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November 2, 2014 - 8:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

It was a game that was essentially over before it barely began.

Inside of the first four minutes, the Le Roy Oatkan Knights had a three-touchdown lead over Dansville in the Class C Section V semi-final game played at Webster Thomas.

Going into the second quarter, Le Roy was up 29-0 on its way to a 54-0 win and a chance to play for a Section V title Friday at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.

"I just thought everybody played well today," Head Coach Brian Moran said. "They prepared well. There's no secret, you win games in practice and I thought our kids practiced extremely well top to bottom."

Mike McMullen and Tom Kelso helped lead the offensive attack. McMullen was eight for 12 passing for 124 yards and two TDs. Kelso rushed 15 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

Ryan McQuillen sparked the offensive onslaught with a 75-yard punt return after Dansville was stymied on its first drive to open the game. Less than two minutes later on the game clock, McQuillen struck again, hauling in a McMullen pass for a 32-yard touchdown.

"He just makes great plays," Moran said of McQuillen. "With his speed, it's obviously something you can't duplicate in practice. I don't think people realize how fast he really is, and he can scoot."

The game, of course, wasn't all about offense. The Knights held the #4 seed, a 5-3 team coming into the came, scoreless through four quarters. Dansville's star running back, a husky Evan Dieter, was held to 91 yards on 24 carries. Even the second team, entering the game in the third quarter, held Dansville down.

"That shows how good our coaching staff is," Moran said. "I think our assistant coaches did a great job in preperation and that's important. Sometimes you forget about them and I'm very proud of them, too."

Le Roy's opponent Friday (game time is 5 p.m.) will be Bath, who beat East Rochester 51-19.

"It wil be very tough," Moran said before Bath and ER faced off. "Any sectional final game is going to be a tough football game. Bath and East Rochester are great football teams with great traditions and we'll just have to prepare themselves for who comes on top."

It will be the 18th time a Moran-coached team played for a section title game in the past 26 seasons. Le Roy has won 14 of those games. (See correction below)

"We're feeling good about things right now," Kelso said. "We've just got to keep doing what we're doing."

It will be Kelso's third chance at a sectional title, and as he noted, he hasn't been there himself. The same could be said for several members of the Knights.

Moran said those previous disappointments have taught his team what it takes win a sectional title.

"I think the kids understand that you really have to get yourself focused," Moran said. "You can't just assume that you're going to walk in and everything will fall your way. You've got to prepare yourself through hard work and dedication so you can put yourself in a position with a chance to win a sectional title."

CORRECTION: This will be the 18th time a Moran-coached team has played for a sectional title. Moran's teams have won 13 times. The first sectional title was won 1984 when Jim Laemlein was head coach. The 14 titles won by Le Roy, according to Ed Henry, is a Section V record held along with Cal-Mum and Clyde-Savannah.  Clyde plays a title game today against Avon, giving the program a shot at its 15th title.

UPDATE: Clyde-Savannah lost to Avon, giving Le Roy a shot at becoming the sole record holder at 15 for sectional titles.

Top Photo: Mike Shepard and another Le Roy defender get their hands up to block a pass from Dansville's Matt Martuciello.

Kelso scoring Le Roy's second touchdown of the first quarter.

Kody Lamkin walloped Dansville's Gage Koch on a kickoff return in the first quarter.

Tom Kelso evades a tackle attempt.

Jake Henry with a reception. Henry caught three passes for 33 yards and a TD.

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November 1, 2014 - 7:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

The Batavia Blue Devils will get a chance to play for the school's first sectional title since 1991 in football next week after beating Penn Yan this evening, 35-12.

Above, Malachi Chenault in the end zone near the close of the first half. The score, making it 15-12, gave Batavia a lead it never relinquished.

The Blue Devils will face Livonia in the Class B final next week. Batavia's only defeat of the season came against Livonia on a last-second touchdown in the first game of the season.

We'll have complete coverage posted tomorrow.

November 1, 2014 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

Le Roy will play for a sectional title next week after beating Dansville in a semi-final today in Webster, 54-0.

Above, Tom Kelso crosses the goal line for an extra two points after the Oatkan Knights' second touchdown in the first quarter.

We'll have full game coverage posted sometime tomorrow. Now, it's time for Batavia's sectional semi-final game in Irondequoit.

October 26, 2014 - 8:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, alexander.

Above are three pictures that illustrate the problem Alexander faced Saturday in its Class DD Section V semi-final playoff game against Avon in Honeoye Falls.

The problem's name is Joe Sotak, the 155-pound, 5'9" stick of butter who led the Avon offense to a tally of 26 points over four quarters of whack-a-mole.

When Sotak could be caught, he proved impossible to hold.

The senior QB was seven for 10 passing for 96 yards and a TD. He also rushed for 147 yards and two TDs on 22 carries.

In the sequence above, Sotak pumps but doesn't throw as Rick Amico and Derrick Busch appear to be closing in for the sack. Sotak glided a step or two forward, causing Amico and Busch to whiff, then lofted a pass just over the heads of Tristan Aldinger and Cody Trzecieski to where only Avon's Zack Loomis could catch it as he stood on the three-yard line. Loomis needed only turn and take a couple of steps into the end zone.

The Trojans managed to cross the goal line once all afternoon, and that score didn't come until the 4th quarter.

A bad snap prevented Alexander from putting at least three on the board in the first half.

Final, 26-7.

Alexander finishes with a 5-3 record while Avon advances to face Clyde-Savannah in the Class DD final next week.

