Gimme the Raiders: Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen wins crazy Class C Final over East Rochester/Gananda

Posted By on Nov 5, 2017 | 0 comments


Photo credit: Cindy Cassada

 

Alex Brasky | @BataviasBest
Sunday, November 5, 2017 | BataviasBest.org

 

ALFRED – Oh, how sweet it is.

Just a year after the two school districts merged together, the Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen football team came through with a win today in the Section V Football Class C Final. The Raiders defeated East Rochester/Gananda by a final score of 27-26, in what was one of the craziest games you will ever see.

 

 

Yesterday’s game began with both sides trading a couple of punts, while East Rochester/Gananda was the first to get going offensively late in the first quarter. Forging a strong drive which ate up a few minutes of clock, the Bombers worked the ball all the way inside the Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen red zone for a goal to goal situation.

Despite the early momentum gathered by ER/G, however, the Raiders were able to hold firm at the goal line, and disallowed the Bombers from putting points on the board. CMBB took over at their own one four line to begin the ensuing drive. That was when Bryce Yockel happened.

On first down, the fleet-footed Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen running back hopped over a tackler at the line of scrimmage, escaped capture, and sprinted 96 yards for the game’s first score. After a missed extra point, it was 6-0 Raiders at the start of the second quarter.

It wouldn’t take long for East Rochester/Gananda to answer the CMBB score, as just minutes later ER/G running back Jayden Castrechini capped off a strong Bomber drive with a short TD run. After the made extra point, it was now 7-6 with East Rochester/Gananda out in front.

Following the ER/G go-ahead score, tragedy struck for CMBB, as the ensuing kickoff was muffed and recovered by the Bombers deep inside Raiders’ territory.

Shortly after, East Rochester/Gananda would score again to increase their lead toward the end of the second quarter. This time it was a score of the passing variety for the Bombers, as Patrick Shanley hit a wide open Jackson Hauser.

Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen wasn’t done, though.

On the ensuing drive, the Raiders worked the ball all the way inside ER/G territory, where they faced a fourth down and long from the Bombers’ thirty yard line. Then, CMBB running back Bobby Stevens made the play of the game thus far.

Stevens’ great catch not only turned the momentum back in favor of the Raiders before the halftime break, but it also tied the score, as Lucas Stuccio this time kicked the ball through the uprights for a successful PAT.

That was all the scoring we would see during the first half, as ER/G and CMBB went to intermission tied at 13 a piece.

Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen would get the ball coming out of the break – at least thats what was supposed to happen.

Another blunder on a kickoff by CMBB gave ER/G possession of the ball inside the Raider red zone, but the Bombers fail to take advantage of the big mistake and eventually made one of their own to give the ball back to their opponent.

Following the interception, each sided traded a couple of a punts before the Raiders finally regained a bit of momentum on offense on their second drive of the third quarter. However, CMBB would turn the ball over yet again, as Mario Vega intercepted the ball for ER/G – giving the ball back to the Bombers near midfield, with a chance to regain the lead.

East Rochester/Gananda’s ensuing drive was forged quickly, as they suddenly found themselves inside the red zone. The Bombers again looked to the senior signal caller Shanley to finish off the drive, as a nice pitch and catch from the QB to Rylee Moss gave ER/G the lead back late 3Q.

After the touchdown, the Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen hit the skids, and was forced to punt the ball back to ER/G – who was already ahead by 7. Shortly after returning possession to the Bombers, Shanley connected on his third touchdown pass of the day to Tanner Swagler.

With the Bombers now ahead by two possessions, and the time on the clock ticking under 10:00 to play in the game, I’ll be honest with you – I thought this game was all but over. However, the Red Raiders showed that you can never count out them out.

On the ensuing kickoff…

Now down only one possession with what seemed like an eternity left on the clock, the momentum had completely swung back in favor of Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen – who was looking for a stand from their defense in order to give their offense a shot at tying the score, and perhaps take the lead before the end of regulation.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Bombers experienced their first bit of difficulty on special teams, as they coughed the ball up during the return – and it was recovered by CMBB.

The Red Raiders would begin their drive on the Bombers’ side of midfield, and struck quickly in order to tie the score at 26, and eventually go ahead on the PAT from Stuccio.

The gutsy call, and clutch completion not only gave Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen the one-point advantage late in the fourth, but it caused the entire Raider sideline to erupt with elation – furthering the momentum they had seized on Butler’s kick return which began their rally.

Over the final six minutes, East Rochester/Gananda would go three and out, force and recover a fumble, and then turn the ball over on downs to end the game. FINAL: Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen 27, East Rochester/Gananda 26.

The Raiders, who merged together C-M and B-B just last year, were champions for the first time as a combined program (Cal-Mum’s first title since 2010).

Following the game, I spoke with a few Red Raiders players, along with their head coach, who spoke about how their ‘family’ came together and willed their way to victory in the Title game.

Finishing with the game’s MVP award was Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen’s Bryce Yockel, who finished with 150 yards rushing, a 96-yard TD run, and a 25-yard TD pass. For the Bombers, Jayden Castrechini posted 168 yards rushing and a TD run, while Patrick Shanley recorded 119 passing yards and 3 TDs.

Up next for CMBB will be Cleveland Hill of Section VI in next week’s Class C Far West Regional at SUNY Brockport.

Stay tuned for further coverage of HS Football.

 

 

Other articles you may like:

Section V Class C Finals – #1 East Rochester/Gananda vs #6 Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen – HS Football Scouting Report and Prediction (11/04/2017)

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