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Indians Sports

Backfield duo rallies WindsorHobbled Good's presence sparks Knights' turnaround

Posted Sunday, October 29, 2006 by By Kevin StevensPress & Sun-Bulletin

By Kevin Stevens
Press & Sun-Bulletin

OWEGO -- Fourteen and one-half minutes of football remained. Windsor faced a two-touchdown deficit and 86 yards worth of muddy football field between the line of scrimmage and the goal line.

Just about then, the ballgame turned sharply the way of the Black Knights.

Two touchdowns, a two-point rush and a clutch PAT kick later, Windsor was bound for the Section 4 Class B championship game courtesy of a 15-14 scrape past Owego.

Bryant Parker's 10-yard rush for a score with 2:52 to play in the contest tied the game at 14, and Travis Blincoe's kick provided the winning point as Windsor (8-1) earned a second crack at Chenango Forks (8-1) in the title game. That is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Union-Endicott.

The outcome wasn't assured until Owego failed to convert a 29-yard field goal attempt with 15 seconds to play.

Windsor quarterback Adam Good, who headed for the sideline upon aggravating an ankle injury seven plays into the game, remained out of action until the Black Knights' opening second-half possession. Hobbled though he was, his presence clearly energized Windsor's offense.

Good took a three-and-out possession to re-acclimate himself with the ballgame. But when the Knights regained the football after an Owego punt, things clicked with startling immediacy.

On a drive that started at the 14-yard line, a second-down Good-to-Blincoe pass play went for 21 yards to the Knights' 38. Next came the play that changed the tone of the game.

Good accepted the snap from center, and along with fullback Parker sold a Grade-A fake of a handoff inside. Instead, Cody Whitman took the ball outside and raced 62 yards down the sideline for a touchdown with 1:19 to play in the third quarter.

Whitman added a two-point rush and it was 14-8.

"It was a great fake on Parker's behalf," said Whitman, who rushed 13 times for a game-best 128 yards. "I just took it around the outside, bounced it a little bit, put on one move and just took it to the house."

Owego's next possession showed considerable promise, particularly when quarterback Andy Race used a hard count to draw Windsor offside on fourth-and-1 from the Knights' 41-yard line. However, one holding and one delay-of-game penalty contributed to a drive that stalled with a fourth-down incompletion from the 35-yard line.

Windsor took over with 7:40 to play at its 35. The Black Knights' leader was noticeably favoring his left ankle and hardly a threat outside the pocket -- but he was behind center, and that appeared to make all the difference.

"He's the leader of our team, he just picks up our game," Parker said. "We love having him in there. We've been playing with him for 6-7 years, since we were little kids."

Said Owego coach Steve Virkler: "I think he brings an emotion to them that you really can't put your finger on. I think he's their leader, he's their guy. I think they played a lot more inspired in the second half."

The drive for the decisive points was executed exclusively on the ground. Parker carried six times for 34 yards, Whitman twice for 31 yards and Mike DePersis twice for 6 yards.

The last three plays of the march were rushes by Parker, for 5, 5 and -- on the scoring play -- 10 yards, respectively, all through heavy traffic.

Owego took over after the kickoff at its 30-yard line with 2:47 to play and mounted a highly impressive drive born of heads-up play calling and the poise of quarterback Race. He completed three passes on the drive for 35 yards, the last a 10-yard pickup on a middle screen to A.J. White. That came on a fourth-and-8 play and brought the ball to Windsor's 19-yard line.

Three plays later, Mike Bensley rushed 7 yards to the 11. Owego -- out of timeouts and facing fourth down -- hurried its field goal unit on to the field. Colin Lounsberry's 29-yard attempt had the distance but was judged to be outside the right upright.

A game-long performance judged by Virkler to be his team's finest of the season featured a pair of first-half touchdowns by White, who closed with 21 rushes for 125 yards and three receptions for another 47 yards.

His first TD came on a 41-yard run midway through the opening quarter. Lounsberry's PAT drifted narrowly outside the left upright.

White finished a 77-yard drive on the third play of the second quarter by receiving a pass from Race on an exquisitely executed screen pass to the right -- a play that began with three receivers wide left -- and going 26 yards for the touchdown. Race hit Mike Morabito with a two-point pass and it was 14-0 with 11:37 to play in the first half.

Of the deficit, Good said: "The mood was kind of like, same thing as last year," referring to a 14-6 semifinal loss at Owego. "But, this year is just different, none of us want to lose. None of us do."

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