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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Strong Second Half Performance Leads Fonda-Fultonville Football Team to Victory in Class C State Semifinals against O’Neill

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MIDDLETOWN⁣ – The Fonda-Fultonville team has made it into a state championship. With‍ grit, determination and⁤ an ‌exceptional offense, they defeated Section 9’s James I O’Neill with a score⁣ of 33-7. rnrnAfter ⁣a scoreless first quarter, the Braves ignited ⁣their ⁢offense in the second. Freshman quarterback, ⁣Keegan Croucher, threw an incredible 50-yard pass to Karsen Bulan who then led the team⁢ down the field. The drive⁢ ended​ with a ⁢goal-line TD run by Peyton Webber. A penalty‍ forced Fonda-Fultonville backwards but they were still ⁣able to ​execute a 2-point conversion, with ⁤Croucher ⁣connecting ⁣to Brady Melious, ⁣to take an 8-0 lead.rnrnThe⁤ Raiders ⁢quickly answered‍ back as Chad Haley threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to‍ Marek Arbogast, bringing the score to 8-7. But the Braves were just ⁢getting‌ started. rnrnDuring the second half, Fonda-Fultonville blitzed​ O’Neill, scoring an ⁣impressive ‌25 unanswered points. “Our coaches made some adjustments and we ⁤just came out⁢ and executed them,” says Bulan. “We eliminated our mistakes and took advantage of the⁣ opportunities we had.”⁤ rnrnBulan notched ⁣a 62-yard touchdown pass from Croucher, followed⁣ by an incredible 78-yard TD run by senior Jose Vargas. But it wasn’t just the ‍offense⁤ that secured this ‌win ⁣for the Braves. ‍Vargas made a key interception in the end zone,​ stopping O’Neill’s momentum and giving ⁢his team‌ the boost they needed. “It’s all about having faith in your teammates and doing your⁤ job every play,” says Vargas. “That helped us take back⁤ the momentum​ and push to finish‌ the game.” rnrnHead coach Mike Mancini praises his team’s defense and how they were ⁤able to shut down O’Neill’s passing attack. “Our defensive line and ⁤outside linebackers‌ played an exceptional game, getting after ​their quarterback,” Mancini says.⁢ “It was really fun to​ watch.” ⁤rnrnFonda-Fultonville’s offense was led by a ​strong team effort, with multiple players stepping up to‍ make plays. “We have a lot‌ of⁤ different ⁢players on this team who can‌ play a ⁣lot of different positions,” Bulan explains. “If‌ one guy goes down, the‌ next guy ⁢steps up. Our line⁣ holds⁣ it down in the⁣ trenches and our QB⁢ is only a ‌freshman, but⁣ he throws ‍as well as any⁤ senior.” rnrnIn the fourth quarter, with‌ just seconds left on the clock, Vargas broke through the middle for a 21-yard touchdown run, ⁣sealing⁤ the deal for Fonda-Fultonville. Now, with a total of seven‍ points allowed in their two state playoff games, the Braves are ⁤heading to Syracuse to⁤ compete for the Class C state championship. rnrnTheir​ opponent, ​Waverly, ‌has had an equally impressive run through the​ playoffs. With a record of 12-1, they ⁢defeated Section 6’s Salamanca 42-0 in ‍the semifinals. On Saturday, Fonda-Fultonville will face Waverly in⁤ what is sure to be⁢ an‍ unforgettable match-up.

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Beckett Nielson
Beckett Nielson
Transitioning from a collegiate athlete to a sports journalist, Beckett O’Neal channels his passion for sports into engaging stories. A Boston College graduate, Beckett specializes in local sports coverage, from high school heroes to regional professional teams, providing in-depth analysis and an athlete's insight.
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