March 22 02:19 AM

Flu-decimated Dryden falls victory short of playoffs

Cardinals play with only eleven healthy players, lose final game, 22-14

October 28, 2009
DRYDEN — The Dryden varsity football team fell just one game short of acquiring a state playoff berth, dropping a 22-14 verdict to visiting Morrice in a non-conference varsity football game last Friday night.

With the decision, Morrice completed a 1-8 campaign. Dryden finishes at 5-4.

"We knew coming in that this was going to be a tough game for us," Dryden Coach Brian Tresnak said. "The flu hit us hard this week and we actually only had 11 healthy bodies on Wednesday and were afraid we were going to have to cancel the game," he noted.

"They were able to just wear us down. I'm very proud of these guys for everything they accomplished this year. Nobody gave us a chance to win more than two or three games this year and we played everybody tough this year, win or lose."

In Friday's game, Dryden and Morrice ended the opening quarter with eight points each.

Quarter number two saw Morrice collect six points, while holding Dryden to none.

That made it 14-8, Morrice, at the halftime break.

Quarter three would do little to offer a suggestion as to which side would eventually prevail. It was there both teams were held scoreless.

Morrice then outscored Dryden 8-6 over the last 12 minutes of play, good enough to close out a 22-14 win when the final second ticked off the clock.

A Cory Clark one-yard touchdown run (followed by a Jake Albert PAT tote) and a Clark 14-yard touchdown run helped Dryden amass their 14-point total.

For the evening, Cody Paupert proved true on three of nine pass plays for 46 yards as Dryden's quarterback. He threw three interceptions along the way.

His successful tosses were distributed to two different targets. Their ranks consisted of Clark (two catches for 34 yards) and Geno Volante (one reception for 12 yards).

The Dryden ground attack wound up with 169 yards on 34 totes.

Individually, Volante (eight rushes for 105 yards) and Clark (66 yards on 10 totes) proved Dryden's headliners. The remaining 16 Cardinal rushes netted a combined two-yard loss.

Cody Barker and Clifford Healy (14 assists apiece) along with Clark (two solos and nine assists) paced Dryden's defense. Paupert (10 assists), Joey Felker (nine assists), Sean Murphy (two solos and six assists) and Mike Smith (two solos and four assists) made their presence felt as well.

The Dryden defense also managed four fumble recoveries that evening. Brandon Gierman, Clark, Volante and Barker notched those.

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