"It wasn't the result we were expecting tonight," said Head Coach Tim Sawyer. "We had a good week of preparation; however, Avon controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage. Avon played physical and fast tonight.

"Our overall body of work for the season has been quite good," he added. "We won some big games along the way. I hate to see the seniors go, but they have left their foot print on this program over the past two years."

Just before the end of the half, with the Trojans down 12-0, an Alexander player got a hand on Joe Sotak and nearly dragged him to the ground, but Sotak spun away and turned what looked like a certain sack into about a 30-yard gain, all the way down to the two-yard line. The gain, however, was negated by a block to the back foul later in Sotak's run.

Tristan Aldinger scores for Alexander

Tristan Aldinger with the ball

Jared Browne at QB

Action early in the second half

Jared Browne with a pass

Avon's star running back Brandon Mynter was mostly contained by the Alexander defense.

Head Coach Tim Sawyer

Alexander HS grad Matt Szymaski, home on leave from the Marines, attended Saturday's game.

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October 25, 2014 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

As it has all season, Le Roy dominated its opponent in the first round of sectional play Friday night, beating Wayland-Cohocton 54-8.

Tom Kelso scored four touchdowns to help power the Oatkan Knights' offensive. Kelso carried the ball 11 times and gained 90 yards.

QB Mike McMullen was 7 for 13 for 85 yards and a TD.

Nate Flint carried the ball 12 times for 66 yards and a TD, and Anthony Natrigo had 12 carries for 63 yards and a TD.

Nick Egeling also scored on the ground, gaining 22 yards on three carries. 

Photos by David Boyce.

October 25, 2014 - 9:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

QB Greg Mruczek celebrated Batavia's first home sectional game in 18 years by tossing five touchdown passes, helping the Blue Devils crush Palmyra-Macedon 47-14.

It was pretty much a flawless performance for the junior who hit 13 receivers in 16 attempts for 227 yards without a reception.

Head Coach Brennan Briggs attributes Mruczek's success to hard work.

"He competes every single snap," Briggs said. "He wants to get better. It's not about any of the coaches or anything like that. It's about Greg wanting the ball in his hands and putting in that time and putting in that effort, asking to watch extra film, asking about the defensive coverages."

It helps that he's got some weapons on the wings and in the backfield.

Offensively, the Blue Devils feature three wideouts each with more than six feet in height -- Ryan Hogan, Malachi Chenault and James Cryer -- and speed with Dominick Mogavero, Jarrett Lasket and Anthony Gallo.

Mruczek said the height and athleticism of his receivers makes his job easier.

"I can throw with a lot of confidence with those guys," Mruczek said. "There's a lot of height. I can throw up the ball and they're great athletes. I've got a lot of confidence they're going to make plays."

Cryer led the receiving corps with four caches for 77 yards and three touchdowns.

Mogavero anchored the running game Friday night. He rushed for 124 yards on 24 carries.

"He's the back who has to get some tough yards, but he's also deceiving with the vision that he has," Briggs said. "He finds some holes and gets some big, hard yards for us. Defensively, his nose is always in there. He's a tough kid, a hard-nosed kid. That's how wrestlers are. He's a wrestler and that's how wrestlers are built. Not a big kid, but we have a lot of kids who aren't big or many not have a ton of mass to them, but their hearts are pretty strong."

The Blue Devils will need to call on those big hearts, hard work and focus as they take a big step in the recent history of Batavia's football program -- a second-round playoff game, something that hasn't happened in about 20 years.

Next Saturday they'll face #3 ranked Penn Yan (6-2), coming off a 24-0 victory over Waterloo. 

Even with a record of 7-1, Briggs said the Blue Devils have yet to put together a complete, well-balanced game, but they're getting closer.

That is what it will take to advance.

"We need to tighten up the defense," Briggs said. "We need to be able to run the ball and throw the ball on a given night. We can't just rely on just the passing game or just the running game. We still have to put that all together for us to take that next step."

Top Photo: Cryer with a TD reception.

Trevor Sherwood, another of Batavia's tall receivers, uses his height for a reception in the third quarter.

Malachi Chenault goes up for the ball to haul in a TD reception in the first quarter.

Cryer with a long run after a reception for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Danny Williams scores on a running play.

The Batavia Cheerleaders introduced a new routine at halftime.

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October 24, 2014 - 4:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports.

The Batavia Blue Devils JV team recorded another undefeated season with a victory yesterday evening over Le Roy, 29-16.

The varsity squad opens post season play tonight with a quarterfinals sectional playoff at home against Pal-Mac (3-4). Batavia enters sectionals with a 6-1 record and the #2 seed in Class B.

Le Roy, the #1 ranked Class C team in the state, opens sectional play with a home game against Wayland-Cohocton (2-5).

Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow in Class D, #6 seed Elba/Byron-Bergen (4-3) travels to Bath (6-1) for a 5 p.m. game against the #3 seed.  

In Class DD tomorrow, Alexander (5-2 and the #2 seed) plays Avon (5-2 and the #3 seed). The game is in Honeoye Falls at 4 p.m.

Reader submitted photo.

October 20, 2014 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, youth sports, Batavia Junior Blue Devils.

The Batavia Junior Blue Devils Boys Basketball program, for grades one through six in City Schools, opens Nov. 8.

The Saturday programs at John Kennedy School are free, though there is a fee for league play.

The program is coached by Jim Fazio, youth coaches, and current Blue Devils varsity players. It will focus on offensive fundamentals, including shooting, passing, dribbling and ball handling. There will be contests with full and half-court games. 

