CORNING - After dropping its opening game to Elmira 50-21, Corning has ripped off two straight wins due to a tremendous passing game and look to make it three straight when it battles FDR Hyde Park of Section IX at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“I think we’re just continuing to work on improvement this year, like we said earlier in the season,” Corning head coach George Bacalles said. “Hopefully this week, we’ll continue to improve like we have the past couple weeks and hopefully we’ll be able to get a victory.”
As part of the Corning passing game renaissance junior quarterback Joey Ott has been outstanding, throwing for 560 yards in the last two games on 55% passing.
Ott’s favorite target by far has been sophomore Max Stansfield. Stansfield is averaging a whopping 39 yards per reception [506 total yards] and has been worth the price of admission for the Hawks in the last two contests. Part of a passing game that Corning hopes to keep rolling on Saturday.
“I think executing on plays and obviously with passes it’s a challenge because two out of the three options are negatives when you pass the ball,” said Bacalles. “Hopefully we’ll be able to continue to be efficient in our passing game this week.”
While Stansfield and Ott show up in the stat sheet, making an offense tick is about everyone doing their job.
“I think it comes down to the offensive line continuing to do as much work as they’ve done,” said Bacalles. “As well as our skill positions, making sure they block on the edge and allowing our athletes to get holes to take advantage of situations.”
While the passing game has been great, the Hawks’ running game has also been effective. After sitting out the Union-Endicott game with an injury, Ja’Ovian Fisher came back to produce 123 yards on nine carries and Justin Rodriguez added 62 yards on six carries against Ithaca.
Switch to the defensive side of the ball, a look at Hyde Park would suggest the offense is anemic with its 0-3 record and only 14 points scored. However, the combined record of its opponents have been 8-1 in Section IX, a traditional powerhouse in football.
“They play in a very challenging division, so we’re not taking them lightly at all,” said Bacalles. “They are a very good opponent, and we’re prepared for them.”
As with every game, Corning will look to three keys for a victory.
“I think we have to finish drives, win the turnover battle and overall improve on special teams by making a big play,” Bacalles said.