UTICA – There’s a new power in Section 3 Class B. It’s the Central Valley Academy Thunder.
Central Valley proved they’re a team to be reckoned with by completely dismantling Notre Dame 30-7 Friday night at Brother Victor McCarty Memorial Stadium. Senior quarterback/running back Josh Klosner rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another, and his cousin Adam Klosner had a touchdown reception and three two-point conversions as Central Valley thoroughly dominated the line of scrimmage in improving to 2-0 in Class B East. CVA also received a workmanlike game from fullback Gunar Holmberg, who had a game-high 77 yards on 17 carries.
“No one believed in us … but we believed in ourselves,” Josh Klosner said. “We want to be a power in the section and we showed what we can do.”
The Thunder outgained the Jugglers 241 to 14 in announcing to the rest of the section that they belong among the elite. More impressively, the Thunder defense kept the high-powered Notre Dame offense without a first down until late in the fourth quarter. An amazing feat, seeing that’s the same Jugglers’ offense that racked up nearly 500 yards in their 46-13 season-opening victory over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill last Saturday.
“We had a lot of respect for No. 8,” CVA head coach Jon Cole said of Notre Dame’s dual-threat quarterback Jaylen Warmack. “He’s a heck of a player and a huge threat. We challenged our team since Monday and came up with a great team effort to shut them down.”
Despite their defensive dominance, the opening quarter was extremely sloppy for the Thunder (2-0), who turned the ball over three times. The Jugglers (1-1) were winning the field position battle in the first half, beginning two drives in Thunder territory, but CVA’s defense consistently won its one-on-one matchups and stymied everything the Jugglers attempted.
“It was a good team effort,” said Adam Klosner, who made several key tackles from his free safety position. “Defensively we stuck it out and played hard every play. We kept Warmack inside and our defensive line played really well. We also shut down their screens.”
CVA’s first scoring drive was aided by a Notre Dame penalty for too many men on the field. Instead of beginning their drive at their own 10-yard line, the Thunder made Notre Dame re-kick and gained 25 yards due to the infraction.
The Thunder took advantage and marched 65 yards in 10 plays, culminating with a 20-yard touchdown connection as Josh Klosner hit his cousin Adam for a 6-0 lead with three minutes remaining in the half.
“It was really big. Josh threw a really nice pass,” Adam Klosner said. “Their corner fell for the fake and I was open.”
On the previous play, Klosner threw a screen pass left to receiver Josh Panko, who was dropped for a 1-yard loss. On the touchdown, Klosner faked a screen to Panko, this time to the right, and the defense bit up on the fake and Adam Klosner snuck behind the secondary from his running back position and corralled a perfect pass to give the Thunder more than just a lead.
“You could see the cloud lift when we scored there,” Cole said. “That touchdown was huge. Our kids began thinking ‘we can play with them’ and we just came alive from there on.”
The Thunder defense made another game-changing play on Notre Dame’s first drive of the second half as defensive end Noah Lynch recovered a Warmack fumble at the Jugglers’ 16-yard line.
Five plays later, the Thunder found the end zone as Josh Klosner faked a dive to Holmberg and raced around right end for a 3-yard score. Adam Klosner took home the two-pointer for a 14-0 lead.
The two-score cushion was short lived as Warmack took the ensuing kickoff back 80 yards for Notre Dame’s lone score of the game. Tom Roefaro’s extra point made it 14-7 with 3:37 remaining.
Despite being physically dominated on the line of scrimmage, the Jugglers defense and special teams kept them in the game. On CVA’s next drive, sophomore defensive back Zach Brush intercepted Josh Klosner’s pass at midfield, but the Jugglers couldn’t keep the momentum as the Thunder regained possession on downs.
Notre Dame got another chance to drive for the tying or go-ahead score, but Warmack’s option pitch was errant and CVA recovered at the Jugglers 23-yard line.
“This was just embarrassing football for Notre Dame,” Jugglers head coach Jake DerCola said. “That’s the only way I can put it. … I’m taking nothing away from them. They did some good things and wanted it more, but we didn’t come out to play, whatsoever. … Turnovers, missed blocks, dropped passes, penalties … On nearly every play, nine players did their job and two didn’t.”
Four plays later, Klosner followed his center into the end zone for a 1-yard score and Adam Klosner’s two-point run extended the lead to 22-7 with 7:22 left.
After another turnover on downs, the Thunder put the game away as Klosner shed two tackles and broke free around right end for a 23-yard score with 3:52 remaining.
It should be quite a scene next Friday as the Thunder, who started with two road wins, open their home schedule at 7 p.m. against Oneida in another Class B East tussle.
The camaraderie of his team is something Cole believes is a huge positive.
“We’ve never made it to the playoffs and that is our goal,” Cole said. “We were hoping we’d have a great year. This is really the first real year of CVA. These kids have played all through modified and junior varsity at CVA. There are no more Ilion factions and Mohawk factions. We are now CVA, and the kids really have bought into being a Thunder.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Jugglers, who play at Cazenovia at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday in a showdown of defending Section 3 champions. The Jugglers won consecutive Class C titles before being moved up to Class B this season. The Lakers, who host VVS Saturday afternoon, have won three of the last four Section 3 Class B titles, including last season’s state championship team.
“We have a young team and got smacked in the mouth and didn’t respond well to the adversity,” DerCola said. “We just have to get back to the drawing board. We can turn it around. If things go our way and we beat Cazenovia, we are right back in it. … If we play the same way, it’ll be a nightmare.”
Central Valley 30, Notre Dame 7
CVA 0 6 8 16—30
ND 0 0 7 0—7
CVA—Adam Klosner 20 pass from Josh Klosner (run failed)
CVA—Josh Klosner 3 run (Adam Klosner run)
ND—Jaylen Warmack 80 kickoff return (Tom Roefaro kick)
CVA—Josh Klosner 1 run (Adam Klosner run)
CVA—Josh Klosner 23 run (Adam Klosner run)
Nick Sardina is a writer for midyorksportsreport.com. Follow Nick onTwitter @nsardinamysr or on Facebook. Contact him via email at