Ron Moshier - Sports

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Moshier: New Hartford now No. 4 in state

New Hartford High School’s football team moved up a notch in this week’s Class A state rankings, the Spartans (4-0) now No. 4 behind top-ranked Sweet Home, No. 2 Burnt Hills and No. 3 Rochester Aquinas.


New Hartford’s move comes after fourth-ranked Rye High, last year’s Class B state champion, had its 27-game winning streak snapped by a 13-7 loss to No. 10 Eastchester. One of those 27 straight victories for Rye was a 16-12 win over Oneida in last year’s Class B state championship game at the Carrier Dome.


The state’s longest active winning streak is now 20, and it belongs to defending Class C state champion and top-ranked Jamestown Southwestern, a 49-8 winner over perennial Class B power Lackawanna last week! Section III has three ranked “C” teams, including No. 5 Bishop Ludden, No. 8 General Brown and No. 11 Cazenovia.


Fulton (4-0) is No. 16 in the Class A state poll, and the Red Raiders meet No. 4 New Hartford in a nonleague crossover next week. Whitesboro (4-0) remains an “honorable mention” in Class A.


Westmoreland (4-0) is firmly entrenched as the state’s top-ranked Class D team, followed by Dundee of Section V, Delhi of Section IV, and Maple Grove of Section VI. Watertown’s Immaculate Heart Central is No. 6 and Weedsport is No. 11.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Moshier: Holland Patent night football not at first

The phrase, “believed to be the first,” came in handy again last Friday night when Holland Patent’s Golden Knights played Cooperstown in a Class C East showdown that many believed was the first night-time high school football game ever played at Holland Patent.


By at least one reader’s account, “not so.”


For the record, according to everybody I talked to, it was “believed” to be the first. But according to an email from a Holland Patent reader who seemed to know what he was talking about – unfortunately, phone calls to him were not returned, so I won’t use his name – “Previous to 1952, most home football games were played under the lights at the softball field located in the village of Holland Patent.”


At that time, he wrote, Holland Patent played six-man football.


Once again, thanks to a local reader who has been around a little longer than I have, using “believed to be the first” helped me find out otherwise. And I appreciate it.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Moshier: Showdown with Delhi in Class D football future?

State-ranked No. 1 Westmoreland has to be the favorite to represent Section III in this year’s Class D state football playoffs.

Section III’s Class D champion, no matter who it is, could very well be up against perennial Southern Tier powerhouse Delhi in the opening round of regionals.

Now up to No. 4 in the Class D poll, Delhi knocked off Section IV rival Walton 14-12 last weekend. Walton slipped from No. 8 to No. 19 in the Class C state rankings. Last year, in a Week 3 nonleague game, Westmoreland beat Delhi 21-14.

Westmoreland is followed in this week’s Class D state poll by Dundee and Avon of Section V.

In Class AA, Baldwinsville rises to No. 8 after edging CBA 30-28 last week. Liverpool is No. 13.

In Class A, New Hartford remains at No. 5 and Fulton is No. 17.

In Class B, Westhill is No. 10 and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill breaks into the rankings at No. 16.

In Class C, Bishop Ludden is No. 6, General Brown is No. 9, and Cazenovia is No. 13.

Moshier: Section III Football Power Rankings

Section III Football

Power Rankings – Week 4



1.   Baldwinsville (3-0): Running back Malik Burks leads all of Section III with 842 rushing yards, 247 of them in last Friday’s come-from-behind, 30-28 win at Christian Brothers Academy.


2.   CBA (2-1): Brothers looking to rebound with a win at Cicero-North Syracuse.


3.   Liverpool (3-0): Running back Greg Bell helped power state-ranked Warriors past Rome Free Academy 44-28.


4.   Auburn (2-1): Big-play TB Ismail Brooks has scored seven touchdowns in each of the last two games. He leads the section with 16 touchdowns, he’s rushed for 790 yards, and he’s averaging 14.9 yards per carry.


5.   Cicero-North Syracuse (2-1): Northstars made it two straight victories with 48-20 rout of winless Central Square, but now they face a CBA team in an ornery mood.



