Fulton Falls In Battle Of Unbeaten, State-Ranked Football Powers

By Kyle Higley

Saturday, undefeated and state ranked Fulton and New Hartford traveled to Central Square in what could be a Class A football playoff preview. New Hartford’s Anthony Acevedo and four Fulton turnovers were too much for the Red Raiders to overcome as Fulton fell 49-26. New Hartford turned three of four Fulton turnovers into touchdowns. “Today was the first week we made a lot of mistakes,” said Fulton head coach Mike Conners.

The Red Raider defense was unable to contain Acevedo. He attacked Fulton from every possible position as he took snaps at running back, wide receiver, quarterback, tight end, and even did the punting and field goal kicking. Acevedo accounted for five touchdowns on the day on runs of 1, 10, 25 and 1 yards as well as a 46 yard TD reception. “He is a heck of an athlete that is willing to take on all that responsibility,” Conners commented. Helping Acevedo offensively was New Hartford’s Vinny Servadio who split snaps at quarterback and added two rushing touchdowns of his own while hooking up with Acevedo for the touchdown pass.

Fulton was led offensively by its rushing attack that had entered the game averaging 300 plus yards a game. D. J. Ingham accounted for three rushing touchdowns. Donald Watson was critical in chipping away at the New Hartford defense all day, springing loose for a 53-yard run of his own. It set up an Ingham touchdown. Jake Tallents also found his way into the end zone with a 15 yard run, off a beautifully executed reverse.

“Bottom line is we just didn’t get the job done today and hopefully by next Thursday we are playing for a league championship. Hopefully, we will be able to get the job done,” said Conners

On the opening drive of the game Joe Carcone got New Hartford started with a 34-yard kickoff return that took them out to their own 42 yard line. Acevedo pounded runs of 10 and 42 yards to put New Hartford on the 1 yard line. Acevedo’s quarterback sneak finished off the drive. After a failed conversion, New Harford led 6-0 just one minute and forty seconds into the game.

Late in the first quarter, Acevedo’s punt pinned Fulton deep in its own end. Servadio picked off a Brent Williams pass, giving New Hartford the ball on the Fulton 15-yard line. Early in the second quarter, Acevedo found the end zone once again on a 10-yard run, and following a successful 2-point conversion, New Hartford grabbed a 14-0 lead.

Fulton showed they could put points on the board in a hurry as well. On the next drive, Donald Watson broke off a 53 yard run that took the Raiders from their own 16 yard line, to the New Hartford 31. D.J. Ingham took over with runs of 15 and 6 yards and finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Fulton drove 84 yards in two minutes and 27 seconds, and after a failed conversion trailed 14-6 with 8:44 left in the first half.

On the next two drives Fulton and New Hartford would trade touchdowns. First, Servadio would finish off a two minute 23 second 70 yard drive with a 5 yard touchdown run. Next, D.J. Ingham would cap off a 52 yard, 36 second Fulton drive with a one yard touchdown run. Ingham’s touchdown left Fulton trailing 22-12 with only 36 seconds remaining in the first half.

Fulton squib kicked. Carcone ran for 21 yards, but Ingham followed that with a sack that should have ended the half. New Hartford had the ball on their own 46 yard line with 1.2 seconds left. But Servadio hit a streaking Acevedo with a Peyton Manning-like pass that resulted in a 46 yard touchdown as time expired. After a successful conversion New Hartford lead 30-12 at the half.

In the second half Fulton was unable to recover from the hole they dug themselves in the game’s opening quarters. As, Acevedo added another touchdown run three minutes into the second half, this time from 25 yards out. With 8:57 left in the third quarter New Hartford had jumped out to a comfortable 36-12 lead.

“We got beat in many facets of the game, they had athleticism, they spread us out and exploited some of our weaknesses. We just never seemed to recover, when we started to recover we made another mistake. They are a very good football team,” Conners said.

New Hartford added to its second half lead when Servadio capped off their next drive, which went for 50 yards and lasted just under four minutes, with a five yard touchdown run. The scoreboard now read New Hartford 42 and Fulton 12 with 3:43 left in the third quarter. However, the Red Raiders would not quit and added another Ingham touchdown, and followed that up with junior Jake Tallents finding the end zone. As if he had not done enough already Acevedo added one more touchdown of his own giving New Hartford a hard fought 49-26 victory and moving them to 6-0. Fulton droped to 5-1 after losing its first game of the season, but they are still a talented football team with games left to play.

“ We learned a lot, we have to re-group and hopefully in the next three weeks we can win some playoff games, and maybe get another shot at them,” said Conners.