Fenton has fun, gets win
It's going to take more than some scary weather forecasts and an early deficit to keep Fenton senior Kyle Cacioppo from having his usual Friday night fun.
The Bison quarterback and his teammates had to prepare for a kickoff two hours earlier than normal, and then found themselves trailing visiting Ridgewood 14-10 in the second quarter after the Rebels scored touchdowns on each of their first two drives.
Cacioppo then connected with wideout Ethan Queyquep for a go-ahead 25-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half for a 17-14 lead that would grow to 31-14 before Ridgewood (4-3) scored a late touchdown. The game was called when lightning started and the hosts were on top 31-21 after recovering the Rebels onside kick attempt with 2:02 to play.
Cacioppo finished the night with two touchdowns through the air and two more on the ground -- including the game-winner to Queyquep, who initially bobbled the pass before hauling it in.
"After those first two drives where they scored, we took it to heart," said Cacioppo, who also saw action for the defensive unit that tightened after those first two Rebels drives. "We came out firing again."
Both coach Matt Lynch and his signal-caller felt that TD strike late in the half seemed to change the way the game played out.
"That was probably the play of the game because that changed momentum going into halftime," said Lynch, whose team improved to 4-3 with the win. "That was a huge play for us and the turning point of the football game in my opinion. Kyle had a great football game. The young man played a great football game."
Early on it was Ridgewood quarterback Joey Krasinski who was pretty great. He used his mastering of the option to orchestrate scoring drives that were capped off by his 1-yard touchdown run and then a 5-yarder by Noah Rodriguez, who went untouched into the end zone after Krasinski sold the defense on thinking he would keep the ball on the play.
But Cacioppo was putting together a career night just while the defense -- led by linebackers Jeffrey Andrews and Ivan Lozada -- was effectively shutting down the Rebels run game. The Fenton leader finished with 200 yards passing and two scores and also had TD runs of 30 and 31 yards.
After a field goal from the Bison's Jacob Jarmolinski on the night's opening drive, Cacioppo put his team on top 10-7 with his first scoring run, then came the big pass late in the half that erased a 14-10 deficit.
"That definitely gave us a big boost," he said. "Hats off to my line, they gave me enough time, and that was his first TD catch. It was a great catch and the offensive line was great. I don't remember the last time I've had four touchdowns. Definitely not on varsity."
The Bison were not fazed by the game being pushed up two hours due to the inclement weather in the forecast.
"It caught us off guard. Usually we have some downtime," Cacioppo said. "I know the players have a lot of tests on Fridays so we like to relax before a game, but we were ready for it. We knew what we needed to do to be successful."
They also knew what they needed to do to have some fun and be successful.
"We hung out a little bit at school. Being high school kids we like to have fun. I think we can all get caught up with it being football and we forget to have fun," Cacioppo said. "We had fun tonight. That's what we need to do. Have fun and execute."
Andrews said Lynch made some adjustments for the defense, but the team also wanted to make sure to win on senior night.
"It was great to get a win for senior night," the senior linebacker said. "A lot of these guys have been in the program four years and haven't had a lot of wins. There's been a lot of hard work and it's nice to have the wins to show for it."