1.   New Hartford (3-0): With Anthony Acevedo rushing for five touchdowns for the second straight week, the Spartans were a big hit in their first home game at the new Don Edick Field. They’re averaging over 48 points per game and showing no signs of slowing down.


2.   Fulton (3-0): The Red Raiders ended four-time defending champion East Syracuse-Minoa’s 10-game American Division winning streak with a 33-20 upset. Now, a mighty telling nonleague matchup with National Division power New Hartford is only a few weeks away.


3.   East Syracuse-Minoa (2-1): After a rare league loss, it will be interesting to see how Spartans fare this week against Carthage.


4.   Whitesboro (3-0): Defense hasn’t allowed more than a touchdown in the Warriors’ last two games.


5.   Indian River (2-1): Warriors have put that one-point loss in season opener at Whitesboro behind them.



1.   Westhill (3-0): Warriors outscored first two opponents 68-0, but they needed to move all-state receiver Dan Ross to quarterback – Ross ran for a 16-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter – to eek out a 13-10 win over West Division rival Marcellus.


2.   Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (3-0): Red Devils on a roll thanks to QB Tyler Mautner, WR Tyler Curtis, and RB Colin Way. Stiffer test may come from Chittenango’s Bears.


3.   Marcellus (1-2): No shame in losing to VVS and Westhill, and the road should get easier for the Mustangs.


4.   South Jefferson (2-1): RB A.J. Chartrand ran for 248 yards and two touchdowns in 26-14 East Division win over defending Section III champion Oneida.


5.   Oneida (2-1): Indians held to 28 rushing yards in their loss to South Jefferson, but they should bounce back in a big way with Week 4 home game against winless Phoenix.



1.   General Brown (3-0): The Lions have outscored their first three opponents 164-6. Those three teams are a combined 2-7. Now, the Lions face Class C North newcomer Adirondack and the 3-0 Wildcats.


 2.  Bishop Ludden (3-0): All-state QB John Rooney and all-state RB Omar Osbourne have Gaelic Knights – upset by Westmoreland in last year’s section final – on a mission.


 3.  Cazenovia (3-0): Lakers have outscored teams 152-20 and there’s no Class C South challenger in sight.


4.   Holland Patent (3-0): Like Cazenovia, this former Class B contender has enjoyed stepping down. Now, the Golden Knights host a 3-0 Cooperstown team with first place in the Class C East at stake.


 5.  Adirondack (3-0): All-time rushing leader Scott Dunlap is long gone, but the Wildcats continue to grind out the yards and the wins with a “committee” that includes RBs Andre Adkins, Jesse Sullivan and Denver Divens and veteran QB Matt Pfendler. They will find out where they stand as a Class C North newcomer with a Friday night trip to Dexter and a first-place showdown with perennial North Country power General Brown.



1.   Westmoreland (3-0): Are the state-ranked No. 1 Bulldogs too good for their own good? So far they are. They’ve outscored their first three opponents 108-6 in the first half and 156-18 overall. With coach Tim Gates calling off the ‘Dogs early and often, at least their starters are well rested.


2.   Watertown IHC (3-0): See above. The Cavaliers haven’t broken a sweat yet, either. Including 36-6 romp over a 2-0 Pulaski team in Week 3, IHC has outscored teams 112-13.


3.   Waterville (3-0): Defense is coach Jerry Corigliano’s forte, and “D” delivered again in 21-7 win over Morrisville-Eaton. Dan Kelly had two of the Indians’ three interceptions.


4.   Notre Dame (2-1): Jugglers took over sole possession of Class D East lead, but they had to squeak by Burrstone Road neighbor New York Mills 12-6 to do it.


5.   Dolgeville (2-1): After getting upset at home by Notre Dame, defending Section III Class D champs took out their frustrations on Little Falls and rolled to 41-0 victory.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Moshier: Too much Jerry Jones

C’mon, NBC. Your “Football Night in America” this past Sunday was more like “Football Night in Dallas,” and the only thing worse than Tony Romo’s quarterbacking was the peacock network’s telecast.


