA semifinal was remarkable enough.The dream of a state title ended Saturday night at Bragman Stadium when the Northstars took a 42-28 defeat to Rochester’s McQuaid Jesuit, who moved out in front in the game’s middle stages and never let C-NS catch up.“We just ran out of gas at the end,” said C-NS head coach Dave Kline. “They (McQuaid) were more physical than we were.”last_img read more

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