Sherburne-Earlville 21, Ilion 6
SHERBURNE – From the first defensive stand to its second offensive play of the game, the Marauders proved they were a different team from the winless 0-8 outfit of a year ago.
After holding the Golden Bombers inside the 10-yard line, Billy Northey gave indication of a huge day to come rumbling 95 yards for a touchdown to quiet any Ilion supporters and infuse the S-E faithful. Northey finished with 324 yards rushing on 27 carries, one of the all-time best rushing days in Chenango County history and certainly among the top performances in S-E history. Most importantly, it ended the losing skein that had stuck in the side of this host maroon-clad players. “Now we know we can do it, and we have to work this hard for every game,” said second-year S-E coach Mick James. “The kids played with spirit and pride. They’re learning how to win, and this is a big step forward.”
Northey is making a hall of fame career out of opening days. Just a year ago – in his first varsity game – he had well over 200 combined yards rushing and receiving. He did that over 100 yards better adding TD runs of 1 and 45 yards in the second quarter. If not for a pair of long TD runs called back, James said his senior running back would have eclipsed the 400-yard rushing mark. “Ilion's strength was supposed to be its offensive and defensive lines. Our lines pretty much dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage,” James said. “We wanted to get Billy and Nate (Kline) past the line of scrimmage and into space. When that happens, those two are dangerous in open space.”