Aviano breaks into the win column, 22-8
October 8, 2010
AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy – Three weeks into the 2010 season, not a lot had gone right for the Aviano and Vicenza football teams.
Week No. 4 didn’t get a lot better for the Cougars.
The Saints used three long runs and a stingy defense for a 22-8 victory Friday night — the first for either team on the year
“We’ve played well all year,” Aviano coach Rich Dahlstrom said. “Just not well enough to win. So this is nice. The kids feel good.”
Darien Cornett didn’t appear to be quite as good as some of his teammates. One of two junior running backs who share much of the load for the Saints (1-3 in Division II-South), Cornett missed the entire second half with an ankle injury.
Before then, though, he ran 10 times for 100 yards to help his team to a 14-0 lead. Early in the second quarter with the ball on the Vicenza 25, Saints quarterback Corey Webb pitched the ball on an option play and Cornett just managed to reach the end zone pylon while getting tackled on the sidelines.
On Aviano’s next possession, he again ran down the left sidelines, rumbling 42 yards before being pushed out on the 40. He landed awkwardly and didn’t return. Myron McRae, the Saints’ other junior running back, sprinted for a touchdown on the next play.
Vicenza narrowed the gap to 14-8 with one minute, 54 seconds to play in the third period, when Joe Boswell ran it in from 20 yards out and then added a two-point conversion. Boswell, a 5-foot, 7-inch, 150-pound junior, had the bulk of Vicenza’s carries on the night, piling up 70 yards on 18 carries.
But the Cougars couldn’t get closer. McRae scored Aviano’s final touchdown on a 10-yard pass from Webb, and Ricky Warren grabbed another Webb pass for the two-point conversion.
Vicenza had looked to be in decent shape after a 3-yard Aviano punt, but fumbled the ball away, then committed two penalties that kept Aviano’s short drive alive.
“We’ve got a good group of kids,” Vicenza coach Adam Ridgley said. “I haven’t given up on them. But at some point in the season, you are who you are. And right now, we’re a team that commits too many penalties and gives up big plays.”
Vicenza was whistled 12 times for 90 yards, largely offsetting the 146 yards it gained. Aviano didn’t escape the yellow flags either, getting hit 11 times for 85 yards. McRae had 85 of the Saints’ 194 yards rushing.
Aviano travels to Hohenfels Saturday for a game with playoff implications, while Vicenza hosts Naples.