WHITESBORO – A “total team effort.”
That’s how Whitesboro head coach Tom Schoen described his Whitesboro Warriors’ 42-0 thrashing of Watertown in a Class A National game Friday night at Chiz Frye Field.
Mike Cirasuolo had 132 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns, and speedy sophomore Lucas Casab rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown, while also making another huge impact on special teams for the defending Section 3, Class A champions. The defense was just as impressive, holding the high-powered Cyclones to 167 total yards.
“I thought last week our preparation and focus was a little off,” Schoen said of his team’s 27-14 win at Cortland. “We had too many penalties and turned the ball over. We won, but we didn’t play well. This week they settled down and focused. We had a really good practice last night and tonight we came out of the blocks strong and played four good quarters of football.”
Casab, who raced 86 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter against Cortland, nearly did the same on the opening kickoff Friday night. Casab mishandled the kickoff and corralled the football at his own 5-yard line and raced up the middle and wasn’t brought down until he gave the Warriors a first and goal at Watertown’s 5-yard line.
“He has a tendency to get a little nervous,” Schoen said of his sophomore kick returner/running back. “He had to pick that opening kick off the ground because he dropped it, but he showed what he can do with it. He has great speed and vision, and has a great future. There haven’t been too many 10th graders we’ve trusted enough to put back there.”
Three plays later Cirasuolo smashed in over right guard and Gary Casab’s extra point gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
The Cyclones (1-2) almost answered right back as explosive wideout Mikeal Teamer broke through Whitesboro tacklers and raced toward the sideline before kicker Gary Casab made a touchdown-saving tackle at the Warriors 47-yard line.
On their first drive, Watertown came out throwing and marched to a first-and-goal at the Whitesboro 4-yard line. The Warriors bowed their backs and turned away Watertown’s best, and only good scoring opportunity, with a fourth-down stop as receiver Terrance Lemon was brought down just short of the goal line.
Two possessions later, the Warriors doubled their lead as Lucas Casab took a fly sweep 50 yards down the right sideline and the rout was on.
“Early on they were trying to take away our inside runs,” Casab said. “So the outside runs were open and we had enough numbers to block it. I focus on blocking for my teammates, and when I get the opportunity to run, I have to make the most of it.”
The Cyclones initially did a great job limiting Whitesboro’s inside run game, but the Warriors adjusted and hit several big plays in the opening half. The Warriors had gains of 50, 38 and 44 yards in the second quarter.
“We don’t like to force anything,” Schoen said. “If they are going to take away the middle, we’re not afraid to do other things. … It’s not a one-back offense. We have Gary Casab back there and other backs and receivers. It all depends on what the defense gives us.”
Whitesboro proved its versatility as they piled up 341 total yards (254 rushing) and received contributions from several performers. A minute after Casab’s touchdown, junior quarterback David Camerota, who splits time with senior starter Donte Filletti, scored on a quarterback sneak to make it 21-0. On Whitesboro’s next drive, Filletti floated a beautiful pass to a streaking Cirasuolo on a wheel route to make it 28-0 with 3:20 remaining in the half.
The duo of Camerota and Filletti gives the Warriors an added offensive dimension they lacked last season. Filletti can run, but is more of a dropback passer, while Camerota’s quickness provides an already explosive offense with another dangerous option in the run game.
The Warriors’ defense was stout all night, led by nose tackle Trevor Sleezer, middle linebacker Marc Eberley and inside linebacker Matt Parkinson. That trio was consistently in Watertown’s backfield and put the Cyclones behind the chains on nearly every possession. Cornerback Pat Galer added a first-quarter interception for the Warriors, who’ve allowed just 32 points in three games.
“Definitely my speed was an advantage,” Sleezer said. “I was quicker off the ball and I knew he was slower than me, so I was able to get into the backfield.”
After the dynamic Teamer was injured in the second quarter, Watertown’s offense had trouble moving the ball. Stephon Pryor had a nice game with six receptions for 77 yards, but the Cyclones managed only 104 yards on 30 carries and many of those yards came when Whitesboro’s starters were on the sideline.
“Our linebackers just jammed up the middle and our warriors (outside linebackers) did a good job forcing everything inside right to us. We knew what was coming at us, and were ready to go.”
Camerota and Gary Casab scored rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to close out the scoring for the Warriors, who look headed toward an amazing 26th consecutive playoff appearance. Camerota finished with 58 yards rushing and 38 passing, while Cirasuolo had 50 yards rushing and 82 receiving.
Mitchell Lugo-Ramirez had 44 yards rushing for the Cyclones, who haven’t had a winning season since 2011, when they finished 6-3 and lost to Whitesboro in the sectional semifinals. They will try to get back to .500 when they host Carthage next Friday.
The Warriors travel to Indian River (1-0, 2-1) for a Class A National matchup between the last two sectional champions.
Note: Before the game, Whitesboro honored their 1986 Section 3 championship team. A total of 33 players from Schoen’s first championship team were on hand for the ceremony.
Whitesboro 42, Watertown 0
Watertown 0 0 0 0—0
Whitesboro 7 21 14 0—42
Wboro–Mike Cirasuolo 2 run (Gary Casab kick)
Wboro—Lucas Casab 50 run (Gary Casab kick)
Wboro—David Camerota 1 run (Gary Casab kick)
Wboro—Cirasuolo 44 pass from Donte Filletti (Gary Casab kick)
Wboro—Camerota 9 run (Gary Casab kick)
Wboro—Gary Casab 7 run (Gary Casab kick)
Nick Sardina is a writer for midyorksportsreport.com. Follow Nick onTwitter @nsardinamysr or on Facebook. Contact him via email at