Varsity football gets first win of the season

As Utica’s band rolls out the “tomahawk chop” and the student section paints itself white, the varsity football team took on their rival Ford in an epic battle on Swinehart Field, on Sept. 12. Both teams have had a grudge against each other, one that’s years in the making.

It was a battle from the start. Minutes before kickoff, both stands began their chants against each other, causing tension between the schools. As soon as the game began, Utica received the ball at the 25 yard line. Utica was able to take the ball to the opponent’s 45 yard line and came to a stop by Ford’s defense on a fourth.

Utica pretended to go for the first down on fourth, but faked the attempt and punted the ball. Ford, foolishly not ready for the punt, allowed Utica to down the ball on their six yard line. The Ford quarterback rolled out of the pocket and got sacked for a safety by senior Denzel Felton; Utica had all the momentum after that big play.

“ It was pretty crazy having the first sack of the season.”

— Denzel Fenton

 

After Ford got the ball back, they drove down the field, but Utica held them to a failed field goal attempt of 46 yards. Keeping Ford off the scoreboard, Utica pushed down the field but were stopped again by Ford’s defense. Ford shot a pass down the field which was intercepted by senior Dominick Cariera in the second quarter.

A few plays later, Ford got an interception for a touchdown on Utica’s own red zone. Near the end of the second quarter, Ford fumbled and it was recovered by Utica. After Ford’s  play, Utica answered back, with a shotgun pass to junior Kavon Higdon, putting Utica in the lead. Ford fought hard the second half, but they couldn’t recover because of Utica’s consistent run game in the fourth quarter, leading to a Chieftain victory of 17- 10.

“I honestly don’t know how to describe it,” senior Carl Elder said. “It was a relief and gave the team hope for this upcoming season.”

After a wild celebration by the players, head coach Matthew Marulli said, “This win validates all of the hard work that the team has been doing.”