Cicero-North Syracuse dominates in 46-7 win to return to sectional final

first_img Comments CICERO — As Jaiquawn McGriff was surrounded by media postgame, Cicero-North Syracuse’s quarterback came up behind him and put both hands on his shoulders.“That’s my guy,” Conner Hayes shouted. “That’s the star of the show.”An hour earlier, Hayes threw a ball in the right flat to McGriff. The senior running back broke down the right sideline and sprinted for a 67-yard touchdown. Hayes celebrated more on that play than on his own 64-yard scoring run, sprinting down to embrace McGriff and eventually leaping to high five one of his assistant coaches.McGriff was the early star of the day, rattling off all 66 of C-NS’ first-drive yards en route to a score. He added the receiving touchdown and an interception in the first half. That was just one portion of the dominance that sent the top-seeded Northstars (9-0) on to the Section III Class AA final with a 46-7 win over five-seed Fayetteville-Manlius (6-3) at Cicero-North Syracuse on Friday night.“These guys are a focused group,” C-NS head coach Dave Kline said. “Every day they’ve been getting better in practice … Friday night is just an extension of what Monday through Thursday did for us.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe work on the practice field allowed C-NS to take charge right from the opening coin toss. The lower-seeded F-M guessed wrong, and the Northstars chose to receive. Their drive started from their own 19-yard line and lasted six plays, plus a 15-yard penalty. Five plays went to McGriff on the ground, and one through the air. It culminated with a two-yard carry behind the right side of the line for a McGriff score.On the Northstars next scoring possession, Hayes threw what should have been an interception. It hit an F-M defensive back in his numbers. But the ball fell to the turf. The very next play, Hayes ran a play he’s been running his whole four-year C-NS career, he said. He had to read the defensive line and chose to keep the ball himself.Hayes went down the middle of the field, and all the way to the end zone after a 64-yard sprint for six.“Use my track speed and try to get in the end zone before someone could catch me,” Hayes said. Facebook Twitter Google+ As Roadrunner might say: beep-beep. @conner14hayes off to the races. 64 yard TD run for the QB for @CNSAthletics. Point after blocked. 13-0 CNS. @mattgates522 pic.twitter.com/KaSi19OTEt— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) October 26, 2018center_img The scoring came quickly in the second quarter for the Northstars as they fired on all cylinders. Hayes found McGriff in the flat for the eventual 67-yard score. Then he fired to Nate Geloff over the middle of the field, and the wideout outran his coverage for a 35-yard touchdown. Then, Da-Ron Brown powered two runs in to put the Northstars up 40-0 just before the halftime break.In the second half, C-NS coaches encouraged their players to stay focused. Over two years of beating every Section III opponent they’ve faced, the Northstars have learned how to avoid complacency.“For us to do anything less than to beat a team by 40-something points, to us, that’s a failure,” Hayes said. “…It’s just a personal thing that we want to win by a lot of points.”Next Saturday, C-NS will look to make it two sectional championships in a row. But a win there is no more than a step toward that final objective, too. Forty-point wins and a repeat sectional title aren’t what this Northstars team will use to determine the success of this season.In August, Hayes wanted the one thing he didn’t have: a state title. He still wants that. And after Friday’s win, right before Hayes interrupted his interview, McGriff was on that same page.When a reporter asked McGriff how C-NS could be better, he knew his answer.“State title,” McGriff said. “We want a ring this year. We’re not trying to stop for anything. We don’t want to go home early at all.” Published on October 26, 2018 at 11:11 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3last_img

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