Halloween was supposed to have ended at midnight on the 31st of October, but a band of Blue Devils were still whooping it up between 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Nov. 1.
The Blue Devils were from Mynderse Academy in Seneca Falls, and their private celebration provided them with an eighth straight Wayne-Finger Lakes conference championship as they recorded their 43rd straight loop win.
The victims were the Saints of DeSales, whose dreams of their first league championship were hammered deeper into a hole with each Mynderse TD. The Devils scored once in each period to make the final score 26-7.
It was a case of just a little too much poise and polish for the game Saints. The action was rugged and clean, but the Devils line charged just a little harder and blocked a little better. And, the Devils had their big weapons in action, the long run and the scoring pass.
The long run came the first time the Blue Devils got the ball on the opening kickoff. After seven plays had picked up two first downs and moved the ball to the DeSales 41, fleet Bobby Spano slanted off right tackle, broke clear and outran the DeSales secondary to pay dirt. Dave Wormuth hit Billy Burns with a pass for the extra point, and with 7:52 left in the opening period, Mynderse led 7-0.
The Saints weren’t dismayed by this display and brought the kickoff back to the 34. Eight plays had the Saints on the Mynderse 36 before Wormuth intercepted a pass on the 22.
The Saints got the ball back three plays later when Red Maio pounced on a fumble by Wormuth on the 44.
Tommy Marino and Ron DeMatties ground out a first down on the 33, and Bill Riddle picked up 11 yards on his only ball-carrying chore of the day. He was injured on the play and later sent to the hospital. He was released after examination.
Maio, filling in at halfback for Riddle, got 3 and Marino had a first down at the 10. But, as the second quarter opened, the Saints gave up the ball on downs, still on the 10.
Mynderse got a big break moments later. Stalled in an effort to pick up a first down, Paul Jacoby punted to the DeSales 47 where Johnny O’Connor, running under the kick, bobbled and dropped it. Spano picked up the ball and tried to run it, but officials ruled the play dead, and the Devils took over on the DeSales 47.
On the first play, Wormuth fired a strike along the right sideline to Jacoby, who hauled it in on the DeSales 30 and went all the way. Spano plunged for the extra point, and the score was 14-0.
A gamble that failed almost cost the Saints again, but their defensive work saved them. Late in the period, with the ball on their own 27, the Saints elected to try for a first down 3 yards away. Marino got 2, and Mynderse had the ball on the DeSales 29.
The Saints shoved the Devils back 9 yards in three plays and took over after Wormuth had hit Spano for a 12-yard gain to the 28.
DeSales fans rose seconds later when Maio took a pitchout from O’Connor and fired a strike to Tim Zaso on the Mynderse 40. Zaso got to the 37 before being halted. But the threat and the half ended when Wormuth intercepted another O’Connor pass on the 10.
Hopes that the second half would be different for the Saints collapsed with the kickoff when DeSales was fined 15 yards for clipping. That put the Saints back on their 11, and three plays later they punted out to the 37.
Spano and Mickey Cafaro carried the mail to the third Mynderse TD, with Spano racking up his second TD of the game from 5 yards out. The extra point failed, and the score was 20-0.
The Devils’ fourth TD came on their only sustained effort of the game. Starting with an intercepted pass on their own 33, the Devils marched 67 yards in 14 plays, with Cafaro, Spano and Wormuth alternately carrying the load. The big run was a 21-yard jaunt by Wormuth on a keeper play in which he slid off left tackle and cut up the middle.
Spano got the touchdown, going over from the 3. A Wormuth pass for the extra point fell incomplete.
Spano lived up to advance billing with his three touchdowns and showed the speed that has shocked opponents all season with his 41-yard TD run. The 5-foot-7, 145-pound senior ground out 140 yards in 18 carries.
Turning to the air lanes from the time Mynderse had taken a 20-0 lead, the Saints finally struck pay dirt with 4:32 remaining in the game.
O’Connor got the ball for the Saints when he recovered a fumble by Cafaro on the Mynderse 46. O’Connor then hit DeMatties in the flat, and the fullback raced to the Mynderse 23. After an incomplete pass, O’Connor hit Mike Zeoli for 9 yards and DeMatties dove for the first down on the Mynderse 10. A pass from O’Connor to Marino as the latter stepped into the end zone broke the scoring ice for DeSales. DeMatties dove into the end zone for the extra point.
Coach George Davis of Mynderse of Mynderse congratulated coach Bob Maher of DeSales on his fine team, and both coaches agreed that early breaks were the deciding factor.