Participants will have the option to join league play, which runs January through March.

For more information, contact Jim Fazio at (585) 356-0901 or [email protected].

Download: Sign-up form (pdf)

October 18, 2014 - 9:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports.

C.G. Finney 37, Pembroke 18. Pembroke finishes the season 0-7. No stats available. Photos from the Pembroke game by Rick Franclemont.

Notre Dame 40, Holley 13. Notre Dame scored 20 points in the second quarter to pretty much put the game away before the half. Joe Zickl was six of nine passing for 103 yards and two TDs. Peter Daversa rushed for 53 yards on 11 attempts. C.J. Suozzi gained 42 yards and scored on seven carries. Jack Sutherland had two TDs in eight carries for 42 yards. Josh Johnson had two receptions for 27 yards, including a TD. Luca Zambito had a six-yard TD reception. For Pembroke, Nick Passarell was eight for 21 passing for 87 yards. He was intercepted twice. Colin Papaj rushed for 87 yards on six carries. Touchdowns were scored by Nick Passarell, who had 43 yards on the ground, and Glenn Robb.

Alexander 21, Elba/Byron-Bergen 0. Game store coming.

October 18, 2014 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports.

Batavia 49, Bath-Haverling 30. It was a seesaw battle through three quarters, and then Batavia put the game away with 14 unanswered points to close out the game. It was a big night for Anthony Gallo, who posted 265 all-purpose yards and scored five touchdowns. Malachi Chenault had four receptions for 128 yards and a TD. Jarrett Lasket had seven receptions for 94 yards, including a two-point conversion catch. Dominick Mogavero had 12 carries for 65 yards and a TD. Greg Mruczek was 18-27, 306 yards and two touchdowns. Trevor Rittersback had 10 tackles; James Cryer -- seven; Adonis Davis -- seven; and Noah Dobbertin had a sack and an interception. Bath came into the game undefeated.

Attica 49, Oakfield-Alabama 32. Alan Chatt was 21 for 52 passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns. He had one interception. Reice Woodward had seven receptions for 134 yards; Sal Schwable, seven for 68 yards and a TD; Ryan Emery four for 15 yards and a TD; and Trent Stack, three for 34 yards and a TD. Jon Harris had eight tackles and Jake Valletta and Devin Schroeder had six each.

Pembroke, Notre Dame, Elba/Byron-Bergen and Alexander all play this afternoon.

For coverage of the Le Roy game and Coach Brian Moran's 200th win, click here.

October 18, 2014 - 8:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy, High School Football.

Coach Brian Moran will tell you, he feels fortunate to run a football program in a place like Le Roy, where the kids are tough, the community cares and parents understand he always has the best interest of their children at heart, even when he's trying to instill in them the discipline necessary to win at football and win at life.

He doesn't take credit for his career milestone of 200 wins. He shares it.

"It really is just a credit to our coaching staff," Moran said, after an emotional meeting with his team near the western end zone of the Perry football field following Le Roy's 45-6 win over the Yellowjackets. "I'm proud of everybody who's worked with us, our community, our school. You know, you don't get to 200 by yourself. We had great people along they way and I really appreciate what they've done for our program."

Moran is the fourth coach in Section V history to reach 200 wins, and only the second to get all 200 wins with the same school.

Gene MastIn, who retired after the 2012 season, is the Section V record holder at 236, and all his wins came at Hornell. Earlier this year, Fairport's Dave Whitcomb, who has coached five different teams, got his 200th win. Rounding out the 200 win club is Don SantIni, with 206 victories, including 50 notched in the years he coached Le Roy.

Moran's milestone victory was helped along Friday night by some of the same names who have carried the team all year. Mike McMullen, Ryan McQuillen, Tom Kelso, Nick Egeling and Jon Pierce, who all had big nights to help propel Le Roy to a rout of a young, but talented Perry team.

McMullen, who went over 3,000 yards passing for his career and set a new school record, said he was proud to be part of Moran's milestone victory.

"It feels great," McMullen said. "I've been with him four years. I can't put it in words right now. It's just awesome. I know it means a lot to him. It means a lot to everyone around here. Le Roy football. Coach Moran. You know, everyone knows who we are because of coach."

The Yellowjackets are a team with a couple of quick strike weapons in QB Andrew Hollister and RB Wisezear Pries, both juniors, so Moran came into the game knowing the Oatkan Knights couldn't afford to let Perry score early. (Hollister ended the season with more than 1,000 yards rushing.)

On Perry's first drive, a fumble on the Perry side of the field helped bat away that concern early. Two plays after Egeling recovered the fumble on defense, he was back to carry the ball 14 yards for a touchdown, giving Le Roy a quick 7-0 lead.

It was all Le Roy the rest of the half and the Knights built up a 42-0 lead by intermission. The scoring bonanza included a pair of TD passes from McMullen to the speedy McQuillen of 40 yards and 62 yards.

McMullen finished 5 for 5 passing for 138 yards and three TD.  

Through seven regular season games, McMullen did not throw a single interception and Le Roy has lost only one fumble all season, for a +16 turnover ratio.

Moran said he's proud of how McMullen has developed as a team leader.

"Obviously, from where he was three years ago to where he is today, I believe at the start of the season, he was 16-4, so add it up, put another 7 on that, so I think that's pretty good," Moran said. "That says a lot about him as a leader of our program."

Kelso had 11 carries for 74 yards. Kelso also had two catches for 23 yards. Pierce carried the ball twice for 72 yards and a TD. Egling, three carries for 32 yards and a TD, plus a 13-yard reception for a touchdown. 

