Victor 'takes care of business' to beat Penfield for fifth straight win

Just over four minutes into Thursday’s game, the Victor Blue Devils had as many scores as the Penfield Patriots had offensive plays.

And as you might imagine, that’s exactly how the rest of the Week 6 game unfolded.

The Blue Devils were in control from the start in rolling to their fifth straight win, 41-14 in front of a thrilled Homecoming crowd.

“We talked to the kids yesterday about how great teams take care of business,” Victor coach Geoff Mandile said. “(Penfield) has some really good players but as a team I thought we were a little bit better and we needed to come out and let them know that.”

Victor quarterback Brady Robinson leaves the pocket to pick up some positive yardage in the first quarter on Thursday against Penfield.Jack Haley
Victor quarterback Brady Robinson leaves the pocket to pick up some positive yardage in the first quarter on Thursday against Penfield.Jack Haley

Victor (5-1) took the opening drive of the game 62 yards in less than two minutes for its first touchdown, a 17-yard run by Sam Gotham. And when Penfield lost a fumble on its second offensive play (recovered by Sam Ricci), the Blue Devils were at the Penfield 15 to set up a 1-yard by quarterback Brady Robinson.

And with 7:55 left in the first quarter, Victor’s lead was 14-0.

Robinson and Gotham added another TD run each before the half was finished and when CJ Palmieri worked a 15-yard scoring run on Victor’s opening possession of the second half for a 35-0 lead, there was little doubt left.

It starts with defense

As impressive and efficient as the Victor offense was, it was the defense that not only set the tone, but maintained it. Penfield (3-3) was held to 169 total yards and the vast majority of those yards came late against the Victor seconds and thirds.

But it was the Victor starters who sent the message early when Penfield decided to go for it on fourth-and-one from its own 29 midway through the first quarter. The Blue Devils stuffed the Penfield run to force turnover on downs.

“This year, it’s clicking,” Victor senior linebacker Casey Keohane said. “Last year was a rough ride the whole year. We didn’t have a lot of camaraderie. But we did the Hamilton camp and we did dodgeball, volleyball, a whole bunch of cool stuff like that and things really came together a lot better. We still have the same guys … but we’re all seniors, mostly, and we’re playing ball.”

Victor's Casey Keohane (30) and teammate Adam Ruffalo bring down Penfield running back Austin Dillenbeck in the first quarter.Jack Haley
Victor's Casey Keohane (30) and teammate Adam Ruffalo bring down Penfield running back Austin Dillenbeck in the first quarter.Jack Haley

Penfield punted on its three possessions after the fourth-down shortcoming and by then, Victor’s 35-0 lead felt like twice that amount. And even when the Patriots finally got into the end zone with Carmen Johnson’s 4-yard run late in the third quarter, Victor responded with a 66-yard TD run from Tereque Davis for a 41-7 lead before Adam Schembri’s 30-yard TD pass to Anthony Theodorakakos completed the scoring.

So it’s five straight wins now for Victor, which has not allowed more than two TDs in any of those wins. And Mandile agreed completely with Keohane about the new defensive attitude the Blue Devils are sporting this season.

“Culture was an issue last year,” he said. “We addressed that in our first team meeting in the offseason and the preseason. (The seniors) have done a great job of keeping it together.”

Coming up

The Blue Devils (5-1) play their home finale on Oct. 14 against Corning-Painted Post, which is the second of three sectional champs they’ll play this season. In the season opener, Victor played UPrep, which won the Class A1 title in Section V last fall.

Corning-Painted Post was the Class AA champ in Section IV last fall and is 2-2 so far this season. And in the regular-season finale, Victor plays at McQuaid, the reigning Class AA champ in Section V.

By the numbers

Victor rushed for 228 yards against Penfield, averaging 6.7 yards per carry … CJ Palmieri was the leading Victor rusher with 83 yards on 14 carries and Sam Gotham and Davis each rushed for 67 yards … Alexander Young led Penfield with 26 rushing yards on four carries … Robinson completed 8 of 15 passes for 71 yards and Adam Ruffalo caught 4 passes for 51 yards while Nick Leonard caught a pair for 13 yards.

This article originally appeared on MPNnow: Victor 'takes care of business' to beat Penfield for fifth straight win