Enough, already, with the palace in Dallas (actually Arlington) that Jerry built. Outside the lines, NBC’s coverage was overdone and overbearing. Real football fans are tuning in to watch the game, not a gloating Jerry Jones or the former First Lady parked in her luxury suite, right there between Jones’ wife and daughter. Find some other filler, please. Real football fans simply don’t care.


Real football fans already have seen more than enough of Jones. What other NFL owner gets more face time? And why him? What have his Cowboys done for him lately? Fortunately, thanks to Romo and the Giants’ last-second win, Jones wasn’t on the Cowboys’ sideline handing out high-fives.


You know he would’ve been there in the end, and you know NBC’s cameras would have found him. That’s too bad. Win or lose, we’ve all seen enough of Jerry Jones (unless, of course, he wanders too close to the real action and is accidently leg-whipped to the turf by Flozell Adams).


Moshier: New Hartford, Whitesboro on football collision course

OK, so we’re only three weeks into the high school football season.

Still, it’s never too early to look ahead when New Hartford and Whitesboro haven’t met yet, and when both the Spartans and the Warriors are off and running at 3-0.

Whitesboro still has a Week 5 trip to Carthage, and New Hartford still has to play Fulton in a nonleague matchup of state-ranked Class A teams in Week 6. But both the Spartans and the Warriors could very well be 6-0 entering the final weekend of the regular season. The Spartans host Whitesboro at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at Don Edick Field.

New Hartford’s no-huddle, spread offense has been next to unstoppable – only General Brown (164), Westmoreland (156), and Cazenovia (152) have scored more points after three weeks than the Spartans’ 145. And Whitesboro’s defense has been stout, allowing only 32 points – just 13 in the last two games.

No matter what happens between now and then, that Week 7 showdown in New Hartford will be, as most New Hartford-Whitesboro matchups are, a must-see.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Moshier: Section III Football Power Rankings

Section III Football

Power Rankings – Week 3



1.   CBA (2-0): A 29-point second half and 35-6 romp over defending section champ Henninger hard to overlook.


2.   Baldwinsville (2-0): RB Malik Burks already has 580 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns.


3.   Liverpool (2-0): Warriors and all-state RB Greg Bell avoided upset at West Genesee, now face RFA at Carrier Dome.


4.   Henninger (1-1): Defending section champions rebuilding, but still a force to be reckoned with.


5.   Cicero-North Syracuse (1-1): Northstars rebounded nicely from season-opening loss to Henninger and a slow start at Proctor.



1.   New Hartford (2-0): Spread offense’s one-two punch of RB Joe Carcone and QB-WR Anthony Acevedo a real knockout.


2.   East Syracuse-Minoa (2-0): All-state RB Dustin Moss has the other Spartans off and running again.


3.   Whitesboro (2-0): Head coach Tom Schoen has 203 career wins and counting.


4.   Fulton (2-0): Red Raiders don’t have a home, but usually can run and can stop the run.


5.   Indian River (1-1): Former Section X power no pushover.



1.   Westhill (2-0): After outscoring first two opponents 68-0, Warriors open West Division play against Marcellus.


2.   Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (2-0): QB Tyler Mautner already has thrown 7 touchdown passes.


3.   Oneida (2-0): Led by Nate Mallinder and new QB Jeremy Rodriguez, defending section champs have rallied for two one-point victories.


4.   Marcellus (1-1): All-state QB Will Fiacchi & Co. trying to avoid back-to-back losses, but will have to upset state-ranked Westhill to do it.


5.   Solvay (1-1): Bearcats on rebound after one-point loss to Oneida.



1.   General Brown (2-0): Steve Fisher’s 243 victories are the most among active Section III coaches, and rumor has it this might be his best team ever.


