Talking sports

Who let the dogs in?

Posted 10/3/23

ELDRED, NY — Sometimes you get a real feel for a game and its players during a postgame interview.

That was the case in the wake of the conference game played under the lights, a homestand …

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Talking sports

Who let the dogs in?


ELDRED, NY — Sometimes you get a real feel for a game and its players during a postgame interview.

That was the case in the wake of the conference game played under the lights, a homestand varsity football contest between the Eldred Yellowjackets (1-1) and the visiting Comets of Fallsburg (3-0) on September 22.

Nick Storms, Fallsburg’s QB, a 16-year-old junior, stepped up the mic for a few words about the game and his team.

He said, “We’re playing strong, coming out here and handling adversity well; a lot of the guys are dogs out here.”

And of team spirit, he said, “It’s like having a second family. If I’m having a down day, the guys pick me up, and if somebody else is having a down day, you pick ‘em up. That’s a big deal around here.”

Storms singled out a couple of his fellow Comets as “dogs” (young men who play their hearts out and leave it all on the field): Donovan Hart (15 yards rushing, 86 yards receiving, 3 TDs) and Jadiel Monche (136 yards on the ground, 1 TD).

Storms led his team to a 26-20 victory, in a game that was hard fought by both sides—24 yards rushing on 10 carries, plus posting 94 yards passing on 12 attempts.

Eldred scored early in the opening frame as QB Josh Warming scampered on a long run across the goal line, only to watch the Comets tie it up 6-6 as both conversions failed.

The second half was all Fallsburg, as they scored twice to take an 18-6 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Yellowjackets rebounded with a TD, closing the Comets’ lead to 6 points (18-12). In the final frame, both squads traded TDs and successful conversions to end the battle with a Comets victory.

TDs (Eldred)—Josh Warming, Tyiese Mack-Simms, Connor Ranaudo.

TDs (Fallsburg)—Jadiel Monche, and a hat trick by Donovan Hart with 3.

“It was a battle all night long,” said Yellowjackets coach Sean McAveney. He noted of the opposition, “They are all explosive; my hat’s off to them. They have three or four guys who just pop—at any moment they can score a touchdown.”

Coach McAveney said the game plan was in essence to force Fallsburg to drive on the field. “We felt they might make mistakes,” he said, but the Comets countered with a series of deep plays that produced yardage equals points.

“That Donovan kid is a phenomenal player; he got yardage when it counted,” he added.
This season’s edition of the Yellowjackets’ varsity football team has only four seniors (John Morabito, Josh Warming, Josh Morabito and Logan Knibbs), and is captained by Warming, Josh Morabito, Knibbs, and junior Nick Faber.

Goals for the year, in the wake of recently winning the first home game since 2018 (by defeating Millbrook 34-0)?

“We’ve been down for a little while, but our goal is to go at least .500 and win a playoff game, and get better every week,” replied Coach McAveney.

The Comets also have a limited number of upperclassmen on the field, as the team has a total of three seniors (Isaiah Young, Myhova Custodio, Nikolas Bonner). It’s led by captains Custodio and Bonner and juniors Nick Storms and Ethan Dunn.

Fallsburg’s helmsman, Dominick Scanna, said that after completing a lot of big pass plays early in the game, “we got back to pounding out the ground in the second half. It was a good team effort, but we had a little trouble recovering onside kicks.”

Of his QB Nick Storms, Coach Scanna said, “He did a heck of a job, worked his tail off since we ended our season last year, in the weight room and going through his progressions as a quarterback to get better. A great young man.”

On the topic of goals for the season, Coach Scanna responded, “Keep getting better every day; create good men learning how to work hard so they can be successful in the future.

“In the past, Fallsburg [football] was in the doghouse; nobody cared about Fallsburg,” he said. “They were just a team with some guys out there, but [now] we’re a team that’s going to work hard from the snap of the ball to the end of the game, and be nasty within the confines of football.”

So after leaving behind the doghouse and the public perception that Fallsburg football—in Coach Scanna’s words—is “just a bunch of kids from the street who are thrown together,” the Comets are letting the dogs out “to work their tails off and be gentlemen.”

Eldred, Nick Storms, Fallsburg, Football


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