Saturday, September 6, 2008

DiNovo hauls 200+, Cadets roll

William Montgomery
The Record

TROY – The La Salle Cadets have one of the area’s best running backs in Marquis Terrell. But on Friday night, Colonie High and the rest of Section II learned that La Salle also has one of the region’s best wide receivers in Lou DiNovo.
DiNovo caught five passes - three for touchdowns – and racked up an outstanding 204 receiving yards as the Cadets held on for a 24-15 victory over Colonie in a Class AA Liberty Division game at Sutton Field.
It’s a new-look La Salle team this season, with quarterback Jared Henkel and 80% of the offensive line graduating after winning the Section II Class AA title in 2007. But DiNovo and junior quarterback Mike Murray, who earned the starting job in preseason practices, have clicked instantly.
"We’re great friends," DiNovo said, "and it’s all about communication and how much work we put in during double sessions and in the offseason. A lot of it goes unnoticed but when it comes down to it, I just have to thank the line, Mike for all the great throws and the coaching staff for the play calls."
"Murray and DiNovo had some great connections on passes," said La Salle head coach Al Rapp. "(Murray) laid the ball right on the money and Lou ran a great pattern."
DiNovo scored on passes of 79, 58 and 20 yards and also made a 32-yard reception on the Cadets’ first drive of the game. But DiNovo also contributed on the defensive side of the ball at safety, knocking down a pass by Colonie quarterback Mike Branche on the Raiders’ last-chance drive late in the fourth quarter.
Terrell had a big night as well, picking up 130 yards on 20 carries, including a 16-yard touchdown run to seal the game with 1:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. La Salle’s young offensive line, however, often let Colonie linemen slip through into the backfield, forcing Terrell to dance his way out of trouble.
"I’ll tell you what, Marquis Terrell is one tough running back," Rapp said. "When he wasn’t getting help from the line, he made a lot of stuff happen by himself."
On the last play of the third quarter, trailing 19-8, Colonie defensive end Sean Peer sat on Murray’s attempted screen pass and made a momentum-swinging interception. The Raiders took the ball on La Salle’s 28-yard line to start the fourth quarter.
Branche connected with Jose Martinez on a 19-yard screen and Martinez weaved his way through the La Salle defenders and into the end zone to bring Colonie within five. An offensive pass interference call on Peer during the two-point conversion attempt kept the Raiders from narrowing the lead to three points.
The Raiders forced La Salle into a three-and-out during the ensuing series, but Branche was intercepted by La Salle junior Nick Edgington with 4:52 remaining – a play that essentially put the game out of reach.
Ishmel McCann led Colonie (0-1, 0-1) ballcarriers with 37 yards on 11 carries. Branche finished 6-of-20 for 177 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
La Salle (1-0, 1-0) will need that line to shape up to help pave the way for Terrell, but the pass blocking was more than adequate against Colonie.
"The run blocking was iffy tonight, but (the line) gave me time to throw the ball and Lou is fast as hell, so I threw it to him," said Murray.
Murray finished 6-of-10 passing for 206 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
La Salle hosts Niskayuna (1-0, 1-0) in another Liberty Division showdown on Friday at 7 p.m. DiNovo is confident that the Cadets have the options and the mettle to compete for another sectional championship.
"We have a lot of talent, but it’s all about how we use the talent and how much effort we put in," said DiNovo. "Again, it all comes down to the preseason and Mike and I worked on getting on the same page so we wouldn’t make any mistakes this year. I think that showed tonight."


LA SALLE 25, COLONIE 14

Colonie (0-1, 0-1) 0 8 0 6 - 14
La Salle (1-0, 1-0) 6 7 6 6 - 25
First quarter
L – DiNovo 79 pass from Murray (kick fails)
Second quarter
C – Charton 26 pass from Branche (Hamilton run)
L – DiNovo 20 pass from Murray (Terry kick)
Third quarter
L – DiNovo 58 pass from Murray (kick fails)
Fourth quarter
C - Martinez 19 pass from Branche (pass fails)
L – Terrell 16 run (kick fails)
Rushing: Colonie (30-89), McCann 10-37, Martinez 2-5, Branche 8-15, Hamilton 5-12, Nylon 5-20. LSI (31-177), Terrell 20-130, Washington 5-23, Planz 3-19, Koberger 2-6, Murray 1-(-1).
Passing: Colonie, Branche 6-20-2-1-117. LSI, Murray: 6-10-3-1-206.
Receiving: Colonie (6-117), Peer 2-54, McCann 2-18, Charton 1-26, Martinez 1-19. LSI (6-206), DiNovo5-204, Koberger 1-2.

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