2.   Bishop Ludden (2-0): Gaelic Knights have won 23 of their last 24 games and should breeze to C West title.


3.   Cazenovia (2-0): Speaking of breezing, Lakers will roll in C South.


4.   Holland Patent (2-0): Move from Class B to “C” looks good so far.


5.   Cooperstown (2-0): Remember that 1-7 season in 2007? The Redskins do.



1.   Westmoreland (2-0): State-ranked No. 1 Bulldogs won’t be challenged until Week 6 matchup with Waterville and former Westmoreland coach Jerry Corigliano.

2.   Watertown IHC (2-0): Cavaliers eyeing return to Carrier Dome final after last year’s 21-14 loss to Dolgeville.

3.   Waterville (2-0): Coach “C” and Indians tuning up for Week 6 reunion in Westmoreland.

4.   Notre Dame (1-1): Jugglers doing a lot with a little and riding 12-7 upset at Dolgeville.

5.   Dolgeville (1-1): Defending section champions look to rebound after rare D East loss, but winning at archrival Little Falls won’t be easy.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Moshier: Westmoreland football No. 1 in the state; New Hartford No. 5

Westmoreland head coach Tim Gates would be the first to admit this doesn’t mean a thing (not now, anyway), but the first installment of the New York State Sportswriters Association’s weekly state rankings has his 2-0 Bulldogs sitting at the very top of the Class D poll.


For what it’s worth in Week 3 of the regular season, Westmoreland, playing at the Class D level after reaching the Class C state quarterfinals last fall, is ranked No. 1 ahead of Section V schools Dundee and Avon from the Buffalo area and perennial Section IV power Delhi from the Southern Tier.


Christian Brothers Academy is No. 3 in Class AA, defending Section III champion New Hartford is No. 5 in Class A, Westhill is No. 11 and defending section champ Oneida is No. 18 in Class B, and Bishop Ludden is No. 7 in Class C.


Joining Class D Westmoreland as the state’s other top-ranked teams are Monroe-Woodbury (AA), Sweet Home (A), Lansingburgh (B), and Jamestown Southwestern (C).


Monday, September 14, 2009

Moshier: Westmoreland's Bulldogs could use a test

Westmoreland’s football team is 2-0, but head coach Tim Gates may have a problem keeping his Bulldogs interested for the next few weeks.


In the Class D South, there may be too many easy pickings to do the Bulldogs any good. Take their Week 2 win over Oriskany, for instance. All-state running back Justin Becker touched the football eight times and scored five touchdowns, three on runs and two on pass receptions, and Westmoreland led 41-0 at the half. The final was 53-6.


Next up for the Bulldogs is Rome Catholic, and then Morrisville-Eaton and Hamilton, before ending the regular season with an Oct. 10 home game against Waterville. That Week 6 matchup should be worth watching, but between now and then, Westmoreland’s Bulldogs probably won’t break a sweat.


In the long run, that may hurt their chances of winning a third section title in four years. We shall see.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Moshier: High school football announcers should clean up act

Almost 30 years of covering high school football, and some things just never change.


Here we are, just one week into the season, and already a public address announcer has made me shake my head and wonder, yet again, why somebody hasn’t laid down the law about what should and shouldn’t be said when there is a microphone in your hand and a game going on.


The unwritten rules are really this simple: Keep it simple. Or, in other words, simply stick to the facts. Please!


OK, so this isn’t the NFL. Still, no announcer at a high school football game, or any other high school sporting event for that matter, should be saying, “Let’s hear it for your (fill in the home team’s mascot here),” while the game is going on. Leave that to the cheerleaders. That’s what they are there for.


Please don’t tell us this is a big fourth-down play. We know that. Please don’t sound a bit too thrilled when the injured player who “appears to be shaken up” happens to be the visiting team’s quarterback. We can see that. And never, ever tell us the visiting team has a third down and “a mile to go” for a first down. Phrases like that should be kept to yourself. Please.


When we’re talking football, the less said, the better. All we really need to hear is the who, the what, and the where. Just tell us who carried or threw or caught the ball, who made the tackle, at what yard line, and down and distance.


It’s that simple. And if you don’t think it can be done that simply and succinctly, then you’ve never been to a Rome Free Academy home game at RFA Stadium. And if you’ve never been there, please go and learn from the very best. For many, many years, nobody around these parts has been doing it better than Ray Tarkowski, the voice of RFA’s home football games.


