October 19, 2013

Football: Greely upsets Cony, 35-21

Matt Pisini and James Ferrar combine for 338 rushing yards to lead the Rangers to a surprising Class B win.

By Mike Lowe mlowe@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

CUMBERLAND — Dave Higgins was speechless. His Greely High football players, however, did plenty of talking.

click image to enlarge

Greely quarterback Matt Pisini looks for a receiver as Alex Neill of Cony closes in during their Class B football game Friday night in Cumberland. Pisini threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two scores in Greely’s 35-21 upset victory.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

William Peck of Greely catches a touchdown pass with seconds left in the second quarter as Cony’s Austin Davis tries to stop the play during Friday night’s game in Cumberland. Greely won the game, 35-21.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

The Rangers put together perhaps their most complete game of the season to stun Cony 35-21 in a Class B game Friday night.

The Rangers overpowered the Rams, rushing for 391 yards and forcing three critical turnovers.

“The kids played awesome,’’ said Higgins. “Cony is a great team and I can’t speak highly enough about these guys. They just did a great job.

“Amazing, just amazing. I can’t talk right now.’’

Greely quarterback Matt Pisini rushed for 174 yards, scoring touchdowns on sprints of 38 and 43 yards, and threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Fullback James Ferrar rushed for 164 yards and one touchdown.

“Give Greely all the credit,’’ said Cony Coach Robby Vachon. “They came to play tonight. It was their Senior Night. They seemed like they really had something to play for. Their kids played really, really hard.

“We picked the wrong night to not have a good game. We looked very flat offensively and quite frankly, we got our butts kicked defensively.’’

Greely, ranked fifth in Western Class B entering the game, improved to 4-3. Cony, ranked second in Eastern Class B, is 5-2.

The Rangers, said several players, did have something to play for. Their losses this year have come to the top three teams in the conference. And they’ve been hearing they weren’t as good as those teams.

“A lot of people have counted us out,’’ said Pisini. “We were down but we stepped up.’’

Especially defensively against perhaps the best quarterback in the state, Ben Lucas. While Lucas threw for 257 yards, he was pressured all night and threw two interceptions. The Rams were also turned back twice in the first half inside the 15.

“Those were missed opportunities,’’ said Vachon. “You’ve got to capitalize.’’

Still, the Rams led 14-6 with 1:05 left in the half after a 2-yard run by Tayler Carrier and Kevin Kingsbury’s PAT. But Greely responded.

The Rangers drove 70 yards in seven plays, getting a 27-yard pass from Pisini to Will Peck, who caught the ball in the back of the end zone between two defenders with 7.4 seconds remaining in the half. Pisini then threw the conversion pass to Sam Peck, and it was 14-14.

“In that situation, the clock’s running down, we’re trying to get the plays out, try to do things right, and that wasn’t even the play we called,’’ said Pisini. “(Peck) saw something in the coverage, he ran it deep. I picked him up. I threw it up there and he was there to get it.’’

The Rangers got the ball to start the third quarter and drove 68 yards in 13 plays, taking the lead on a 13-yard pass from Pisini to Sam Peck.

Cony came back, driving to the Rangers’ 12 behind the passing of Lucas and running of Reid Shostak (130 yards). But on second down, Chance Carr intercepted Lucas in the end zone and returned the ball to the 20. That led to an 80-yard, eight-play drive capped by Pisini’s first touchdown run, the 37-yarder.

The Rangers forced two other turnovers in the second half.

“We worked hard all week in practice,’’ said Ferrar, “and everyone was saying things against us. We used that as fuel for this game. We wanted this.’’

Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at:

mlowe@pressherald.com

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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