Midway through the fourth quarter in its 24-17 road loss to Baldwinsville that knocked it out of the playoffs, the Fayetteville-Manlius football team was driving and looking like it was going to tie the game up.
But, as the officials saw it, F-M’s fourth down gameplan just wasn’t good enough to plow through Baldwinsville’s defensive line and claim the first down. At first, the official closest to the first down marker set the ball beyond the invisible line and indicated that it was a first down, but his fellow official disagreed and moved the ball back, taking away the first down and giving Baldwinsville (7-1, 4-1) possession.
As the players and coaches were processing what was going on, both sidelines erupted, the crowd erupted, and the mental aspect of feeling that it had been robbed was sucking the energy out of the F-M (4-4, 4-2) sideline.
And then it didn’t help that the injury bug haunted the Hornets even more throughout the game. Going into the game, both teams knew that they would be without the guys who have been the centerpieces of their respective offenses due to injury.
F-M was without Mitchell “Seabiscuit” Seabury, who rushed for 1384 yards in six regular season games, for the entire game and then lost its other threat out of the backfield, Zack Page, and quarterback Mikey Porter, in the second half
Page has teamed up with Seabiscuit to carry the load for the Hornet offense all season long, so seeing injuries take them out of the most important half of the season deflated the mood of the sideline.
But, the Hornets didn’t allow those bumps in the road as excuses to throw the white flag in. They just didn’t give up and kept going until the final buzzer sounded, which gave them the chances that they had late in the game.
That’s what the coaches ended with right before they got onto the bus, saying that they were proud of the way that they just kept going full speed despite the circumstances.
With the loss, the Hornets are out of the playoffs, but play a consolation game, and then the win pushes Baldwinsville through to the semifinal against Liverpool.