By Greg Klein STAFF WRITER
---- — Big plays by Waterville and penalties by Cooperstown spoiled the CCS Hawkeyes’ home football debut on Saturday.
The Indians won 40-20 as quarterback Jon Piersma had two passing and two rushing touchdowns. Piersma was 10-13 for 236 yards, and was particularly effective on third-down conversations. He converted all eight of his third-down attempts, five passing and three rushing. He had passes of 29, 30, 50, 24 and 37 yards. He also caught a pass on a two-point conversion and rushed for 114 yards on 12 carries.
“He had some nice passes,” Cooperstown coach Joe Pestar said. “He was quick and a strong runner. He’s a good quarterback. We didn’t get enough pressure on him, but when we did get some pressure, he was out of there.”
After Cooperstown punted on its first possession of the game, Piersma threw a 29-yard touchdown pass on third down to Luke Leachman with 7:41 left in the first quarter. The extra point failed.
“We let them get behind us on a few passes,” Pestar said. “That’s something we have to work on.”
Cooperstown drove the ball well on its next drive, but couldn’t score. The CCS Hawkeyes had an 18-play drive that included converting three third downs and lasted nearly 9 minutes. But a false start on first-and-goal at the one-yard line pushed the team back five yards and four runs failed to get the ball in the end zone.
The Indians responded with a 99-yard drive to make it 14-0. Piersma converted a third-and-ten and a third-and-six with a 30-yard pass to Casey Jones and a 13-yard pass to Zach Sawyer on the drive. Leachman scored the touchdown on a three-yard run up the middle. On a fake kick, Jones threw to Piersma for the two-point conversion.
Cooperstown scored on its next possession. E.J. Perez started the drive with a 36-yard kickoff return to the Waterville 44. The Hawkeyes took five plays to score. Lucas Lyons got the touchdown on a 26-yard cut-back run with 2:10 left in the half. Carmen Booan threw to Michael Perrino for the conversion.
Waterville got a 50-yard pass play just before halftime, but Leachman fumbled the ball and Joe Harmon recovered it for Cooperstown.
Waterville scored on its next three possessions to put the game out of reach. The Indians started the second half with a 10-play, 79-yard drive that ended with Piersma scoring on a one-yard keeper. The conversion failed and Waterville led 20-8 with 7:56 left in the quarter.
After a Cooperstown punt, Waterville scored again on a six-play, 78-yard drive. Piersma left the game briefly with a leg injury, but Sawyer replaced him, and on his first play under center, ran for 37 yards. The next play, Conner Jipson scored on a four-yard run. Harmon picked off the conversion attempt, so Waterville led 26-8 with 4:06 left in the quarter.
Cooperstown turned the ball over on downs on the next possession. Waterville scored on an eight-play, 61-yard drive. Piersma threw to Leachman for a 24-yard touchdown. Cody Lindfield kicked the extra point and Waterville led 33-8 with 8:55 left in the game.
Cooperstown scored on its next drive, going 69 yards in nine plays. Booan had pass plays of 22, 13 and 15 yards to Harmon, Perez and Perrino respectively. Cullen Rathbone converted a third-down play and then scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 4:58 left in the game.
Waterville kept its first team on the field and scored again with 1:04 left in the game. Piersma threw a 37-yard pass to Leachman on third-and-12 and then scored on a seven-yard keeper on the next play. Lindfield converted the extra point.
Cooperstown scored again, going 60 yards in four plays. Booan threw to Perrino for 47 yards, and then again for a three-yard touchdown for the final points with 1.6 seconds left. The conversion failed.
Ben Carentz recovered an on-side kick for Cooperstown, but Booan was intercepted by Sawyer on the final play of the game.
For Cooperstown, Lyons rushed for 126 yards on 26 carries. Booan was 7-for-12 and 140 yards passing with one interception. Perrino had 81 yards receiving on five catches. The team had 306 yards on offense. Lyons also had 116 yards on kickoff returns.
Pestar said he thought the defensive coverage was a problem, but praised the offense. He said he was impressed with Booan, a sophomore, in his first varsity start.
“There were a lot of positive things,” Pestar said. “The offensive line played pretty well. I’m pleased with our quarterback. I thought, being young and under pressure, he didn’t get shaken. We had over 300 yards of offense. There were a lot of good things.”
Cooperstown (0-1, 0-1) will host West Canada Valley at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Indians won the Class D East division last season, going 8-0. They lost to Herkimer 19-0 in their opener Saturday.
“It never gets any easier,” Pestar said. “Now we’ve got the champs coming in here. The philosophy is, every week we try to get better. It doesn’t matter who we play. What matters is that we improve. I think this group is a good bunch of kids. We’ll get better.”
Waterville 40Cooperstown 20
Waterville 6 8 12 14 - 40
Cooperstown 0 8 0 12 - 20
W - Luke Leachman 29 pass from Jon Piersma (kick failed), 7:41
W - Luke Leachman 3 run (Jon Piersma pass from Casey Jones), 4:37
C - Lucas Lyons 26 run (Michael Perrino pass from Carmen Booan), 2:10
W - Jon Piersma 1 run (pass failed), 7:56
W - Conner Jipson 4 run (pass failed), 4:06
W - Luke Leachman 24 pass from Jon Piersma (Cody Lindfield kick), 8:55
C - Cullen Rathbone 3 run (pass failed), 4:58
W - Jon Piersma 7 run (Cody Lindfield kick), 1:04
C - Michael Perrino 3 pass from Carmen Booan (run failed), :01
Cooperstown rushing: Lucas Lyons 24-126, James Johnson 3-8, Cullen Rathbone 3-13, Elias Perez 1-0, Carmen Booan 2-18, Joseph Harmon 3-14.
Cooperstown passing: Carmen Booan 7-for-12, 140 yards, int.
Cooperstown receiving: Michael Perrino 5-81, Joseph Harmon 2-32, Max Bonderoff 1-16, Elias Perez 1-11.