Le Roy is the top-ranked Class C team in the state, but needed some help to go into sectional play as the #1 seed, which they got from the Batavia Blue Devils, who beat Bath in Bath 49-30.

While a lot of folks on the sideline were keeping up with the score in Batavia's seesaw battle with Bath, Moran downplayed the importance of seeding after the game. He said a team has to focus on the opponent ahead of it, whoever that might be.

"You get yourself focused and you really have to be ready to play next Friday night, because if you don't play well, you go home," Moran said. "I think that's something we'll really work on all week and get ourselves ready that way."

Pierce scores in the third quarter.

Hollister on his run that put him over 1,000 yards for the season.

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October 17, 2014 - 9:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Le Roy.

With Le Roy's 45 to 6 win over Perry minutes ago, Brian Moran became the fourth head coach in Section V history to notch 200 victories in his career.

Rather than celebrate the milestone in Perry, the players and coach are heading back to Hartwood Park to commemorate the accomplishment.

The entire community is invited to the celebration.

UPDATE: Photo added of Coach Moran back at Hartwood Park being honored for his 200th win.  

October 17, 2014 - 6:33am

It was just after 9 a.m. and Claudia and I were working our way between an already growing crowd of vendors and onlookers when we spotted Batavia Police officer Frank Klimjack. He was standing in a roped off area at the base of Bristol Mountain with several men in kilts -- some bearded, some bald and all of them about the size of NFL linemen. 

They are known as the Buffalo Heavies, so-called not so much for their size but rather for the physical contests they engage in. Officially they are the Buffalo Heavies Kilted Throwers Club. traditional Celtic athletes from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada. Their forte is throwing and heaving weighted objects around: they throw for height, distance and, in the case of the caber (pictured above), it's not so much the distance but accuracy -- pitching the caber forward as straight as possible.  

Frank Klimjack preparing to toss the sheaf, a straw-filled burlap bag weighing 16-18 lbs.

On this day Frank and his fellow Heavies were competing in the Bristol Mountain Fall Festival and Highland Games. The Highland Games are a series of athletic contests that originated in Scotland in the 11th Century. The events are the hammer throw, sheaf toss, caber toss, weight for distance, weight for height and weight over the bar, Braemer stone and open stone. The difference between the latter two is technique and stone weight.   

In one swift motion the sheaf is pitched upward....

and over the bar. After each round the bar is raised higher. It's kind of a last man standing deal.

Frank's interest in the Highland Games began a few years ago. "I was at Olcott Beach watching members of the Niagara Athletic Club competing when their athletic director said to me, 'you look big enough -- why don't you come out and give it a try?' A couple of weeks later at another competition they lent me a kilt and I was on my way." He fared pretty well on that first outing. "About middle of the pack," he said, "at least I wasn't at the bottom."

Frank Klimjack has moved up quite nicely since that initial outing. On this day he took second place overall. Competing in only his third full season, he is currently ranked #5 in North America in the Highland Games 45 to 49 age group.

A former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, he did a stint with the New York State Park Police before finding his niche with the Batavia PD, where he has served for the last 15 years.

Kellie Klimjack, left, watching her husband's efforts.

Nick Kahanic, Klimjack's friend and fellow "Heavy," is a world-record holder in the Braemar stone and Open stone.

Here's Nick competing in the Weight for Distance. He sent the 56-pound weight 87 feet on this try.

Bagpipers and drummers paying tribute to disabled vets. Whenever the Buffalo Heavies compete, all proceeds raised go to OASIS (Outdoor Adventures for Sacrifice in Service) a volunteer organiziation that provides sporting experiences to disabled veterans and their families free of charge. OASIS currently offers skiing, fishing, sailing, archery, ice skating, horsemanship, golf and rowing. This day's competition raised $4,500 -- awfully good considering admission was free.

This is Lou Iannone and I would venture to guess he's the sparkplug of the Buffalo Heavies. This was our first exposure to the Highland Games and we found the camaraderie between competitors evident and the athletes engaging the crowd with friendly banter as well as answering any questions onlookers may have had.

The atmosphere was festive, the scenery fantastic and with the chair lift taking an endless number of visitors leaf-peeping to the top of the mountain, the crowd was estimated at over 7,000.

The athletes were impressive, entertaining and outgoing. It was for sure a fun outing and Claudia and I look forward to attending the Highland Games again.

October 15, 2014 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, elba.

The Harlem Wizards, a traveling basketball team that entertains through trick shots and comedy routines, visited Elba on Tuesday for a charity game against the Sherwood Shooters, a team comprised of community members, including teachers, administrators, pastors, doctors, coaches and family members.

The event was hosted by Batavia Assembly of God Church. Proceeds benefited the church's building fund and the Stan Sherwood Memorial Scholarship.

October 11, 2014 - 11:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, football, sports, high school sports, Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish of 2014 may not be the champion caliber squad of recent seasons, but Notre Dame is still the team other teams love to beat.

Today's proof: Fresh off its fifth touchdown through the middle of the third quarter, with the score 33-7, the Attica Blue Devils chose to squib and onside kick.

"It's a big rivalry," said Attica Head Coach Rob Cusmano.m"It's been a rivalry for years with Attica and Notre Dame. Last year was for the league title, and this year, they've got a couple of losses, but still, you throw those records right out the window and you just keep going after it."

