Chieftains score another homecoming win

Varsity football has a long history of success in homecoming games, and the team was looking for another victory when they entered Swinehart for the Friday night match up.
This year’s homecoming game was a nail-biter. Cousino was coming to Utica with a record of (2-2) hoping on improving their record to (3-2), while the Chieftains entered with a struggling (1-3) record.
“This one was a lot closer,” coach Anthony Smith said. “Last year we played an opponent that was not as good, so the game was a blowout.”
The first half was a back and forth defensive battle, and the Chieftains were down 0-3 walking into the locker room.
The halftime entertainment included performances by the marching band and varsity dance team.
The marching band played several contemporary songs such as “We Fell in Love” by Rihanna, “Still into You” by Paramore, and “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” by Fall Out Boy. Their overall theme was “Welcome to the Black Parade,” and they ended the night with that song.
The varsity dance team followed, performing the routine they did at the pep assembly. This year the girls felt more confident and focused going out on the field. Team members cited feeling grateful to have family and friends in the stands.
“It was definitely a good motivation for us,” junior Alivia Thompson said, “and definitely pushed us to work harder.”
The Chieftains offense improved in the second half, and the team managed to score in the third quarter.
In the fourth, the defensive battle continued until Cousino’s final drive of the game. As the last few minutes of the game ticked away, the Patriot offense came to life.
“I was very nervous,” coach Smith said, “but I was confident our guys were going to stop them.”
The final four defensive stops were crucial for a Chieftain win. On fourth down, senior Dylan Demo capped off the goal line stand with a tackle for a loss. The Chieftains ultimately prevailed in victory formation.
“Everyone on the sideline locked arms,” senior Ben Byrne said. “It was one of the most nerve-wracking moments of the season.”