Westmoreland – The Oriskany Redskins football team made the short trip to neighboring Westmoreland on Saturday and came away with a rain soaked and muddy “Cider Street Trophy” after defeating the Bulldogs by a score of 22-19. It was the first time in the last 11 meetings that Oriskany has won this longstanding rivalry, with their last victory coming in 1994.
While the two schools remain rivals in every sport, these two football teams arrived at the field today via two very different paths. Westmoreland finished it’s regular season at (2-5) in the Class “D” East, missed the playoffs and chose to play today’s rivalry game against Oriskany instead of a Class “D” crossover game. Oriskany, on the other hand, played its season in the National Football Foundation League, where the Redskins amassed a record of (6-1) and will begin NFF playoffs next Saturday against an opponent to be determined.
With a steady rain falling, temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, the Redskins and Bulldogs got after it on a field that was churned to mud between the 30 yard lines before the contest even began.
Chad Jackson opened the scoring with a 9 yard touchdown run, followed by a Ryan Enos two point conversion run, which put the visitors up by a score of 8-0 early in the first quarter.
Dominick Russello and the Bulldogs answered the bell on Westmoreland’s ensuing possession as the sophomore scored on a 49 yard run. The conversion attempt was stuffed by the Redskins defense and Oriskany held an 8-6 advantage with 3:18 remaining in the first quarter.
Oriskany would make it 14-6 just before the horn sounded on the first quarter, when Ryan Enos hit Josh Strauss in stride for a 40 yard touchdown pass. The conversion run was stymied by the Bulldogs defense and Oriskany took an 8 point lead to the second quarter.
The teams played a scoreless second quarter, but it was not without a little drama. With time winding down in the second quarter, Westmoreland quarterback Colin DeBiase called his own number on 4th goal from inside the Oriskany 10 yard line. The senior appeared to have hit the goal line pylon with the ball for a diving Bulldogs touchdown, but he was ruled out of bounds at the 3 yard line, wiping 6 points off the board for Westmoreland and sending the teams to the half time intermission separated by 8 points, instead of 2, or less.
After yet another terrific performance by the award winning Westmoreland Marching Band, which, along with two very tough and talented cheer squads, braved the inclement weather to support their respective schools, the third quarter got under way.
Ryan Enos scored on an 8 yard keeper for Oriskany late in the third quarter to put Oriskany up 20-6. The senior quarterback called his own number again on the two point conversion run and was successful, giving Oriskany a 22-6 lead headed to the fourth quarter.
Trailing by 14 points, with 12 minutes remaining in the game, in a monsoon, and playing without their leading rusher, scorer and tackler (Noah Bowen), the Westmoreland Bulldogs probably could have called it quits and given up. Knowing Westmoreland football the way we do and seeing the way Tim Gates coached football teams always play to the final whistle, we knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Simply stated, the Bulldogs dominated the 4th quarter, as Colin DeBiase capped two lengthy Westmoreland drives with touchdown runs in the span of 8 minutes. If not for a rain soaked ball from DeBiase sailing through the hands of a receiver on a Westmoreland two point conversion late in the contest, this game could have been knotted at 22-22 headed to overtime.
Instead, Oriskany’s field general, Ryan Enos and his sturdy line and capable running backs notched two first downs with under two minutes remaining in the game to run out the clock and hoist the Cider Street Rivalry Trophy.
For the first time in 22 years, that trophy will make it’s way to the trophy case at Oriskany High School, where students, players, faculty and alumni can enjoy it for the next year. Hopefully, these two great schools will find a way to play this game again next season, as part of the regular season!
Oriskany 14 0 8 0 22
Westmoreland 6 0 0 13 19
- OCS — Chad Jackson 9 run ( Ryan Enos run)
- WCS — Dom Russello 49 run (run failed)
- OCS — Joshua Strauss 40 pass from Ryan Enos (run failed)
- OCS — Ryan Enos 5 run (Ryan Enos run)
- WCS — Colin DeBiase 2 run (pass failed)
- WCS — Colin DeBiase 5 run (Dawson Cook kick)