2nd-half adjustments lead Skaneateles to 49-14 win over Solvay

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on October 5, 2018 at 11:12 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillmancenter_img UPDATED: Oct. 8, 2018 at 6:47 p.m.SOLVAY — As the halftime buzzer sounded, Skaneateles trotted towards the end zone closest to the scoreboard. The Lakers stared at a margin that was unexpected. Skaneateles, the reigning Class C state champions, entered undefeated and yet, it only led Solvay, a team with a losing record, by seven points.“We just kind of looked at each other like, ‘What are we doing?” senior running back Areh Boni said.“The first half, we really beat ourselves,” added senior quarterback Pat Hackler.On its seven first half drives, the Lakers, who averaged over 46 points per game before facing Solvay, scored only two touchdowns. At halftime, Joe Sindoni, Skaneateles head coach, sat his team down and blamed himself for the offensive inefficiencies, he said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn the first drive of the second half, Skaneateles (6-0) altered its game plan. It turned from an offense that depended on Hackler to torch the opposing defensive backs to a more balanced attack. The Lakers ran 21 pass plays to only six rushes in the first half, tallying only seven yards on the ground. After the half, the Lakers used 115 rushing yards to notch five second-half touchdowns, cruising to a 49-14 win at Solvay (2-4).“I felt like I called a not very good first half,” Sindoni said. “I got a little pass happy and kind of needed to bring it back into balance in the second half. Once we made a couple of those adjustments, I think we were alright.”Late in the second quarter, Sindoni was visibly distraught. On a three-yard quarterback draw, Hackler’s helmet was ripped off his head and onto the Solvay turf.Sindoni stomped towards the line judge and unleashed his anger.“That’s such a bad call,” he said.On the very next play, Boni sprinted past his left tackle, breaking arm-tackles, and past the first down line for a 15 yard gain. That was the last time he would carry the ball in the first half.The frustration boiled over at half-time. Sindoni sat with his kneeling players and discussed the root of the Lakers’ inefficiencies. He criticized himself, saying that he called too many passes and didn’t provide the offense any sense of balance. Hackler agreed. This kept Skaneateles out of rhythm, as it struggled to consistently move the chains, Sindoni said.On the first play out of the break, Hackler stood in the shotgun and handed the ball to Boni. He exploded through a gaping hole and shoved away Solvay arm tackles for a 34 yard gain. Sindoni called his number again the next play. Boni once again took an inside hand-off through the middle of the offensive line. He muscled past a Bearcat linebacker’s dive and up to the 22-yard line. Two plays later, he strolled into the end-zone, his second of three scores on the day.The commitment to the run early on in the second half wore down Solvay’s defensive line. That led to a more prolific offense, Sindoni said.And with an effective run game, Skaneateles started connecting on passes that had fallen incomplete in the first half. Hackler completed two touchdowns to junior Nick Wamp, one for 35 yards down the Solvay sideline and another for 70 down the opposite end of the field.When the Lakers led by 28 points, Sindoni substituted in the reserves. Freshman James Musso entered for Hackler and senior Zack Sears replaced Wamp. Sears played soccer for Skaneateles and just switched to football for this season. According to syracuse.com, he’d yet to catch a pass this season.Late in the fourth quarter, Sears ran a fly route down the Skaneateles sideline. As he approached the end zone, he had a step on the Solvay cornerback. Musso slung the ball over the defender’s head and into his waiting arms.Once the referee signaled the touchdown, the Skaneateles sideline erupted in cheer. Teammates mobbed Sears as coaches wrapped their arms around him and screamed, “Let’s go Z!”The Lakers’ halftime stress had turned into late-game celebration.“He’s not one of the guys who starts or anything,” Boni said. “It’s just great to see the guys who don’t play get some of the glory. It’s awesome.”last_img

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