The Watertown Red and Black used a strong rushing attack to wear down the Ice Storm in the second half and claim the 23-13 victory.
Both defenses were solid during the first half as they allowed yardage gained, sometimes big chunks of yardage, (Vermont’s tight end Colin MacDonald (EHS) had a 30 yard reception) but held firm in the red zone forcing field goals attempts instead of allowing touchdowns.
Each team scored a pair of field goals. Vermont’s kicker James Praino (Liverpool HS, NY) hit from 34 and 38 yards while Watertown’s Zach Grulich was successful from 36 and 27 yards for the score to be, at the half, 6-6.
The second successful Watertown field goal came after great field position was attained via a blocked punt deep in Ice Storm territory. It was the second block in a little over three minutes for the Red and Black, this one resulting in points on the board. The Red and Black started from the Ice Storm 12 yard line, only managed 2 yards, and were forced to kick. There Grulich connected to put Watertown up 6-3 with 10:49 left in the half.
The Ice Storm managed to move the ball to the 21 yard line of Watertown with 4:09 left in the 2nd quarter and from there Praino connected for his second field goal to bring the score to 6-6, where it stayed until the half.
The 3rd quarter started with Watertown having the ball. After a good return gave them the ball in Vermont’s end, Brian Williams the Red and Blacks shifty quarterback, led the team down the field to the 12 yard line. There Watertown’s Joe Brennan took a handoff, saw the intended hole was plugged, and proceeded to bounce the run outside. Making one would be tackler miss, he was off to the races, scoring the games first touchdown with 11:39 left in the quarter. The extra point was good by Grulich and the score was 13-6 Watertown.
Vermont was able to move the ball between the 20’s all night and in the 3rd quarter quarterback Tim Kynoch (SBHS) found wide receiver Mike Jabour (SBHS) down the sidelines and they connected for a 48 yard reception. This got the Ice Storm out from deep in their own end and changed the field position favorably for them at the time. The quarter would end though with no scoring for Vermont as the Red and Black defense made stops when they needed them as the Ice Storm was held scoreless in the 3rd . Score 13-6 Red and Black.
The 4th quarter saw the Red and Black pound the ball inside, use the clock, and successfully move the chains, while attempting to wear down the Ice Storm front four at the same time.
The strategy paid dividends as they were able to move the ball down to the 1 yard line where running back Anthony Noel took the handoff and ran off tackle and in for the score. The second extra point of the night by Grulich was good and with 10:52 left in the game the score was 20-6 Watertown.
The next series Vermont came back to make things tight. After a good return by Vermont’s Jay Mahl (SBHS) who brought the ball back to Vermont’s 40, QB Tim Kynoch went to work.
Mixing some nice runs by Jason Young (SBHS) and Akeem Williams (BHS) with some completions to Rob Joy (SBHS) Kynoch led the team down the field gaining a couple first downs in the process. On a third and 8 from the Watertown 46 yard line he stepped back to pass, rolled right out of pressure, and found receiver Jabour down the right sideline. The pass was tipped, but Jabour fought for the ball with the defensive back, and the Ice Storm receiver came away with it. He turned and raced for the end zone and scored on a nice 46 yard touchdown reception. Praino’s extra point was good and the Ice Storm closed to within 20-13 with 8:09 left in the game.
Watertown managed to use the clock to run over two and a half minutes off before they were forced to punt from the Ice Storm 40 with 5:30 left in regulation.
The punt was fielded by Vermont’s Scott Dennis (MHS) on the 10 yard line where he was immediately tackled. Moving quickly Kynoch was able to move the team out past the 50, but there Vermont’s valiant effort to mount the comeback was stymied and they turned the ball over on downs.
Watertown ran the clock, then used a time out and Grulich successfully kicked their last field goal, from 41 yards out with 1:55 left, to make the score 23-13. No further scoring occurred and Watertown claimed the victory.
Watertown improves to 3-1 while Vermont drops to 2-2.
The Ice Storm travel to Syracuse this coming Saturday night to take on the Shock, 7:30PM kick-off.
Vermont Ice Storm
Watertown Red and Black
Date: August 4, 2012
Venue: Watertown Game Field - Alex Duffy Fairgrounds