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football vEND

A new era began last Friday evening in Elmira's southside when the 8-man division football rivals suited up for a heated and humid contest. Elmira Notre Dame (END) and Lansing are no strangers to rivalries spanning the athletic spectrum including basketball and soccer. Players, coaches and fans were not so sure what to expect with three less players on each side of the ball but one thing for sure it was expected to be a close game throughout.

First play of the game and of the year had Lansing QB Garrett Bell (2-10-2, 80 yards) make a quick pass to the left flat for Brad Lehr who footed it for a net 20 yard gain. END made good on a flee flicker for a 45 yard TD and the 6-0 lead. Mason Butler recovered a fumble at the END 27 but Lansing could not make good.

In the second quarter Bell boomed a Lansing punt deep into END territory that was fumbled but recovered by END. Now it was middle linebacker Griffen Nelson's turn for a turnover. With the Notre Dame runner being swarmed upon and not going down easily Nelson took advantage becoming a ball carrier himself and promptly took it away to scamper 58 yards for a game tying score. Nelson made a good tackle to halt the next END drive so that Luke Winslow (147 yards) could take advantage of one of his 22 runs for a 63 yard TD and a 12-6 Bobcat lead. Bell kicked the first of his four successful PAT's on the evening. It was Winslow again getting his #21 called with a fumble recovery to give himself another chance on offense. Shortly thereafter a nice cut back move provided six points via a 20 yard TD run. Halftime score was 20-6.

END began the second half with a drive to the Lansing ten only to fumble the ball away again to the opportunistic Bobcat D. Big plays and turnovers continued on through the game. END had some big plays of their own including a 58 yard pass from Erik Charnetski (12-24-0, 203 yards) who was all over the field on both sides of the ball. Not to be outdone the Lansing air attack decided to pad their now 6 point "cushion" with a little dose of Sophomore 60. Don't think that's the name of the play but thats the way it played out with sophomore wideout Ben Vincent displaying his concentration skillset to haul in a 20 yard drive pass over a defender and proceeded to outrace END for the 60 yard TD play. Lansing took a 27-14 lead into the final quarter. The combined 29 point fourth quarter was about to begin.

With a Winslow score and Bell PAK Lansing was able to breathe a little easier the thick night air having a 34-14 lead with 9:48 remaining. Long time END coach D'Aloisio and his players would muster two touchdowns in the next 5.5 minutes. The latter was aided by fourth down pass interference call in the endzone that prolonged the scoring drive. With the lead cut to 34-28 Winslow, Nelson and Gabe Santiago stopped the two point run attempt for Notre Dame. All the momentum was now with the home team. Lansing's Vincent provided the good hands again this time recovering the ensuing onside kick attempt. Despite decent field position the Bobcat offense was slowing and facing a long third and fourteen from their forty. Just over two minutes remained. END players and fans sensed a dramatic comeback with cowbells and cheers emanating from the stands.

Coach Brett Hotchkiss turned to Senior running back Darryl Fleming to give it a go for a safe run on third down. Fleming exceeded all expectations with an exclamation to his 143 yards rushing on 16 carries by going to the house for a game capping 59 yard touchdown run. Final score 42-28.

Friday 9/21 Lansing plays host to the Newfield Trojans. For scrapbook junkies a full article was provided in the Saturday Elmira Star Gazette and by A. Lagare.

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