It was a hard fought game, even when Attica seemed to have it well in hand. Coaches on both benches tried constantly to get referees to see things their way, pointing out holds, clips and chop blocks, and disclaiming guilt when flags were thrown against their own players.

It got so hot at one point, Attica was flagged for a 15-yard penalty.

The first quarter gave little indication of where this game was going, ending at a 0-0 tie.

Cusmano said the Blue Devils made some adjustments, which enabled them to pull away from ND.

"We couldn't run between the tackles, so we needed to get outside," Cusmano said. "We got outside a few times and that made the difference."

With the score 14-0 and two minutes left in the half, Notre Dame Head Coach Rick Mancuso decided to go to the air in the hopes of a quick score before intermission.

QB Joe Zickl completed a couple of passes. There was the ember of a drive glowing when he tried to hit a receiver just beyond the line of scrimmage. The receiver reached high and tipped the ball. It fell into the hands of Alex Piechocki, who sprinted to the end zone, giving Attica a 21-0 lead.

Another drive early in the second half was reversed into a Blue Devils score on a touch down.

Cusmano gave credit to scouting and film study for the picks.

"We knew their routes and our guys did a great job stepping in front of the ball and a couple of those went for touchdowns, and I attribute that to them watching a lot of film and doing their homework," Cusmano said.

Receiver Levi Snyder said the win, after a slow start, showed the team's character.

"We had to fight a little adversity at first," Snyder said. "We came in here, got a little rattled, but stuck together as a team and stuck it out. We got the win. That's all that's important right now."

Senior Derek Walker said it was exciting, a big deal to beat the Irish.

"It's huge," he said, "because nobody really likes Notre Dame."

The victory clinched the Genesee Region title for Attica, who will take a 6-0 record into next week's game against Oakfield-Alabama (3-3).

The Blue Devils said they didn't want to look past next week's game, but Cusmano conceded, the Class C post-season is going to be tough.

First week matchups haven't been determined yet, but Bath, Le Roy and Attica have all secured spots in sectionals. The fourth team in the playoffs could be Dansville, East Rochester or Elba/Byron-Bergen.

"It's very, very tough," Cusmano said. "I saw Le Roy last night and they're a very tough team and Bath is a good ball team, plus you throw Dansville in there, throw East Rochester in there, it's a very, very, very good class."

Even so, Cusmano is hardly throwing in the towel.

"We're getting healthier," Cusmano said. "One game at a time. We're thinking Oakfield. But I like our shot."

For Attica, Damian Marchetti was eight for 13 passing for 80 yards. He had eight carries for 74 yards and a TD. He also kicked five PATs. Jake Strzelec rushed for 89 yards on 25 carries and scored twice. Derek Walker had four receptions for 48 yards and a TD. Besides the interception return for a touchdown, Alex Piechocki also rushed for a score. Kyle Zawadzki had an interception return for a TD. Levi Snyder had two interceptions.

For Notre Dame, Joe Zickl was 15 for 31 passing for 159 yards and two TD. He was picked six times. On the ground, only Spencer Misiak had positive yardage, with one yard gained on one carry. C.J. Suozzi caught five passes for 45 yards. Josh Johnson had two TD receptions and gained 37 yards. Casey Midwick had four receptions for 31 yards. Joe Zickl had 10 tackles. Jack Sutherland, six. Peter Daversa had a sack.

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October 11, 2014 - 12:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports.

Alexander 17, Pembroke, 6. Pembroke held close through the first 24 minutes of football, trailing by only a point, 7-6 at the half. Trojans running back Jacob Wozniak gained 208 yards on 28 plays and scored a TD. Tristan Aldinger had 10 carries for 24 yds and a TD. Kicker Zach Shilvock was perfect again on PATs at 2 for 2 and he hit a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter after having missed a 48-yard fielder earlier in the game. Defensively, Alexander had two interceptions, one by Cody Trzecieski and one Aldinger. Derrick Busch led the Trojans in tackles with seven and a sack.  Dustin Schmeider had seven tackles and one fumble recovery. Wozniak had six tackles and a sack. 

Oakfield-Alabama 54, Holley, 19. Alan Catt was eight for 12 and 230 yards passing, connecting on three TDs for Oakfield-Alabama. Ryan Emery rushed six times for 137 yards and two TDs. Reice Woodward had five receptions for 168 yards and three TDs. Jake Velletta had eight tackles and a sack, Casey Arnold, seven tackles, Woodward an interception and Sal Schwable returned a fumble recovery 60 yards for a touchdown.

Elba/Byron-Bergen 16, Cardinal O'Hara, 7. In the first varsity football came ever played on the campus of Byron-Bergen, the Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers benefitted from the 94 yards rushing of Steele Truax, who also had 15 tackles and a sack.

Batavia 52, Wayland-Cohocton, 0. On homecoming night, the Blue Devils trounced Wayland-Cohocton. Greg Mruczek was  nine for 10 for 124 yds and two touchdowns. He also carried one in for a score. Anthony Gallo had 145 all-purpose yards and two TDs. Ahdeosun Aiken rushed nine times for, 66 yards and a TD. Dominick Mogavero had six carries for 105 yards and two TDs. Jarrett Laskett scored a TD as part of a three-reception night for 18 yards. Trevor Rittersback had seven tackles.

Photos by Rick Franclemont. For more, click here.

October 11, 2014 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports, Le Roy.

Early in the second quarter, down 14-0, Bishop Kearney faced fourth down with 30 to go on the Le Roy 33.

