Sunday, July 19, 2009

Massena gamble too short; SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009

Massena gamble too short

SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009
POTSDAM — Massena Silver and Black coach Jim Compeau had a decision to make with 9 minutes, 42 seconds left in Saturday's Empire Football League game against the Broome County Dragons at Sandstoner Park.
Quarterback Ryan Mason had rushed two yards into the end zone to pull Massena to within a point. A kick would tie the game and Broome County would have nearly 10 minutes to regain the lead.
But Compeau wanted the win. Instead of kicking, Mason handed the ball to Rontenez Flowers on the outside. Flowers, however, couldn't turn the corner and came up short as Broome County held on to win 14-13.
"I was kind of surprised (Massena went for two)," said Broome County coach Tommy Manny. "Kicking the extra point would have given us an extra shot, though. There are a lot of ifs there, but (Compeau) knows what his team can and can't do."
What Massena did well was execute on defense. The Silver and Black didn't allow the Dragons a first down until midway through the second quarter. It did, however, lead to the game's first score as Dragons quarterback Adam Good found Bill Smith over the middle for a 36-yard touchdown on third down.
"The middle was working for us all game," Good said. "The line stepped it up and gave me some time. That was huge."
For Massena, it was one of only two big defensive mistakes.
"We had two breakdowns in coverage and that's how they scored," Compeau said. "Otherwise, our defense was stellar. It was just mental breakdowns at different times. Once we cleared that up, I don't think any team's going to score."
Massena's offense didn't back down, either. Mason led a 52-yard drive following Broome County's first score, highlighted by a 25-yard run by Buddy Compeau and an 18-yard reception by Johnathan Hirshey. Compeau finished the drive with a 5-yard TD carry to pull Massena into a 7-7 tie.
"I think we had a little slow start for us," Mason said. "Once we got things working, we moved the ball and things started to come together for us."
Despite Massena gaining momentum heading to the half, it was Broome County who struck first in the third quarter.
Cook again made Massena pay on a missed coverage, finding Sam Whitney for a 30-yard score with 1:27 left in the third period.
Manny thought the short passes over the middle were there all game, but three dropped passes prevented the Dragons (1-1) from ever pulling away.
"I don't know if it was timing, a lack of concentration or both, but the bottom line is I'm a realist. We dropped it," he said. "I'm pleased with the win, but I'm never satisfied."
The win marked Broome County's first in two seasons after sitting out the 2007 and 2008 campaigns. Massena is in it's second year after it formed and joined the EFL last season. The Silver and Black (0-2) have yet to record a franchise victory.
"We thought we could take larger steps, but I guess we're taking baby steps," Compeau said. "We'll accept the baby steps as long as it improves. You can't improve much more than what it is tonight unless it's a win."

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