SIDNEY – Even with senior quarterback Patrick Vibbard throwing for 350 yards in the second half, Sidney couldn’t overcome a lackluster first half Friday.
Vibbard threw scoring passes of 66, 52 and 33 yards to senior Billy Kozak after halftime, and Kozak also had a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the second half, but the Warriors fell, 28-26, to unbeaten Harpursville in an exciting Section Four Football Conference Division VI game.
The two smallest player on the field, Kozak and Harpursville’s Steven Lee put on a display of no-you-see-now-you-don’t playmaking that appeared to delight fans on both sides.
Lee finished with three touchdowns, including two in the first half as the Hornets (4-0, 2-0) took a 14-0 lead into halftime.
“The big guys opened the holes for Steven,” said Sidney coach Jeff Matthews, whose team played its third two-point game of the season, beating CV, 42-40, in its opener and falling, 32-30, to Unatego in Week 2. “He had a big game. He’s very elusive. If you give him a little bit of space, you’re in trouble and it’s the same thing with Billy. Both of them are fun to watch.”
With Sidney (2-2, 1-1) trailing, 28-20, it took over at its 13-yard line with 3 minutes, 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Vibbard went 5-for-10 on an 87-yard drive that included an 8-yard completion to Dillon Rutenber on fourth-and-8, a 16-yarder to Kozak, who made a sliding catch after teammate Tanner Schunk tipped the ball in front of him and a 12-yarder to Rutenber that gave Sidney possesion at Harpursville’s 33.
On first down from the 33, Vibbard lofted a long pass down the left-middle of the field. Kozak adjusted nicely between two defenders, made the catch at the 5, avoided a defender and dived into the end zone with 1:58 left.
“We like to throw the ball,” Matthews said. “We’re pretty effective throwing the ball, so it’s fine (we didn’t use our ground game). If we can be a little more balanced, that would help us, but we did a good job throwing the ball.”