CORNING - Five different Hawks scored in Corning’s 41-0 victory over Vestal in a Southern Tier Athletic Conference football matchup.
In his first game as Corning’s new offensive coordinator, Mike Johnston’s offense ran for a total of 372 yards on the ground.
"Anytime you’re able to score 41 points, you’re satisfied with the offensive output,” Corning head coach George Bacalles said. “All that starts up front with the offensive line, they’re the ones who open the holes for running backs.”
Sophomore fullback Dillon Kennedy accounted for 155 yards on the ground for Corning and added a touchdown.
“I like how he was finishing most of runs on his stomach,” said Bacalles. “I thought he ran the ball very well. It was good to see all three running backs were having success.”
The Hawks wasted no time getting on the board, scoring on their first two possessions, taking their first drive 64 yards in 4:13 and capped off the drive with a one-yard score from Max Freeman.
After Corning forced a Vestal punt, Joey Ott upped the Corning lead to 14 with a 25-yard run that put an exclamation point on the 52 yard drive.
Dillon Kennedy and Freeman added touchdown runs of 8 and 1, respectively that gave Corning a 26-0 halftime lead.
The Hawks overcame nine first-half penalties and limited the Golden Bears to under 50 yards of offense. Seth Hogue added a first half interception for the Hawks’ stout defense.
Corning kept the pressure on in the second half, scoring two more touchdowns as Blake VanWoert connected to tight end Sam Wakeman on a 9-yard score in the third quarter. Justin Rodriguez added a 12 yard scamper for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Vestal had its best opportunity to score in the third quarter after a Corning fumble put the Golden Bears in Hawks territory, but turned the ball over on downs.
For the game, the Corning defense allowed the Golden Bears just 85 yards of total offense.“[Assistant] Coach [Bob] McGee created a great game plan and the kids executed it to a tee,” Bacalles said. “We had multiple hats to the football and hopefully that will continue into the future.”
With the win, Corning snaps a five-game losing streak dating back to last season and notched its first opening win since 2016. The Hawks will host Ithaca next Friday at 7 p.m.
“They’re 1-0, so it’s going to be a battle of which team wants to be 2-0,” said Bacalles. “It’s the first [Class] AA opponent we face. There's playoff implications. We’ll have to have a good week of practice and be prepared to go.”