Leyden rode the running of Mickey Gulo and the opportunistic passing of Michael Smith in ruining Fenton’s home opener, winning going away 34-0 in a nonconference battle.
Although the final 34-0 score may indicate otherwise, Leyden coach Tom Cerasani credits his defense with both creating and preserving the win.
“The defense put us in a great position,” Cerasani said. “They set up both of our first two scores and did a great job controlling the ball.”
“Our defense did a great job,” Gulo added. “They shut our Fenton. You can’t do better than that.”
Both defenses, in fact, were pitching shutouts until Fenton made the first error, as quarterback Angel Velasco threw a swing pass to receiver Randy Brezell. The pass turned out to be behind Brezell and Velasco, making it a lateral, not a forward pass and it turned up in Leyden hands. The Eagles promptly handed the ball to Gulo and he trotted it into the end zone for the game’s first score.
Fenton responded with a drive of its own, beginning at their 25-yard line. But as receiver Gary Baker was struggling for a first down inside the Leyden 10-yard line, he lost the handle on the ball and Leyden’s Gawiec Adrian scooped it up and ran it back 95 yards for another apparent Leyden score. Even though a penalty returned the ball to midfield, two passes by Smith, one to Gulo and the other to Jon Rodriquez for the score returned the ball into the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
The half came to an end with Leyden driving for a third score, and it continued to use Gulo to pound the ball against Fenton. Just when Fenton thought it had Leyden stopped, the Eagles faked the ball to Gulo and Smith tossed it to a wide-open Javier Rhoades for a commanding 20-0 halftime lead.
“Anything to help my team win,” Rhoades said. “It’s touchdowns that put the points on the board.”
Both Gulo and Smith agreed that Leyden is a running team.
“We ran 36-zone several times,” Gulo said, “and then faked the run to the right and passed to the left.”
Last year Leyden carried a lead into the fourth quarter and Fenton ended up coming from behind to win.
“We knew this year if we got a lead we’d better not blow it,” Cerasani said.
Not only did Leyden not blow it, the Eagles added to the lead by way of sophomore running back Maurice Frison, in only his second season of organized football. With just more than two minutes left in the game, Frison found himself with the football at mid-field and nothing but daylight. A few seconds later he was in the end zone and Leyden had a 34-0 victory.
“Our guys need to learn they need to play a full 48 minutes,” said Fenton coach Mark Kos. “We have nine sophomores on varsity, and they’re experiencing a baptism by fire right now. Our young players are learning how to play. We have to work on fundamentals and we have to be ready for next week. No one is going to wait for us.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.