by Rob Tetro
As an organization, the Syracuse Shock couldn’t have asked for better opening night scenarios for its football team’s debut in Fulton last Saturday.
Despite the threat of rain, curiosity brought more than 300 people to the Donald Distin Athletic Complex at G. Ray Bodley High School on what eventually proved to be a perfect night for a football game.
The Syracuse Shockettes Dance Team were ready to perform while the M.C. was ready to keep fans enthusiastic with music and sound clips in between plays.
Of course, there was the game itself. The Syracuse Shock was taking on minor league football’s defending national champion. Unfortunately for the Shock, a few mental breakdowns turned what was a defensive struggle during the first half into an impressive 31-12 win for South Buffalo.
South Buffalo began the game receiving the opening kickoff. For a quarter and a half, the defenses for both teams were efficient.
Syracuse wasted little time showing just how opportunistic they could be. Despite giving up an impressive run during the second play of the game, Syracuse defensive back C.J. Moore intercepted Quarterback Kenny Murphy on the very next play.
Following the interception, Moore returned the ball to the South Buffalo 38 yard line.
With 8:09 left in the first quarter, South Buffalo’s defense made its presence felt. After a five-play drive that brought the Shock to the South Buffalo 13-yard line, Syracuse turned the ball over on downs after coming up short on fourth down.
Offensively, South Buffalo showed its intent of being a team with a multiple attack. Early on in the game, South Buffalo attempted to spread the field with Murphy working out of the shutgun. Though it was unable to score during the first quarter, South Buffalo’s play calling kept the Shock’s defense honest.
Syracuse clearly wanted to be a team that gets it done on the ground — 27 out of its 44 offensive plays were rushing attempts.
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