UTICA-NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC 47, LITTLE FALLS 6
The first two weeks were as rough on Utica’s combined Notre Dame/Rome Catholic squad as they were on Little Falls’ Mounties. Mike Gaglianese and Colin Pastorella saw to it Saturday that the Jugglers would break into the win column before the Mounties.
Gaglianese scored four touchdowns and Pastorella threw for four as the Jugglers rolled to a 47-6 win in their league opener against Little Falls. Both teams moved up in class to Class C East after battling last fall in Class D East.
“We executed our game plan,” Notre Dame coach Byron Abraham said. “We did just exactly what we wanted to do.
“We are starting to play a little better.”
After overthrowing Gaglianese on his first attempt of the game Pastorella connected on his next seven passes, two of them scoring strikes of 31 and 12 yards to Gaglianese. The Jugglers led 14-0 at the end of the opening period and made it 21-0 before halftime when Pastorella hooked up with Colin Hulser on a 41-yard touchdown pass.
Although they trailed by three touchdowns at halftime, the Mounties (0-3, 0-2 C East) had their chances, particularly in the second quarter. A long kickoff return by Mike Battisti gave Little Falls possession in Notre Dame territory following the second Pastorella-to-Gaglianese touchdown pass. Battisti, Little Falls’ starting quarterback, limped off the field and would not return but the Mounties went to work offensively with out him. A string of effective runs by Tyler McLean produced a first down and Little Falls advanced to the Jugglers’ 28 before the first quarter expired. Facing fourth-and-six with tailback Tim Morgan running a wildcat-style attack, Little Falls went to the air and Morgan completed a pass to Brandon Mosher for a first down. Mosher, another two-way starter, was hit from behind and struggled to catch his breath; he joined Battisti on the sideline and was eventually taken from the field by ambulance for additional treatment.
Missing yet another player, the makeshift Mountie offense continued its march. Runs by Morgan and McLean set up a goal-to-go situation at the Notre Dame 9 and Morgan bulled his way to the goal line on first down. The ball popped loose as Morgan was tackled crossing the line but one official signaled touchdown before meeting to discuss a penalty flag that had been thrown behind the play.
An illegal shift removed what would have been Little Falls’ first offensive touchdown of the season from the scoreboard. The Mounties went back to work at Notre Dame’s 14-yard line and drove back to the 2 facing fourth down. Morgan hit the hole and pushed toward the goal line where players from both squads piled up. When the scene was cleared by the officials, the ball was placed inside the 1 and possession was turned over to the Jugglers.
Page 2 of 3 - Notre Dame had already driven 89 yards for one touchdown and marched the length of the field to score again on Pastorella’s pass to Hulser. The Jugglers needed just seven plays and one facemask penalty to get to the far end zone. A 27-yard run by eighth-grader KaShaun Cyrus took the ball across midfield and set up the scoring pass.
Little Falls immediately fumbled the ball away but Zack McLaughlin intercepted a pass thrown behind Gaglianese and the Mounties got the ball back at their own 5. A short pass from Morgan to McLaughlin turned into a 71-yard gain — Little Falls’ longest play from scrimmage this season — when McLaughlin slipped free of a tackler near the 15 and took off down the right sideline. Pastorella dove to grab McLaughlin’s ankles from behind and tripped the receiver up at the Notre Dame 26. A pass interference call in the end zone on fourth down kept the drive going but the Mounties eventually turned the ball over on downs at the 15.
“Each week we’ve shown some positives,” Little Falls coach Bryan Shepardson said. “Right now it’s tough for us to put it together for 48 minutes. We’ve got to find a way to do that.”
Already leading by three touchdowns, the Jugglers put the game away in the third quarter. Pastorella ran seven yards for a touchdown on a draw play to cap a 78-yard drive and two Mountie turnovers led to quick scores. Pastorella cramped up at the end of a 21-yard run and left the field for one play; Gaglianese stepped, took a direct snap and ran four yards around the left end for his third touchdown following Cal Blair’s fumble recovery in the Little Falls backfield. An interception by Hulser was followed on the next play by an 18-yard Pastorella-to-Gaglianese touchdown pass for a 41-0 lead.
Playing with a big lead when they got the ball back in the fourth quarter, the Jugglers went to the ground and handed the ball to Cyrus on six straight plays. Aided by a five-yard facemask call, Cyrus took the ball 72 yards and scored on a 15-yard run. The young running back finished the game with 124 yards on 10 carries.
Little Falls avoided a second consecutive shutout when freshman quarterback Will Robinson threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jason Vespi in the final minute. Robinson, the fourth player to line up under center for Little Falls, completed three of his five pass attempts on the drive and threw for 40 yards.
Pastorella finished the game 15-for-21 for 240 yards; He also ran for 58 yards on six carries. Gaglianese had eight receptions for 127 yards. The Jugglers turned the ball over only once after giving it away four times each in losses to Westmoreland and Holland Patent.
The Mounties will put portable lights up on their high school field Friday to play a 7 p.m. game against Herkimer. The game had originally been scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Page 3 of 3 - NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC JUGGLERS 47, LITTLE FALLS MOUNTIES 6
Little Falls 0 0 0 6 — 6
Notre Dame 14 7 20 6 — 47
NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC — Mike Gaglianese 31 pass from Colin Pastorella (Pastorella kick), 7:24.
NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC — Gaglianese 12 pass from Pastorella (Pastorella kick), 4:04.
NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC — Colin Hulser 41 pass from Pastorella (Pastorella kick), 5:30.
NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC — Pastorella 7 run (Pastorella kick), 6:05.
NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC — Gaglianese 4 run (kick failed), 3:44.
NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC — Gaglianese 18 pass from Pastorella (Pastorella kick), 2:28.
NOTRE DAME/ROME CATHOLIC — KaShaun Cyrus 15 run (kick failed), 8:48.
LITTLE FALLS — Jason Vespi 11 pass from Will Robinson (kick blocked), 0:23.3.
Records — Little Falls 0-3, 0-2 C East; Notre Dame 1-2, 1-2 C East.
Compiled From Times Staff Reports