GENOA – Burlington Central squandered an opportunity to win a pivotal Big Northern Conference East football game Friday.
A win could’ve drawn the Rockets even with Genoa-Kingston in the conference standings, but they couldn’t match the energy of the home team in a 43-0 loss to the Cogs.
“Usually, we’d tell our kids that when we have that type of crowd, we need to raise to their level,” Rockets coach Rich Crabel said. “We didn’t raise to their level.”
The win was G-K’s first over Central (1-4, 1-2 BNC East) since 2010.
G-K junior quarterback Griffin McNeal threw for 93 yards and two touchdowns, and senior running back Sal Lopez added 105 yards and three scores on the ground.
After an early score gave them momentum, the Cogs recovered a fumble, and McNeal hit senior Tyeler L’Huillier for a 20-yard touchdown strike on the very next play.
“We came out here jacked,” McNeal said. “When you give this team adrenaline like that, we ride with it.”
With the lead in hand, the Cogs went to their ground game, which wore down the Rockets.
G-K used eight different rushers on the night and racked up 246 yards on the ground.
G-K kept pouring it on into the second half. Lopez and Beach each scored, and the defense continued to shut down Central. When time ran out, the party was just getting started for the Cogs, who were swarmed by their orange-clad student section.
While it’s still very early, this win leaves the Cogs optimistic about the rest of the season.
After a rocky start, they now have won three straight games, and this confidence-building win could be a springboard to many more.
“Confidence is sky high,” McNeal said. “This is the first time we’ve had a winning record since 2010. Everybody’s really pumped up about that, and I think this win is going to give us a good shot of making the playoffs this year.”