Ball control and defense more often than not leads to victory.
It sure did Friday night for Horseheads, which shut down Ithaca 22-6 in Section 4 Division I football at Moresco Stadium.
The Blue Raiders (1-1) limited Ithaca to 2 rushing yards and four first downs, while rushing for 214 yards and three touchdowns themselves, two of them by Evan Stiles.
Ithaca senior quarterback Naeem Clark completed all 16 of his passes for 157 yards and a touchdown.
Horseheads took control of the game by outscoring Ithaca 16-0 in the second quarter; there was no scoring in the second half.
Stiles had touchdown runs of 18 and 3 yards in the period to cap drives that started in Ithaca territory. The momentum turned on a bad snap on an Ithaca punt attempt that resulted in a safety early in the second quarter.
The Little Red (0-2) travels to Corning on Friday night to take on the Hawks (0-2), who are coming off a 30-13 loss to Vestal.
Elmira Notre Dame 40, Trumansburg 32: On Friday in Trumansburg, Tom Agan rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns and caught a 30-yard pass for another score as Notre Dame won its season-opener. The Crusaders were forced to forfeit their game in the opening week to Tioga due to a shortage of players.
Agan, a 6-3, 205-pound senior, scored on runs of 8, 65 and 2 yards, and intercepted a pass in the final two minutes to seal the victory for Notre Dame. Agan’s long run came in the middle of a wild 28-second sequence at the end of the first half that saw 27 points scored, 16 by the home team on 21-yard touchdown pass and an 87-yard kickoff return by senior Dylan Mosher.
Mosher was the workhorse for the Blue Raiders (0-2), carrying nine times for 55 yards and two scores, and making numerous big plays at linebacker. Starting quarterback Colin Fellows rushed for a team-high 80 yards but left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
Trumansburg hosts Lansing at 7 p.m. Friday in the annual “Battle for the Paddle,” between the cross-lake rivals.
Lansing 22, Chenango Valley 21: On Friday at Lansing, the Warriors (0-2) could not hold a three-touchdown first-half lead and fell to the Bobcats (1-1), who scored the winning points on a fake point-after pass from holder Jared Strait to Ben Rourke with 1:46 to play.
Rushing touchdowns by Reed Grunder, Anthony Miller and Aaron Trumino gave the Warriors a 21-0 lead, but the momentum turned for Lansing when Elijah Burns pinned the Warriors inside their own 5-yard line with a 76-yard punt. The Bobcats defense held the Warriors to a three-and-out, and returned the punt to the Warriors’ 17. Burns scored on a 2-yard run five plays later to make it 21-6 in the second quarter.
Burns (16-40) scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter to pull the home team to within seven, and followed it with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Winslow for the final score.
Groton 36, Bainbridge-Guilford 6: At Bainbridge-Guilford, Groton running back Zeke Wright rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter as the Indians won for the second time in as many outings.
Tristin Cooper added 90 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Indians, who led 36-0 before B-G got its only score on a 4-yard run by Pedro Aparicio in the third quarter.
Groton (2-0) hosts Odessa-Montour (0-2) on Friday.
Tioga 7, Chenango Forks 0: On Friday in Tioga Center, the Tigers limited the Blue Devils to 95 yards of offense and five first downs en route to victory.
Sophomore Jesse Manuel scored the game’s lone touchdown, on a 3-yard run with 2½ minutes remaining in a contest between Class D Tioga and Class C Forks, teams that reached last year’s state semifinals in their respective enrollment classifications. Manuel (32-171) set up the touchdown with a 44-yard burst to the CF 12-yard line midway through the final quarter.
Manuel all but sealed the win when he intercepted a second-down pass and returned to the Devils’ 40-yard line with 2:08 to go.
Watkins Glen 28, Deposit/Hancock 22: At Hancock, John Brown ran for 84 yards on 19 carries, caught a 20-yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 73 yards for a score to carry the Glen (1-1).
Spencer-Van Etten 38, Candor 22: At Spencer-Van Etten, Jorden Tyson’s second rushing touchdown of the game gave S-VE a 22-0 lead early in the third quarter and the Panthers cruised to victory. Tyson finished with 59 rushing yards on 10 carries.
Dylan Bean returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to put Candor on the board, but Tyson answered with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Zach Tyson.
Newark Valley 43, Seton Catholic Central 14: On Saturday at Newark Valley, Cardinals (2-0) quarterback Vinny Darpino completed 5 of 11 passes for 172 yards and four touchdowns. Blake Novi caught touchdown passes of 15 and 43 yards and Trevor Hoffmier had 13 carries for 76 yards, scoring twice.