New Hartford – New Hartford’s football team had some electrifying plays early in Friday’s game against East Syracuse-Minoa. Unfortunately for the hosts, the visitors had even more and they led to a 52-34 ES-M victory. “They’re a very good team,” NH coach Kyle Hutchinson said of ES-M after his team fell to 0-2 on the season. “It’s a team you’re never going to get anything easy out of them.” Indeed.
ES-M wasted little time to start the scoring. Gregory Buck ran well two straight plays then Jakob Rodman tossed a swing pass to Jeremy Perry for a 45-yard touchdown with just 1:02 elapsed. Buck’s kick made it 7-0 for ES-M and the offensive fireworks had begun.
Dominick Pfisterer kept them going, but for the hosts on their second possession. Rodman had bottled NH up with a great punt out of bounds at the NH 7. After a loss of a yard, Pfisterer ran a quarterback draw 94 yards for a TD. While the PAT failed, NH still was hopeful of evening its record.
That didn’t happen. Rodman passed to Perry for another score on a swing pass with 3:47 left in the first period and Perry broke loose for a 12-yard TD run to begin the second period.
Pfisterer had a 47-yard quarterback draw to begin NH’s next drive and Evan Strassberger had a good run to put ES-M on the defensive. The visitors could not stop NH this time as Pfisterer ran the draw again from the ES-M 7 for a score. Bottled up in the middle, he broke wide left for his second score, this with 10:18 left in the second period.
ES-M steadily pulled away as the period wore on, though, and the ensuing kickoff may have been the reason. ES-M’s Cody LaRoche appeared headed for a TD return when Ryan Murray forced a fumble while tackling him from behind near the NH 15. The ball bounced directly to Ny-Zhier Jefferson, though, and the ES-M sophomore ran the ball to the NH 3. Perry ran it in on the next play and TD runs by Buck and Perry as the half wound down left ES-M with a 40-12 lead at the half.
Any hope of a dramatic comeback vanished for NH with a fumble in the opening minute of the third period. ES-M responded with two passes from Rodman to Brandon Santillo, the second for a TD from seven yards away that put the score at 46-12.
“I felt we played well,” ES-M’s veteran coach Kevin DeParde said. “We cleaned up a lot of things from last week.” Like NH, ES-M lost its opener. Unlike NH, ES-M was able to make a few more plays at critical times Friday night and it led to the comfortable victory. “I’m happy with the performance, but we’ve got to get better,” DeParde said.
Rodman could not have been much better through the air as he completed 14 of 15 passes for 235 yards. Perry caught four of them for 145 yards and ran 11 times for 100 yards to pace the ES-M offense. Nick Castrello led the visitors on defense with 12 tackles.
Pfisterer tossed a 46-yard TD pass to Ryan Murray in the third period and Andrew Circelli and Pfisterer had TD runs of six and 29 yards respectively in the fourth to close out the scoring. Pfisterer finished with 224 yards rushing on 15 carries and was 6-for-15 for 80 yards passing. Strassberger was the second leading rusher for NH with 60 yards on 13 carries and Dan Torres was 4-for-27 rushing. Justin Alpert had three receptions to pace the NH receivers and Ryan Murray, Circelli, Kyle Kuty and Ryan McCormac had five tackles to apiece to lead the defense.
“It’s a big improvement,” Hutchinson said. “I saw a lot of senior leadership and the young guys did some good things, too. But there’s still a lot to fix.”
Next up for NH is its home rivalry game September 18 against Whitesboro.
ES-M 14 26 6 6 – 52
NH 6 6 8 14 – 34
ES-M: Jakob Rodman 45 pass to Jeremy Perry (Gregory Buck kick)
NH: Dominick Pfisterer 94 run (kick failed)
ES-M: Rodman 13 pass to Perry (Buck kick)
ES-M: Perry 12 run (kick failed)
NH: Pfisterer 7 run (pass failed)
ES-M Perry 3 run (kick blocked)
ES-M: Buck 4 run (kick blocked)
ES-M: Perry 6 run (Rodman run)
ES-M: Rodman 7 pass to Brandon Santillo (kick failed)
NH: Rodman 46 pass to Ryan Murray (Rodman pass to Strassberger)
ES-M: Perry 4 run (run failed)
NH: Andrew Circelli 6 run (Strassberger run)
NH: Pfisterer 29 run (kick failed)
Records: ES-M 1-1, NH 0-2.