Thursday October 17, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
FINDING DAYLIGHT — Cam Coon helped spark Frontier on the ground during a 31 – 0 win at Lancaster on Friday night. File photo courtesy of Dave Marino.
The Frontier football team could not have come with a stronger response, following its first loss of the season last week.
The Falcons returned to the dominance they had enjoyed during the first four weeks of the season, with a 31 – 0 win at Lancaster on Oct. 11.
Once Frontier found some seams at the line of scrimmage after a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons’ offense took off, while the defense forced Lancaster into four interceptions, en route to a third shutout of the season.
During five wins, the Falcons have allowed only 18 points. They bounced back from last week’s 26 – 21 loss at Kenmore West.
“We didn’t feel like we were ourselves last week, so this week was all about playing Falcon football – everything we had done the first four games, we wanted to bring that back today,” said Adrian Cannon, who came down with two of those interceptions.
“It was just the fact that we knew we didn’t play the best; it really bothered us through the weekend, but than we came in Monday with a new attitude and let it pass behind us and just went out there and do what we do,” the senior added.
During that process, Frontier won at Lancaster for the first time in 17 years. It was the first thing head coach Tim Myslinski told his team afterward, one week after addressing a disappointed bunch at Kenmore West.
“I had been riding the guys all week, and we bounced back with a big chip on our shoulder,” Myslinski said. “We were very upset the way we played last week and I think that was a springboard for us.”
The win meant even more to Myslinksi, because he said he has such respect for Lancaster, which came into the game with the opportunity to jump Frontier in the standings into third in Class AA. Now, Frontier has all but clinched the two-seed and potentially a pair of home playoff games, while Lancaster has dropped three straight, after opening 3 – 0.
“I saw this game on the schedule and kept it in the back of my mind. This was a game I wanted to win,” said Myslinski, who admitted coming into Friday nervous, but by postgame, was marveling at the beautiful football field and complex at Lancaster and what his team had just done there. “Lancaster’s always good. They’re a measuring stick for us. It was a good win for us.”
Senior quarterback Tyler Gaglia threw a 5-yard score to A.J. Licata 2:12 before halftime, which put Frontier up 10 – 0 at the break, and later ran for a 34-yard touchdown in the third quarter, to extend the lead to 17 points.
Fellow senior Cam Coon finished with 81 yards on 13 carries and a 2-yard touchdown, to cap the scoring in the fourth. He ripped off 54 of those yards on four carries, during Frontier’s first touchdown drive. Fullback Kenny Kahler added 55 yards on 10 carries.
“Finally, when we put it in the end zone, that’s when the flood gates opened,” Myslinski said. “After that first touchdown, it was like, ‘Here we go.’ The kids were blocking harder; running harder. Cam had some beautiful runs and ‘Gags’ had some great reads, at the line of scrimmage.”
The highlight of the night for Frontier may have been when senior defensive lineman Nathan Clark stepped in front of a short pass, cradled the interception and then rumbled into the end zone from about 10 yards out. He looked agile, for a big man diving to pay dirt, before his knees hit the ground.
The reward for Clark will be a steak dinner courtesy of his coach, thanks to an agreement Myslinski made with his linemen, if any of them were to score a touchdown, this season. Myslinski noted that this play came courtesy of Ricky Fitzgerald on special teams, downing a long punt on the Lancaster 1-yard-line.
Clark was one of many defenders to make contributing plays for Frontier, which held Lancaster to slightly more than 100 yards of offense. Paul Brinkel added an interception and Licata had a sack on Lancaster starting quarterback Kevin Colafrancescha. Three different Lancaster QBs took their shot under center.
The Redskins’ offense didn’t reach the red zone until the final minute of the game; that is when Cannon picked off his second pass of the game at the goal line and ran it back more than 50 yards, to seal the shutout.
“We missed the defense for a week, but I’m not taking anything away [from Kenmore West],” Myslinski said. ‘That’s a good football team.”
Cannon also opened the scoring, connecting on a 31-yard field goal a few minutes into the second quarter, to help spark the Falcons’ offense.
“We’re just going to keep coming at you and eventually things break through,” said Cannon, who knocked down 4 of 4 extra points and nailed a 55-yard punt, as well. “Our line did an awesome job; we had backs moving their feet; our quarterback was making the right reads and the wide receivers were doing their jobs – overall, it worked well.”