By Perry L. Novak
Holland Patent – With a nearly perfect effort, Utica Notre Dame’s state-ranked football team wrapped up a league title Saturday with a 42-6 win at Holland Patent.
Coach Jake Dercola’s Jugglers scored 21 unanswered points in the first half while allowing just four first downs for the hosts. It was more of the same in the second half as state-ranked UND (6-1) scored 21 more points before HP could manage a touchdown in the final minute.
“It’s been lights out the past two weeks on defense, and (tonight) we played a little better on offense,” Dercola said.
It began with dominant play by the offensive line of Joe and Jack Flynt, J.P. Gilroy, Bruno Arcuri and Ben Allen. They opened great holes for Kinsey Williams and Jerome Brabham to run through and gave A.T. Bianco great protection to complete nine of 10 passes for 104 yards.
“It’s one of the better offensive lines, I’ve been told, at Notre Dame,” the youthful Dercola said. “The work they put in all week against each other helps us do a nice job.”
And in the October 17 contest, the UND offensive line made a tough job look somewhat easy. HP entered the game hoping to win and claim the Class C East league title, but UND scored against the hosts’ stingy defense every series but two by the time the lead was 35-0.
Brabham started the scoring by running one yard for a TD with 8:34 left in the first quarter. HP countered with a great 14-yard run by Hunter Richard on its first offensive play, but that was the last first down for the hosts until the closing minutes of the first half. By then, Brabham tossed a terrific 30-yard scoring pass to Nick Sullivan and Williams sped away from his former school – he transferred to UND for his senior year – for a 57-yard TD.
Williams opened the second half scoring for UND with an almost identical run. This one was for a 52-yard TD on the first play of a drive and the large hometown crowd could sense the outcome was decided despite being in the opening stages of the third period.
Brabham relieved Bianco at quarterback on UND’s next series and ran the wildcat formation well. He had a 35-yard gain to key the 44-yard drive and scored on a 2-yard run. Williams added the fifth of his six straight PAT kicks for the 35-0 edge.
UND stretched it to 42-0 in the fourth period as Devin Smith had a 57-yard interception return for a score. It was the third interception for UND, the others belonging to Nick Sullivan.
HP avoided the shutout when Kyle LaPointe scored on a 2-yard run with 32.8 seconds to play
Williams led all runners with 18 carries for 180 yards.
UND 14 7 14 7 – 42
HP 0 0 0 6 – 6
UND: Jerome Brabham 1 run (Kinsey Williams kick)
UND: Brabham 30 pass to Nick Sullivan (Williams kick)
UND: Williams 57 run (Williams kick)
UND: Williams 52 run (Williams kick)
UND: Brabham 2 run (Williams kick)
UND: Devin Smith 57 int. ret. (Williams kick)
HP: Kyle LaPoint 2 run (run failed)
Records: UND 6-1, HP 5-2.