By Nick Sardina
UTICA – The Notre Dame Jugglers completely dominated the Dolgeville Blue Devils Saturday in a clash of teams that won Section III titles in 2014.
Notre Dame, the 2014 Section III Class C champs, displayed their overall skill level in controlling the game from the opening whistle, outgaining last year’s Class D champs 345 to -11 in the first half en route to a 51-14 victory at Brother Victor McCarthy Memorial Stadium.
Senior quarterback Anthony Bianco was 18 of 20 for 236 yards in the first half, including three touchdown passes to star wideout Jerome Brabham. The senior standout hauled in 10 passes for 136 yards in the opening half, while fellow wideout Nick Sullivan also had a big game, catching seven passes for 77 yards.
Bianco did a masterful job of moving the ball around. From quick hitches to Sullivan, who consistently dragged Dolgeville defenders for extra yardage, to several skinny posts to Brabham, Bianco got the ball out on time and with accuracy throughout.
“We took what they gave us,” said Bianco, who had to sit and wait for his opportunity while playing behind Devin Warmack the past two seasons. “Our line blocked great and I have weapons all around me. Everything was clicking today, and we have good chemistry forming. That’s the way we need to play. It’s Notre Dame football.”
In between long gains through the air, the Jugglers also had their way with Dolgeville on the ground as senior Kinsey Williams, a three-year starter, rushed for 165 yards and three scores on just 11 carries.
“We had great blocking up front, and with our passing game going, I had a lot of holes and took advantage of it,” said Williams, who scored on runs of 11, 31 and 2 in the first half.
It was a nice bounce back for the Jugglers (1-1), who lost in the ‘Kickoff Classic’ to Newark Valley Sunday at the Carrier Dome.
“Last week was (Bianco’s) first game, so every game he gets needed experience,” Notre Dame second-year head coach Jake DerCola said.
If he can improve on Saturday’s performance, the Jugglers, who have an experienced offensive line and plenty of talent at the skill positions, will be a tough team to handle the rest of the season.
“I knew we needed to use our speed,” DerCola said. “We needed to get to the edge and get the ball outside to the playmakers we have. We spread the ball around and made them cover the entire field, and that’s what we wanted to do to them because they are tough up the middle.”
Never huddling, the Jugglers scored first-half touchdowns on drives of eight, five, one, five, two and eight. Even more impressive was that none of the drives took longer than 3 minutes, 13 seconds. Bianco’s timing on post routes was very impressive, as he expertly looked off the safety and led Brabham perfectly out of his breaks on the back side.
“We exploited their defense early and we kept going with what was working,” said Brabham, who used his 6-4, 185-pound frame to go up and pull down several passes over Dolgeville defenders. “We came out with great intensity and knew if we played Notre Dame football, we would win. When they play off me we throw short and use my ability to make people miss. Then if they play up, we can go deep.”
With the offense clicking on all cylinders, the Notre Dame defense was just as impressive while physically dominating a Blue Devils team that is used to pushing around opponents. It wasn’t until the Jugglers pulled several starters that Dolgeville was able to get the ball rolling.
“Defensively we worked on not overrunning plays. Last week we got in there but ran five yards up field and gave up big runs. We worked on getting one yard upfield and let the play come right to us. We were tough on defense today.”
Running back Devin Gorinshek led the Blue Devils (1-1) with 35 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Kyle Walrath closed out the scoring with a nice 38-yard catch and run for a touchdown on a pass from Aasin Claus. Dolgeville and head coach Dan Zilkowski, who declined an interview after the game, look to rebound next Friday night at Mount Markham in a Class D East matchup.
A.J. Papa had a touchdown run and Treijin Garrett rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown for the Jugglers, who play at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill at 2 p.m. next Saturday.
Notre Dame 51, Dolgeville 14
Dolgeville 0 0 8 6—14
Notre Dame 19 20 6 6–51
N-Jerome Brabham 1 pass from Anthony Bianco (kick failed)
N-Kinsey Williams 11 run (Williams kick)
N-Brabham 16 pass from Bianco (kick failed)
N-Brabham 12 pass from Bianco (Williams kick)
N-Williams 31 run (kick failed)
N-Williams 2 run (Williams kick)
N-A.J. Papa 1 run (kick blocked)
D-Devin Gorinshek 5 run (Nicholas Bailey run)
N-Treijin Garrett 2 run (kick failed)
D-Kyle Walrath 38 pass from Aasin Claus (run failed)