The Daily Star
---- — Staff Report
Noble Champen stole the show Saturday at Hartwick College.
Oneonta High graduate threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two more at Wright Stadium, where the Oneonta City Stallions dominated the visiting Cortland Bulldogs for a 48-12 Northeastern Football Alliance victory.
“It really was the Noble Champen show,” Stallions co-owner Tom Terry said Sunday. “He was involved in six of our seven touchdowns.”
Champen hit Jake Trotter for a 72-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring in the first quarter, which ended with Oneonta City ahead, 20-0.
Champen made it 13-0 with a 49-yard run and closed the first-quarter scoring with a 40-yard TD pass to Reggie Leaver.
Cortland cut it to 20-6 by halftime and scored again in the third quarter, but Zach Blocker returned a kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown to give the Stallions a 27-12 lead heading into the final period.
Champen helped Oneonta City (5-1) run away with the victory in the fourth quarter. He followed a 12-yard TD pass to Jason Carnell with a 35-yard TD run and a two-point conversion pass to Mike Tandle. Champen then ended his big day with a 70-yard TD pass to Leaver, and Jimmy Kazalski kicked his fourth extra point to cap the scoring.
“We had so many scores I get confused as to the order of them,” Terry said while sorting out the Stallions statistics. “I guess that’s a good thing.”
Champen finished 10-for-20 for 292 passing yards and ran for 169 more. Leaver amassed 155 receiving yards on three catches, and Blocker contributed 60 rushing yards on seven carries.
Kevin Gregory highlighted the Stallions’ defense with seven tackles and two sacks.
“We’re learning to play in front better, which is something that was totally foreign to this team until this year,” said Terry, who added that the game drew a paid attendance of 350 fans. “It was just a perfect night. Everything went extremely well.”
The Stallions maintained the top spot in the NFA East and are scheduled to host the Watertown Revolution at 6 p.m. this Saturday back at Wright Stadium. Terry said the game may be canceled because Watertown is having difficulties fielding a road team.
“We won’t know until Tuesday,” he said. “Right now, they’re coming.”
Oneonta City closes its home schedule July 27 against Utica. Should the Stallions finish first in their division, Terry said, they will earn a first-round bye and later host a playoff game that would mark their first in franchise history.
“Right now, we control our own destiny because nobody can catch us if we don’t lose,” Terry said. “But I’m not going to get ahead of myself.”