Here’s to hoping at least some of you follow his example. And if you don’t, hopefully somebody at your school finds somebody else who will. Please.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Moshier: Herkimer's Crandall impressive

Another Crandall kid from Herkimer, another star in the making?


It looks that way.


Sophomore Sean Crandall, the younger brother of former Herkimer High School standouts Kyle and J.J., was more than a little bit impressive in Saturday’s season opener at Dolgeville.


Crandall, a six-foot, 190-pounder, played tailback and quarterback, alternating most of the day with senior Mike Fahy. Crandall rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns, had two completions for 30 yards, and also caught four passes for 26 yards. He also played linebacker for the Magicians, who rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit and then lost in the final minute, 27-21.


Despite the loss, Herkimer looks like a Class C East contender again this year, led by seniors Fahy and Myles Malta and yet another multi-talented Crandall kid. Fahy can run and throw, too, but he may be most impressive as a place kicker and punter. He’s got quite a leg.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moshier: New Hartford, Westmoreland gridders repeat?

Every high school football season has its surprises, right?


Well, not exactly. Not this one. Not when you’re talking Section III Class C and Class D football, anyway.


Without going out on much of a limb, let’s first state the obvious and predict a Cazenovia vs. Bishop Ludden final in Class C. Westmoreland knocked off both of them last year, rallying from a 13-0 deficit and beating Cazenovia 23-20 for the Class C South title and later upsetting defending state champion and state-ranked No. 1 Bishop Ludden 24-19 in the Carrier Dome’s Section III finals.


Cazenovia’s Lakers, coached by Rome’s Tom Neidl, had won back-to-back Class B championships in 2006-07. This year, they should return with a vengeance, winning the Class C South with ease. Bishop Ludden, though, is the pick here to win it all in Class C, thanks to the return of all-state players John Rooney at quarterback and leading rusher Omar Osbourne at tailback.


Locally, the Class C East Division is loaded, led by defending league champ Herkimer and Cooperstown, whose Redskins return almost everyone from a team that handed Herkimer its only league loss and finished 6-2 overall. Many of the same Cooperstown players labored through a 1-7 season when young underclassmen were thrown into the fire in 2007. With Herkimer and Cooperstown up against Holland Patent, a Class B semifinalist last year, Ilion, Frankfort-Schuyler and Mohawk/Richfield Springs, the Class C East race should be one of this year’s most intriguing.


Section III’s Class D championship should pit two of last year’s champs, Westmoreland and Dolgeville, against each other in what would be a mighty Carrier Dome matchup of perennial powerhouse. Unfortunately, that can’t happen. Not with Section III’s new 16-team, Class C-D playoff format, which locks in North vs. West and South vs. East “conference” championship matchups. Westmoreland will win the Class D South, Dolgeville will win the Class D East, and one of them will staying home while the other plays for another Section III crown at the Carrier Dome. That’s a shame.


Led by all-state tailback Justin Becker and quarterback Dan Smith, Westmoreland will move on and the Bulldogs will claim their third section title in four years.


In Class AA-1 and Class AA-2 divisions, young and relatively inexperienced Thomas R. Proctor High School and Rome Free Academy teams will have a tough time qualifying for the Section III playoffs. Defending champion Henninger, Christian Brothers Academy, Liverpool and West Genesee look like the favorites here.


If New Hartford’s Spartans stay healthy and Anthony Acevedo’s move to quarterback works out the way they expect it to, they should repeat as Section III’s Class A champions. League rivals Whitesboro and Camden will not be pushovers, though, and defending Class A American Division champ East Syracuse-Minoa returns all-state running back Dustin Moss.


A Marcellus team returning all-state quarterback Will Fiacchi and a Westhill team featuring all-state receiver Dan Ross look like the class of Class B, but don’t be surprised if defending section champ and 2008 state runner-up Oneida makes some more noise even without all-state quarterback Ryan Kramer.