SULLIVAN TWP. — Prior to senior night Friday against Brookside, the Black River football team painted the numbers of its 12th-graders on the field in front of the home stands.
Once the game got underway, those seniors quickly went about making their mark in the end zone.
Seniors Travis Sexton and Riley Gibbs both scored four first-half touchdowns as the Pirates routed a depleted Brookside team 68-21 in a Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division game.
Sexton ran untouched 65 yards for a touchdown on the opening play from scrimmage for the Pirates (7-1, 2-1). He added scoring runs of 82 and 69 yards — giving him three carries for 216 yards — and caught a 37-yard TD from quarterback Riley Bartolic.
“The holes were opening up, the O-line was blocking well. It was just a good night to be a Pirate,” Sexton said. “There was some emotion before the game, being our last regular-season home game. We hope we can host another one in the playoffs. It was bittersweet.”
Gibbs had touchdown runs of 59, 52, 33 and 20 yards. Just like Sexton, he did all his damage in the first half, which ended with the Pirates up 55-7.
“We executed well tonight. Everybody did his job,” Gibbs said. “It all starts with the guys up front. Without them, we’re nothing. They are animals up there.
“Hopefully we use this to lead into our big game next week with Firelands (7-1, 2-1). We don’t want this to be our last home game. We want one more in the playoffs.”
The Pirates finished with 630 yards total offense, including 579 on the ground.
Brookside (1-7, 0-3) only dressed 19 players due to injuries and had no success running, ending the night with minus-5 yards. The Cardinals had better luck with their passing game, as junior quarterback Jonathan Hice connected with senior wide receiver Ronald Rivera for touchdowns of 38, 56 and 43 yards.
Sophomore Francesco Matranga did all of the scoring for the Pirates in the second half with runs of 7 and 15 yards.
“Our kids were pretty focused tonight. They knew this could be their last home game and they came out focused and took care of business really well in the first half,” Black River coach Al Young said. “On senior night, you want all the seniors to get rewarded in someway for all the years they’ve put into the program. It’s hard to do that, but you want to get them all on the field and make them feel good about the time they put into the program.”
Contact Todd Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black River 68,
Brookside 0 7 7 7 — 21
Black River 27 28 13 0 — 68
BR — Travis Sexton 65 run (kick failed), 11:47.
BR — Riley Gibbs 59 run (Spencer Constable kick), 8:47.
BR — Sexton 82 run (Constable kick), 4:11
BR — Gibbs 52 run (Constable kick), 0:45.
BR — Sexton 37 pass from Riley Bartolic (Constable kick), 11:01.
BR — Gibbs 33 run (Constable kick), 7:27.
BR — Riley Gibbs 20 run (Constable kick), 4:34.
BR — Sexton 69 run (Constable kick), 1:42.
Bro — Ron Rivera 36 pass from Jonathan Hice (Owen Rozanc kick), 0:13.
BR — Francesco Matranga 7 run (Constable kick), 8:49.
Bro — Rivera 58 pass from Hice (Rozanc kick), 8:11.
BR — Matranga 15 run (kick fail), 1:50.
Bro — Rivera 43 pass from Hice (Rozanc kick), 6:50