The obvious play is to settle for a field goal attempt, but that's not the way of the Kings. Rather, QB Todd LaRocca drops back, fires a bullet and hits Ardell Brown in full stride at the 10. Brown glides into the end zone.

Even without a successful two-point conversion, the score, the entire touchdown drive, in fact, was enough to make Oatkan Knight supporters nervous.

A 14-6 lead is nothing against a team that is fearless about throwing the ball and has athletes who can score from anywhere on the field.

Brown would remind everybody of that again when he returned the opening half kickoff for a touchdown, making the score 22-12.

Even if you liked Le Roy's chances against Bishop Kearney, 22-12 still didn't feel safe.

Head Coach Brian Moran stuck with the game plan -- grind the clock away with a relentless ground attack and bend, but don't break, on defense.

In the end, Le Roy remained undefeated, moving to 6-0, and the previous undefeated Kings dropped to 5-1. The final score, 29-20.

It was the fewest points the Knights have scored in a game this season, and the most points the team has given up.

The win also secured Moran's 199th career victory.

"That's a good football team, and when you start getting towards the end of the year, you want to play good football teams, because you want to see where you are and I really thought our kids did a good job today," Moran said.

The win over a good football team was a big confidence boost for the Knights, running back Tom Kelso said.

"We've actually proven that we're a good team this year," Kelso said. "In order to be the best, you've got to beat the best, and that's one of the best teams out there right there."

Early on, it was easy to see how Moran planned to win this football game. He kept the ball on the ground on seven of the first eight plays, and of the 12 plays of the opening drive, only one (an incomplete pass) failed to gain yards.

That drive gave Le Roy a 7-0 lead and took 7:15 off the clock.

The Kings tried to strike back quickly. Brown darted for a 25-yard gain on a running play and LaRocca snapped off a 20-yard pass, and within four plays and a little more than a minute off the clock, the Kings were inside the red zone.

It would be the first of four times in the game where the Kings found themselves in the red zone, but failed to score.

"Like I told our guys, when you get in the red zone, it's about hunger and who wants it more," said Bishop Kearney Head Coach Eddie Long. "It's about hunger and manning up and beating the next man. They put a lot of pressure on you. They blitz you from a lot of different angles. They disguise their coverages. You can tell that they work hard and they practice a lot on their schemes. And they're a physical team. At the end of the day, they man up, they beat you and they want it."

LaRocca is a tough quarterback to beat. He gets rid of the ball fast, throws accurately and throws long. For most of the night, Le Roy went with only a three-man front, which meant LaRocca faced little pressure, but even when he managed to hit an open receiver, Le Roy's backfield swarmed on the ball carrier and limited positive yardage.

This made it hard for the Kings to sustain a drive.

"I thought our defensive coordinator, Andy (Andrew Paladino), did a great job, rotating back and going to a three-man front, and putting us in a situation were we had some extra secondary help," Moran said. "That really proved crucial for us today."

For all the ball-control offense, there was still McMullen to McQuillen in the playbook.

Le Roy's first TD came when Mike McMullen, facing a fourth down, hits Mike McQuillen on the five, after McQuillen bobbed and faked Brown to give himself space and an open lane for a score.

Near the end of the half, the Knights found themselves in another fourth down situation close to the end zone after a long drive. A penalty dropped them back five yards, making it fourth-and-nine.

McMullen dropped a lob over McQuillen's right shoulder, where only he can catch it. McQuillen's so fast, there's nobody between him and the end zone. The 39-yard pass play gives Le Roy a 22-12 lead.

In a manner of speaking, one of the most crucial moments in the game came on the extra points for this touchdown. Le Roy's point-after attempt failed, but there was a penalty on the play, giving the Knights another chance from the one-yard line.

Tom Kelso dove over the white line for two points, two very important points, as it turned out.

At the close of the game, after a TD for Bishop Kearney set the score up at 29-20, and then the Kings recovered an onside kick with 1:20 left on the clock, Le Roy's nine-point lead was still seemed reasonably secure. A seven-point lead would have been precarious in this situation and even eight points would have been a nail biter.

Coach Long, having seen Le Roy up close now, thinks the Knights are the team to beat this year in Section V Class C.

"First and foremost, they're so disciplined, so well coached," Long said. "They don't make a lot of mistakes. From what I've seen, they've put a couple of wrinkles into their offense that's going to make them tougher. In the past, you could just key in on their run and put eight, nine in the box, but they spread it out a little bit more, which opens up their run and you have to worry about their pass. They're well coached, they're disciplined, they play hard. You have to beat them. They're not going to beat themselves."

Le Roy's offensive stats:

Mike McMullen, 6 for 11, 95 yards, 2 TDs.
Tom Kelso, 21 rushes, 89 yards, one reception, 28 yards
Nick Egeling, 19 rushes 74 yards, 1 TD
Jon Pierce, 7 rushes, 33 yards
Ryan McQuillen, 4 rushes 35 yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 57 yards, 2 TDs

On defense:

Jake Henry, 6 tackles and a sack
Tom Kelso, 6 tackles
Mike McMullen, 5 tackles
Nick Egeling, 4 tackles
Reed Kacur, 4 tackles
Ryan McQuillen, 2 tackles and an interception

Bishop Kearney had 383 yards total offense, with only 68 of those yards coming on the round. LaRocca was 19 for 38 passing for 315 yards and one TD. Brown had nine receptions for 151 yards. Jalen Long had seven receptions for 110 yards. Dahmir Pross rushed for 27 yards and a TD on 11 carries.

Top photo: McQuillen with a reception for Le Roy's first TD of the game.

