Another playoff game, another dominant showing— and another state football championship for the Blue Devils of Chenango Forks.
A pair of touchdowns rung up 39 seconds apart late in the first quarter provided the springboard to a 42-7 defeat of Greenwich on Friday night in the Carrier Dome for the program’s third consecutive Class C title.
Cody Lamond rushed for 172 yards and three TDs as the Devils logged 505 yards of offense — all but 21 via the ground game.
Tony Silvanic rushed for 127 yards on seven carries and L.J. Watson another 84 yards and two scores on six running assignments.
The outcome made for Forks’ fifth state championship, co-second-best behind the six won by Rochester’s Aquinas Institute.
The Blue Devils have won a state-record 26 tournament games.
“I would say this one is more special, not because it’s three in a row but because it’s my senior year,” said Silvanic, who was recognized as the game’s Most Valuable Player. “We always talk about winning our last game, to win the last one in the Dome is so special, it means so much to us.”
“We had a game plan and we came out and executed it,” said fellow Forks senior Dylan Studer. “We spent so much time in the offseason preparing for this moment right here, and as you can see it pays off.”
Following a shaky initial possession that ended with Greenwich’s Lukas Whitehouse intercepting a pass, the Blue Devils (12-1) got down to serious business the next time they had the football.
Drive No. 2 began following a punt at Forks’ 18-yard line.
Five plays in, Lamond took a toss and rushed 22 yards to the Witches’ 45. Two plays later, quarterback Silvanic faked a handoff to Tim McDonald and followed an inside path to a 42-yard gain before stumbling at the 1-yard line. McDonald carried in from there, Silvanic kicked the first of his six PATs and it was 7-0 with 3:29 to play in the opening quarter.
Next came a difference-making special-teams play courtesy of Lamond.
Silvanic kicked off and, at the 21-yard line, Lamond yanked the football free of Greenwich’s deep man and recovered the ball.
Watson then took a fortuitous one-hop toss and scooted 18 yards on first down, then powered through an attempted shirt tackle to complete a 3-yard scoring rush to make it a two-TD advantage.
“I saw he was hanging (the football) out so I just figured, why not?” Lamond said of his play on the kickoff. “I was going to tackle him anyway. I just ripped it. Our coaches teach us that during practice. I saw the opportunity and I took it.”
Silvanic said: “When you can score, get the ball right back and score again, that’s huge. I think it put some fear in Greenwich and it really set the tone for the rest of the game.”
The lead grew to 21-0 when, with 4:42 remaining in the half, Silvanic orchestrated a made-to-order option play— faking inside to McDonald, heading left and pitching to Lamond, who jetted 61 yards for a touchdown. That came a play after Lamond went for 21 yards on a wonderfully blocked toss play.
The Witches’ TD completed a 61-yard drive and came on a 6-yard pass from Whitehouse to Brendan Stout 14 seconds before halftime. That marked Whitehouse’s sixth pass completion of the possession.
But the upper hand in this one wasn’t about to flip sides.
The Blue Devils rattled off scoring drives on their first three second-half possessions.
The first, to open the third quarter, featured a fourth-and-1 conversion by Studer and a 21-yard pass completion from Silvanic to Lamond on third-and-19 from the Witches’ 32.
One snap after that pass play, Lamond — sprung by blocks from Watson and Brandin Paulhamus — swept 11 yards untouched by a defender to make it 28-7 with 5:02 of the third quarter elapsed.
Seth Bush halted Greenwich’s next drive by intercepting a pass at the 2-yard line.
The Blue Devils ran seven plays to their 47-yard line, from which point Watson took a toss to his left, patiently waited for a seam to develop and, with aid of Trevor Borchardt’s path-paving went 53 yards for a touchdown and 35-7 lead.
Forks’ final scoring drive of the season began at its 46-yard line four plays into the fourth quarter, opened with a 30-yard gain by Lamond — again with Paulhamus out front moving people — and ended with Lamond straight-arming the last defender near the goal line to complete a 14-yard TD run.
As impressive as the 42-point total was, the seven put up by Greenwich was equally pleasing to the Devils.
“I think it was mainly because we didn’t give up the big plays,” coach David Hogan said. “A little bend but don’t break, kind of like last week.”
Forks outgained the Witches (12-1) by 505-235. In five playoff games — two in Section 4, three in states — the Blue Devils outscored their opponents by a combined 212-52.
“Great blocking,” was how Lamond summed up the final offensive showing. “Our offensive line did great today. The whole team played great. The backs blocked great.”
Top-ranked Forks closes its season with an 11-game win streak. The loss came by 28-21 to Maine-Endwell in Week 2.
The Blue Devils made it four consecutive seasons with one loss, to go with 47 victories over that span.