In the last meeting that counted, the Fayetteville-Manlius football team hung its heads on Baldwinsville’s turf as its season came to an end.
That was then. This is now. And Friday night should be ashowdown that sticks in our brains for a while. It’s F-M (4-3, 4-2). It’s Baldwinsville (6-1, 4-1). And it’s high school football at its finest — there’s two powerhouses that are tough to stop.
The two teams are in opposite divisions and haven’t played against one another since that quarterfinal, when the Hornets just couldn’t get any rhythm and were missing Eric Coley, who was their starting running back throughout the regular season, because of his hand injury.
This time around, the Hornets are much more confident because of that dual threat out of the backfield and have proven that it won’t allow anything to disturb its confidence.
It’s easier to remain confident when you have a Batman-Robin combo like F-M’s backfield does in Seabiscuit and Zack Page. With Seabiscut, the Hornets have that speedy, power back and then have a quicker and more shifty back in Page.
Unlike last season, when they brought up the duo in response to Coley’s injury, the Hornets have had multiple backs who are troubling to defenses all season, so they are able to be confident when they substitute Page in for Seabiscut.
Defensively, F-M is coming off of its best game of the year, by far. Against RFA, the team got just what it needed from the defense.
Before the Hornets defeated RFA, their defense was worrisome and the coaching staff thought it needed a lot of improvement, but, guys like Tyler Powell, Brody Phelan, Jack Hannah, and Tim Shaw the unit as it showed that it is better than it was at the beginning of the campaign.
Powell, Phelan and Shaw all accounted for takeaways in the contest. Entering the contest, the Hornets hadn’t forced a turnover all season, but the first half featured interceptions by Powell and Shaw and a fumble recovery from Phelan.
That’s the kind of defense that will give F-M the extra boost when they begin postseason play on Friday at Baldwinsville. Kickoff is at 6.