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Local Sports

October 3, 2013

Even Walton is getting into pass-happy area football scene

If you take the second-half statistics of Sidney senior Patrick Vibbard from Friday night and combine them with the first-half stats of Walton junior Trevor Zandt on Saturday, the numbers read: 24-for-43 for 566 yards and six touchdowns.

Four weeks into the season, I’ve seen Chenango Valley quarterback Bryan Pert throw for 302 yards, Unatego’s Josh Feyerabend throw for 366, Vibbard throw for 265 and 364, and Zandt throw for 243.

And talk about edge-of-your-seat stuff, I’ve covered Sidney’s 42-40 win over CV (Week 1), Unatego’s 32-30 win over Sidney (Week 2), Harpursville’s 28-26 win over Sidney (Friday), and Walton’s 30-28 win over Delhi (Saturday).

It’s been amazing.

Watching Zandt operate often in a shotgun formation in the Warriors’ win at Delhi was something I don’t think I’ve ever seen from Jim Hoover’s normally run-heavy teams.

Zandt said he likes being in shotgun and Hoover added: “We’ve used it the last couple of games. We used it more today because we felt we had to spread them out because of the studs they have in the middle. The kids did a real good job protecting the passer and Zandt’s not a bad thrower.”

Rarer still was with Walton protecting a 30-22 lead late in the fourth quarter, the Warriors passed twice -- and those two incompletions kept valuable seconds on the clock for Delhi.

“When we had the ball and we had first-and-5 and I threw two passes, I just got a little cocky,” Hoover said. “We could have run 2 1/2 to 3 minutes off the clock, but the pass got us where we were ahead by that many scores.”

The best pass I’ve seen this season -- and I’ve seen a lot of them -- came from Vibbard on Friday.

Sidney trailed, 22-6, in the third quarter when Vibbard rolled to his right. Billy Kozak ran a deep crossing route from the left and got behind Harpursville’s secondary. Vibbard then zipped a spiral that probably traveled 45-50 yards, and it didn’t have a lot of loft on it. The pass hit Kozak in stride, and Sidney’s speedster continued into the end zone on a 66-yard scoring play.

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