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Yellowjackets sting Onteora, return to .500

Alex Kielar
Posted 10/24/23

ELDRED — Eldred football looked to return to .500 on the season on Friday as they hosted Onteora in what turned out to be an offensive showcase. The home fans barely got settled into their …

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Yellowjackets sting Onteora, return to .500


ELDRED — Eldred football looked to return to .500 on the season on Friday as they hosted Onteora in what turned out to be an offensive showcase. The home fans barely got settled into their seats when the Yellowjackets struck first less than two minutes into the game. Sophomore quarterback Koen McGill found senior receiver Josh Warming in stride down the sideline, who made the catch and juked his way to the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown. 

On their first defensive drive, Eldred forced a turnover on downs and capitalized pretty quickly. With 5:48 remaining in the first quarter, McGill hit sophomore receiver Trai Kaufmann in an almost identical spot as his first touchdown pass. This one, Kaufmann caught and ran for a 57-yard score, and after the two-point try was no good, the Yellowjackets led 12-0. 

Onteora climbed back into the game on their next drive, with senior running back Ethan Berryann punching it in from the 1-yard line. The Eagles then went for two and converted it to make it 12-8 with 2:24 left in the opening quarter. The first quarter came to an end with Eldred on a big 4th and 6 from the Onteora 31-yard line. 

A couple of plays into the second quarter, McGill targeted Kaufmann again who came down with the catch despite tight coverage by Eagles defensive back Kyle Berryann. Kaufmann then juked around Berryann and ran to the end zone for a 29-yard score. Eldred failed the two-point conversion again, and it was 18-8. 

While the Eldred offense was stealing the show up to this point, the Yellowjackets defense came up with a big play on the next Onteora drive. Warming made his mark on the defense, as he intercepted senior quarterback Reese Rotella and ran 20 yards to the end zone for a pick-6. This time, Eldred converted the two-point try which made it 26-8 with 8:34 left in the second quarter. 

Aided by a one-handed catch by sophomore tight end James Deyermond, Eldred drove down the field right before halftime. The catch by Deyermond brought Eldred back into the red zone, and a couple of plays later, Kaufmann came up with his third touchdown catch of the evening. With 36 seconds till half, the Yellowjackets led, 34-8 after the two-point attempt was good. 

Despite there not being much time left in the first half, Onteora was able to drive down the field and scored with two seconds left. Junior Cole Matteson caught a pass from Rotella and ran in for the score. The Eagles were hanging around, as it was 34-16 Eldred at halftime after the two-point conversion. 

Onteora started the second half with the ball after deferring to start the game and snuck even closer back into the game. Less than two minutes into the half, Kyle Berryann was wide open for a touchdown to make it 34-22. 

On the kickoff, a helmet-to-helmet penalty call on Onteora aided the Yellowjacks as they began with great field position. Eldred capitalized and scored with Kaufmann coming up with a crazy circus catch to get them within the 10. McGill ran in from the 1-yard line for the score and the two-point conversion made it 42-22 with less than 6 minutes in the third. 

After forcing a turnover on downs, Eldred put the game away as the third quarter came to a close. Sophomore running back Tyiese Mack-Simms ran in for a score and a two-point conversion made it 50-22. Onteora would find paydirt in the fourth quarter to make it 50-30, but that would be the final score. 

McGill was virtually perfect on the day as he completed all eight of his pass attempts for 215 yards and four touchdowns. 

Mack-Simms ran the ball 10 times for 61 yards and the touchdown, while Warming ran eight times for 75 yards, including a long of 24 yards. That was on top of Warming catching two passes for 62 yards - a majority of which came from the 61-yard touchdown catch. 

Kaufmann caught five passes for 140 yards and three touchdowns. Leading Eldred in tackles was sophomore defensive back Connor Ranaudo with 13 total tackles and Kaufmann also had 10 total tackles. 

“We expected to play a big game,” Eldred head coach Sean McAveney said. “[Onteora] made the playoffs last year so we knew we were going to have to play our best. We opened up the run with the pass.”

McAveney said that they will take it one week at a time, but mentioned how returning to .500 is huge for the program. 

“Eldred hasn’t had a winning season since 2009,” he said. “So we have a chance to get over .500 next week.” 

In that 2009 season, Eldred went 10-2 and finished first in Section 9 Class D before losing in the state semifinals. 

On Friday, the Yellowjackets travel to play at Millbrook/Webutuck who is 0-6 on the season. 


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