Brown with a touchdown reception on a fourth-30 play in the second quarter.

Bishop Kearney QB Todd LaRocca

Tom Kelso with the ball.

McQuillen ready for a McMullen pass to drop into his hands for a 39-yard TD reception.

Brown with the ball starting his run for a touchdown to open the second half.

Brown scoring to open the second half.

McMullen handing off to Kelso.

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October 4, 2014 - 2:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, high school sports.

Le Roy 53, Canisteo-Greenwood 13. Le Roy once again proved unstoppable, tallying 527 total offensive yards while holding C-G to 264. Employing six different backs, Le Roy rushed for 353 yards. QB Mike McMullen threw for three TDs. He was 10 for 16 for 219 yards and was not intercepted. Nick Egeling,10 rushes for 156 yards and a TD, Jon Pierce, eight rushes for 79 yards, and two TDs, and Tom Kelso, nine rushes 69 yards and two TDs. Kelso also had a TD reception. Ryan McQuillen had five receptions for 134 yards and a TD. Jake Henry caught a touchdown pass of five yards. McQuillen had seven tackles (all solo) and two interceptions. Kody Lamkin, seven tackles and Kelso, five tackles and an interception. Next week at home, Le Roy faces Bishop Kearney, sharing the lead with Le Roy in Livingston County Division II. Both teams are 5-0.

Alexander 31, Oakfield 24. For the Trojans, Tristin Aldinger had 123 yards and a TD on 24 carries. Jake Wozniak scored a TD and QB Jared Brown connected with his brother Samuel Browne on a 21-yard TD. Derrick Busch had a TD grab on a 37-yard pass from Samuel Browne. Zach Shilvock was 4-for-4 on PATs and kicked a 19-yard field goal, but missed a 48-yard attempt. Wozniak had three tackles and an interception and Jake Riggs have five tackles and an interception. Busch registered his fifth sack of the season. For O-A, Alan Chatt was 16 for 32 passing for 192 yards and three TDs. He was picked twice. Reice Woodward had five catches for 44 yards and a TD. Sal Schwable had seven catches for 116 yards and a TD. Ryan Emery, two receptions, 23 yards and a TD. Chatt, seven tackles, Emery, seven tackes and an interception, Jon Harris, seven tackles and a sack and Jake Velletta, seven tackles.

Attica 34, Elba 6. We haven't received Elba's stats.

Notre Dame 34, Charles Finney 6. Both teams came in 2-2, but the Fighting Irish dominated the contest. ND had 292 total yards compared to 126 for Finney. Joe Zickl was 4-7 passing for 43 yards and one TD.  Jack Sutherland rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries and scored. Peter Daversa also carried the ball 18 times. He had 112 yards and a TD. Sutherland also had two catches for 21 yards and a TD.  Josh Johnson had one reception for 23 yards. Spencer Misiak returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Ethan Osborne had 6.5 tackles, as did C.J. Suozzi. Joe Zickl had 5.5

Holley 37, Pembroke 19. Pembroke suffered its fifth loss in five games while Holley picked up its first win of the season. Zack Ewert and Dylan Miserantino both scored on the ground for the Dragons.

Alexander/Oakfield-Alabama game photos by Rick Franclemont. For more photos, click here.

Pembroke photos by Rick D. Franclemonth.

October 4, 2014 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, football, sports, high school sports, Batavia HS.

This is where teams fold. Down 7-0 after a 90-yard unmolested half-back sprint down the near sideline, after a fumble and two interceptions, including one when your 60-yard offensive drive has taken you to the vestibule of the end zone, only to see the ball fall into the hands of a defensive back.

That's when the enemy scores. That's when you're down 7-0 deep into the third quarter on a night when all previous offensive drives failed to produce points.

Perhaps, it just isn't your night.

After all, you're a team that hasn't gotten to four wins in a season in more than a decade.

It could be fate, a jinx or just the way it's supposed to be.

Except, you don't believe it. Not for a moment.

"I don't think we ever really skipped a beat," said Dom Mogavero, junior running back and line backer. "We went out there thinking we're going to win this football game. We never really lost our composure. We just kept fighting because we knew we could break that scoreboard eventually."

Everything went from going bad to going good on one play.

Before the play, Geneva recovered a fumble on Batavia's 40 and was moving toward the goal line once again when Panthers QB Alex Joll handed the ball to running back Mark Suchewski on a sweep.

There's nobody Joll would rather give the ball to than Mark Suchewski, who came into the game approaching 1,000 yards on the ground for the season and twice led his team with four-touchdown performances.

As Suchewski sprinted left and searched for a corner to turn, Batavia's James Cryer stayed with him step-for-step, catching him near the hash marks and stripping the ball.

Mogavero pounced on that precious gem of a ball just before it rolled out of bounds. The Blue Devils' bench exploded.

"The momentum shift was huge," Head Coach Brennan Briggs said. "I sensed it right there. It could have gone either way. If they punch it in, now you've really got to dig yourself out of a hole pretty late in the game. When we got that ball I heard one of the kids on our team say, 'now it's our time. We're going to win this game coach.' "

The Blue Devils didn't score on that drive, but the defense came up with a big stop on Geneva's next possession.

Anthony Gallo returned a punt deep into Panthers territory to once again put the Blue Devils on the doorstep of six points.

Taking a path similar to Suchewski's minutes before, QB Greg Mruczek found that corner to turn and with a Panther's defensive back closing in fast, dove for the pylon, giving the Blue Devils their first points on the night early in the 4th quarter.

