Last year at this time the football teams at Elmira High School, Horseheads and Elmira Notre Dame were trying to bounce back from disappointing losses in Week 1. The goal this year for each is to try to carry over their momentum following sterling performances to start the season.
The average victory margin for the three Chemung County Schools was 26 points. Elmira opened with a 32-12 road win over Union-Endicott, Notre Dame downed Thomas A. Edison 46-12 at home, and Horseheads capped the weekend with a 54-28 home victory over Syracuse Fowler.
Elmira’s renewal of its Section 4, Division 1 rivalry against Binghamton highlights Week 2. The teams meet at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Ernie Davis Academy’s Marty Harrigan Field in the home opener for the Express.
“It’s a huge game for us,” Express head coach Jimmy McCauley said. “We’ve got to get better. We can’t have some of the assignment breakdowns like we had in Week 1 in Week 2.”
Binghamton was impressive in its opener, rolling to a 42-20 victory over Section 3’s Auburn at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Patriots’ up-tempo offense always creates challenges for defenses.
“They’re very athletic and they’re very physical,” McCauley said. “That combination would catch anybody’s attention. They spread you out and do a nice job getting the ball to their athletes, usually in space. We have to have guys in the right spots to make plays.”
Elmira ran for 328 yards out of its double-wing attack against Union-Endicott, with Dashaun Sutton leading the way with 163 yards on 23 carries. Sutton and Logan Proudfoot had interceptions for the defense, which held the Tigers to 173 yards.
“The overall end result was what we wanted,” McCauley said. “We always try to be better. We always try to be perfect on every single play, knowing that’s not realistic. There are things we’re trying to improve on and we’re trying to be more assignment sound.”
Notre Dame at Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour: This is the first home game for the Seneca Indians, with the meeting set for a 7 p.m. start Saturday at Odessa-Montour High School. The newly combined team will also use Watkins Glen for home games.
The Crusaders’ inexperienced offense was impressive against Edison, putting up 469 yards on the night and 40 points through three quarters. The defense limited the Spartans to 149 yards in the game and no points in the first half.
“I felt that our kids stepped up and did an outstanding job on both sides of the ball,” Notre Dame head coach Mike D’Aloisio said. “To be honest, they surprised all of us with their effort, especially on defense. We have developed some pretty good chemistry among the group.”
D’Aloisio said the offensive line came up big, paving the way for Iman McCay to rush for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Tim Davis added 115 yards on 10 carries, Derrick Stark had 58 yards and two touchdowns on 10 attempts, and Tyler Jones contributed 53 yards and a touchdown on eight rushes.
“When you have close to 500 yards of offense against a good team, then the blue-collar guys in the trenches are doing their job getting movement and creating holes for the backs to attack,” D’Aloisio said.
Watkins Glen/O-M fumbled seven times, losing five, in its 55-12 loss on the road against Class B’s Owego Free Academy.
Horseheads at Auburn: The Blue Raiders will try for their second straight victory against a Section 3 opponent, with this meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Auburn, which opened with the loss to Binghamton.
Horseheads’ high-powered offense was in midseason form against Fowler. Senior quarterback Ben Clark completed 14 of 20 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 71 yards as Horseheads piled up 452 yards of offense despite taking the starters out after three quarters.
Moravia at Edison: The Spartans will try to rebound in their home opener at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against Moravia, which fell 34-26 on the road against Dryden last week. Moravia was 7-2 last season and won the Section 4, Division VIII title before falling to Tioga in the Class D sectional semifinals.
Corning at Henninger: This 1:30 p.m. Saturday start is a rematch of last year’s Class AA state quarterfinal that Henninger dominated by a 52-16 score.
Both teams had rough outings last week, with four-time defending state champion Maine-Endwell downing Corning, 54-7, to extend its winning streak to 52 games. The week was even worse for Henninger, which suffered a 64-0 loss to Newburgh Free Academy at the Carrier Dome. Henninger, the Class AA state runner-up last year, joined Corning in losing several top players to graduation.
Oneonta at Waverly: Waverly is seeking a 2-0 start in this 7 p.m. Friday game after last week’s 20-6 victory over Johnson City. Oneonta ran into two-time defending state Class C champion Chenango Forks and lost 55-8 at home. This is the Division III opener for both Class B teams.
On Twitter: @SGAndrewLegare
Week 2 Schedule
Horseheads at Auburn, 6:30 p.m.
Oneonta at Waverly, 7
Corning at Henninger, 1:30
Binghamton at Elmira, at Ernie Davis Academy, 1:30
Moravia at Thomas A. Edison, 1:30
Elmira Notre Dame at Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour, at Odessa, 7