In a bold move, Briggs called for a two-point conversion and on a spread offense Mogavero just barely nosed the ball over the goal line.

From there, it was ball control and a good game plan for the Blue Devils.

From watching film, Briggs said the coaches knew if they could spread Geneva's defense with receivers on the outside, it would open some up holes in the middle.

Wind gusts made passing a little more treacherous. Mruczek completed only six of his 19 tosses (for 85 yards), and twice balls intended for wideouts wound up in the hands of corner backs, but Briggs stuck with the game plan.

"Greg was struggling a little bit early on getting the ball out there, so even though it was there, we couldn't take advantage of it," Briggs said. "Eventually, they saw 'OK that's what they're trying to do', and eventually they're going to connect on it, so they widened out and we started going to one-back running with Dom and quarterback keepers."

Mogavero rushed for 110 yards on 23 carries.

"I give a lot of credit to our coaches," Mosgavero said. "We came in with a great game plan."

Stopping Suchewski was a big part of that game plan.

The plan was to stack the box, stop the run and let a strong-armed Joll, a fearless pocket passer, heave the ball down field as often as he liked.

"We went into the game saying we're going to gamble with the pass and we're going to shut down their run," Briggs said. "We're going to commit to stopping that run and we're going to put pressure on him if he's passing. We're going to say hey we've got athletes out there and you guys have got to have a great snap, great throw and great catch."

To be sure, Joll connected on a couple of those bombs, but tight coverage contained the yardage after reception. With a running game all but shut down, the Panthers couldn't sustain a drive.

With a lead in the 4th, a defense that could contain the Panthers, Briggs kept the ball on the ground and ran down the clock. With runs of three or four yards at a time, the Blue Devils were able to control the ball through most of the fourth quarter.

"We knew we had to fight," Mruczek said' "We have a lot better team than them, I thought. Man-to-man up front. We just had to grind and fight, grind and fight and get the W."

This year's Blue Devils team is a confident bunch of guys, Briggs said.

"That can sometimes be a bad thing," said the head coach, "but I love the swag of these kids."

It's all about the team, Mogavero said.

"I give a lot of credit to our guys every day," Mogavero said. "They play out their hearts every single game, every snap, every practice. We just give it and keep giving it. I feel like that's definitely going to propel us to the front, because you know, some people don't believe that we can be the team that beats good teams and I feel like we really turned the corner as a program.

"We love each other," he added. "It's the biggest team. We're not the biggest team size-wise, the biggest team in numbers, but we're close. That makes our hearts big."

Mogavero pointed to his chest, just below "Batavia," and said "We're big here."

Top Photo: Mruczek dives for the pylon for a TD. A two-point conversion would give Batavia the go-ahead and stay-ahead points.

James Cryer forces Geneva's star running back Mark Suchewski as the Panther's seemed to be on the verge of another score.

Batavia's bench celebrates Mogavero's fumble recovery.

Mogavero hits Joll just as he attempts another long pass. The play was ruled an incomplete forward pass.

Mogavero gets his helment buried in the turf at the end of a run.

This play was ruled an interception. Check the sequence in the slideshow below. It appears the defensive player trapped the ball on the ground before he had control. On the second play after the turnover, Mark Suchewski ran 90 yards for a Geneva touchdown.

Geneva's Marquan Ross with an interception on a pass intended for Malachi Chenault.

Mruczek hands off to Mogevero in the 4th quarter.

Danny Williams, who also had 10 tackles on the night, sacks Alex Joll in the 4th quarter.

Jarrett Laskett and Trevor Sherwood celebrate the Blue Devils victory after the final whistle.

To purchase prints from this game and ensure you have copies for years to come, click here.

September 30, 2014 - 3:07pm
posted by Rhonda Pangrazio in sports, batavia ramparts pee wee III.

BATAVIA RAMPARTS PEE WEE III:  WE ARE NUMBER ONE

Hockey players from the Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team cheer and shout “we are number one” after proving they were the best team at the Tri-County Youth Hockey BREAKIN’ THE ICE tournament in Brockport this weekend.  Batavia began the tournament Friday night facing the host team from Brockport, Tri-County Youth Hockey (TCYH).  Both teams battled and the game remained scoreless until TCYH scored in the third period.  Down by one and late in the game, Batavia rallied.  With just over one minute remaining, forward, Sean Pies lit the lamp for Batavia with help from an assist by defenseman, Katherine Carmichael.  Less than a minute later, forward, Max Hutchins would pass to forward Drew Bower who would net the winning goal. 

After beating the teams from Rochester Youth Hockey and Monroe County Youth Hockey on Saturday, the Batavia Ramparts faced TCYH once again for the championship on Sunday afternoon.  Hutchins put Batavia on the board in the second period and a penalty shot in the third period would give forward, Zackary Geitner, an opportunity to add to Batavia’s lead.  He delivered.  With a score of 2-0, TCYH pulled their goalie and Hutchins out skated the Tri-County defense to put the puck back in the net.  Batavia wins with a final score of 3-0. 

Batavia’s goalie, Joshua Barber, was outstanding, showing his talents in each game.  The one point scored by TCYH would be the only goal on Barber throughout the tournament weekend.  Barber finished the weekend with three shut outs, helping his team post victories with scores of 2-1, 7-0, 4-0, and 3-0.  Barber’s efforts were noted and rewarded by receiving two of the four MVP awards during the tournament.  Max Hutchins and Drew Bower were also tournament MVPs.

The Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team brings home the championship after going undefeated this weekend and proving they are number one.

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